ZUHURA: A Tanzanian lady who ditched flight attendant job for modeling

WHEN Zuhura Bedel Said was working with Zanzibar based Tropical Air Company as a flight attendant, she didn’t dream of whether she would once venture into another field.

Remembering how she convinced her lovely parents to support her to be enrolled at an aviation college and then landed her first job at the age of 20, Zara was confident that only a flight attendant job would dictate her development.


“I loved this job,” she says. “But how passengers, especially tourists, viewed me thought I was supposed to be somewhere else doing something different.”

The lady’s flexibility in serving Tropical Air’s esteemed passengers, her catwalks grabbed the attention of many. “Aged at 20 at that time, whatever anyone needed in the craft, I was at their disposal. It is because passengers found me lovable,” she tells the Daily News Digital reporter.

Venturing to modeling

There is a belief that in someone’s road to success, there must be that one person whom when you meet, everything changes and falls into place. And this is what exactly happened to Zara after meeting a woman called Li Andrea. The German national was traveling from Zanzibar to enjoy the beauty of the country. By then, Zara says, the tourist was working with MiKas and Fashion model Milan.

Throughout the journey she was concentrating on her without saying anything to her. But this didn’t stop her discharging her duty of serving other passengers as per company and industry standard.

“We landed safely at Arusha Airport and everyone in the plane started boarding. But that man who was busy looking at me was the last in the plane. While we expected him to board out of the plane for other services to continue, she went directly to the pilot to ask him if we could have a conversation,” Zara says.

It wasn’t a long conversation, the lady says, since the man just wanted to know if she was ready to venture into the modeling industry. She didn’t take time to respond to him since the answer was either YES or NO. To Zara, YES was her choice.

According to Zara, not for once did she ever dream of being a model. She never put the offer into consideration. She was clueless on how the industry operates because she wasn’t interested. The two exchanged their contacts though they didn’t communicate for almost two years.


“One day when I was just going through my phone, I saw the contact and I then decided to text the woman; she was very happy. Concluding our conversations, the woman offered me a job opportunity to work with her,” Zara says.

Here is when Zara’s life took a new turn and a completely different look when she began working with international companies in modeling especially after being recruited by Fashion Model Management in Italy.

The girl whose journey started from the narrow streets of Stone Town in Zanzibar as a flight attendant to become fashion at the Fashion Model Management found herself collaborating with esteemed brands like Dolce and Gabbana, Stella McCartney, Adidas, Karl Lagerfeld, Tiger of Sweden, Level shoes (Dubai), and Landeros New York.

Speaking on her new achievement’s, Zara says if she had decided to lock herself in one dream she wouldn’t have reached where she is, a place where her salary is roughly three times of what she used to earn as a flight attendant.

“Right now, if you ask me what my dream is, I can’t say. I have come to realize that your dream and passion changes according to how you grow, how days go by and what is happening at the moment. I decided to give this new experience and enter into modelling without knowing how it works but I gave the opportunity a chance and here I am. My life is better, in every work that I do, the agency takes 30 per cent and I get 70,” she says.

Zara says she is well represented in South Africa by Base Model, a renowned agency based in Cape Town, in Sweden (MIKAs Stockholm), Dubai (MMG Models). She works with other companies in Europe as well.

Related Articles

Back to top button