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CeleBrate Black History: Model Vasta Muhimpundu

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How did you get started in your career and/or Organization?

Well, I have always have passion for fashion, clothes shoes and it is one of my dreams to start a clothes line, shoe line or modeling someday. I stared modeling for fun when I was a freshman in college. Two guys on campus came up to me at one the school events and asked me if they could do a photo shoot with me to help them build their portfolio and I said yes. The next year I was in their fashion show on campus and that is pretty much how it all started. I had planned to start taking modeling more serious when I'm finished or halfway done with school and that is what I'm doing now, trying to build my portfolio.

What were some of the cultural influences that made an impact on you?

I was born and raised in Rwanda and I'm proud of it, even though sometimes it not easy when people look at “Immigrants" differently and pity them. In my college all African students were called/ classifies as immigrants just out of pity. Yes, we were Immigrants but when other students/ people on campus used the word immigrants, they were pretty much referring to the unfortunate African students. I noticed that most people think that you are dying just because you are from Africa. Basically they treat you differently. At the church I used to go to, people would feel sort for us and give us expired food, worn and dirty clothes when we didn't even as for them. Immigrant status is one of the cultural influences in America that has made me who I am today; it has made me look things differently. It has helped to embrace my Rwandan Cultural, my Black Cultural and be proud of it because that is my identity.

How important is History to you and how has that shaped who you are today?

History is something we should all learn from and try to make ourselves better from what our ancestors did right and wrong. History tell us who are and where we came from. Understanding the history of my people helps me strive to be a better person, walk the footsteps of my ancestors so that we can keep our culture alive and pass it on to the next generation.

If you could go back in time as one person in Black History who would it be and why?

Maya Angelou because she had a rough childhood as black young girl but she grew in to be a strong women. Sharing her painful childhood life reveals that she is proud of what she has become. Life wasn't easy for her but she overcame it.

As we look at the rich cultural history of Buffalo visually from the project how does it make you feel and what do you feel people should take from it?

Any project coming and where can people find your work, business and/or organization?

As I mentioned, I'm starting to build my portfolio, professional website and pages. I'm also working on some out fits for photoshoot. Right now, I'm working on dress that will be made from African looking material. I never sewed before so I'm learning as I make the dress. I can be reached at tante.vasta@yahoo.com, Facebook: Vasta Wonderer (most updates will be there as well as my coming up professional Facebook page), Instagram: FO12.

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