Zimbabwean Born, Tinotenda ‘Tino’ Chinyani, is known to be one of the s-e-xiest men in the entertainment industry and although his first stint might have painted him as just a ‘pretty face’, The Morning show host is climbing up the ladder of success to fight against that notion. You might know Tino from a lot of renowned commercials he’s done both on billboard and television, or from his first television stint on Channel O, but what you might not know about him is the strides he took towards building a brand.
Tino’s move to South Africa after matriculating, in 2012, was a joint decision which he made with his parents in pursuit of studying abroad, landing him an opportunity to study at Monash University and getting a degree in Marketing management, but little did he know that it was his Instagram profile that would lead to him creating a professional portfolio, tirelessly outsourcing it and getting his foot in the door of the entertainment industry through one of the most renowned modelling agencies, Boss models.
“Boss models hit me and they were like: ‘Come through for an interview, we like you, we’ll sign you’ and literally right on spot, it was a two minute conversation and she was like, I’m gonna get your contract…and that’s when the beauty journey as we know it now began. I got my foot into the door with modelling, but then I can’t model forever, looks fade, you have to bring more to the table than just your looks and I feel like all models need to understand, you need to bring more to the table, and that’s when I started to think beyond what I had, and I was like: “I went to school, I’ve got a degree, what can I do with those things, how can I make it a worthwhile brand to pursue from other clients point of view?”
While speaking to Chiyanda, during a recent interview, I took note of the fact that he identified himself as a television personality first as that is his staple job that has worked as a ‘nine-five’ to him, apart from his modelling and social entrepreneurship career.
“I place television first because it’s way more interactive than modelling ever was, and because television hosting has become my staple that’s literally my bread and butter, my 9-5. It’s been such a beautiful and nurturing environment for me, I’ve grown and I’ve learnt so much from the individuals around me and from the industry I’ve been in…But most of all, I feel like television goes way beyond just modelling.
Being a television host, I have a voice, I can impact change with the things I do…being able to communicate myself is so much more personal and so much more deeper than modelling could ever be and that’s why I always introduce myself first as a television host instead of introducing myself as a model…” he said.
Chinyande went on to say that he finds it tragic and stereotypical that models are only seen for face value, while most of them are making the most of the platform given, by pursuing other bigger projects.
“Sometimes there’s beauty in being underestimated, sometimes I like to shock them, I like being stepped on. Sometimes you think and perceive in such a way, just based on what you’ve seen and if we sit and you have a conversation with me, you’d have a very different picture of me. I feel like modelling is a great platform to do other things, its such a beautiful space to network with brands, to work with clients, to work with television, to work with all the various aspects. It’s about taking that platform and asking yourself, what are your long-term goals, what do you wanna do with this? What can you take from this and how can you adapt it to other aspects of your life?”
After solidifying his stardom as a model, television host, Chiyanda had plans to launch a fashion range on his birthday but revealed that he had to push back the date after accumulating more knowledge on the fashion industry.
“The line was supposed to drop on my birthday, beginning of September – the 9th, I looked at it, and I was like: ‘What’s my value proposition here, what’s my competitive advantage over everybody else who is selling the same product as me? I remember I had a conversation with Tshepo [owner of Relevance For Men]…and I sat with this individual, and for me, the biggest and most striking thing about this individual was his attention to detail. He is sought after Melusi Gigaba, Black Coffee, international exports that are doing great things across the world, if you’re gonna do something, don’t just do it for the sake of doing it to have a mediocre product, to just be saying you’re doing something. If you’re gonna do something, best believe you must be aiming to be the best of the best in what you do, I definitely do see myself showcasing one day at Fashion Week.”
Speaking of his future venture Chinyani said that now that he had been given a platform like television to showcase his talents, he was looking to broadening his experience on radio as well: “I want to go into radio, I want people to hear my voice without having to see me so that they can take away the physical. Just hear me speak, I want to them to feel my voice, while being the most sought-after model in Africa, let alone the world.”