In Conversation with Ishmael Murangandi: The ‘Crown Hunter’ changing the narrative around male modeling in Zimbabwe

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In the glamorous world of fashion and modeling, where beauty and charisma reign supreme, there occasionally emerges an individual who possesses an unrivaled combination of talent, dedication, and sheer magnetism.

Meet Ishmael Murangandi, the male model who has taken the industry by storm, leaving an indeniable mark on every runway he graces and every photoshoot he conquers.

With his unrivaled confidence, and an extraordinary winning streak, Ishmael is the epitome of a rising star, poised to become an iconic figure in the realm of male modeling. Aptly nicknamed the Crown Hunter, he’s making waves in the industry because he dominates the pageants he participates in.

Hailing from humble beginnings, Ishmael Murangandi discovered his passion for modeling at a young age. Fuelled by his relentless ambition, he set out to explore the world and pursue his dreams. Armed with a magnetic personality, striking looks, and a natural flair for fashion, it wasn’t long before he caught the attention of industry insiders.

Brief Introduction

His full name is Ishmael Isheunesu Murangandi. He was originally born in Gweru 26 years ago but was brought up on a farm by his grandparents in Chiwundura. Ofiicially he began his modeling journey in 2019. He owes his gratitude to the iconic Sarah Mpofu, who groomed him into the “Crown Hunter” he is today.

The Winning Streak

Ishmael’s meteoric rise in the industry can be attributed not only to his undeniable talent but also to his remarkable winning streak.

It seems that wherever he goes, victory follows. In almost all pageants he’s participated in, Ishmael has found himself at the podium, outshining his competitors with his magnetic presence and flawless execution.

To date, Ishmael has the following accolades under his belt: Mr I Am Africa Zimbabwe 2019 winner, Mr Zimbabwe 2020 first runner up and Mr Friendship International 2021 Top 5. In 2022, he became the brand ambassador for Mr World Heritage.

I (Nakai Zenda) got the opportunity to talk to him (Ishmael Murangandi) on behalf of Mcheno & More — to tap into his mind and see what made the enigma that is The Crown Hunter.

Below are brief excerpts of the long ranging conversation we had; edited for brevity and an enjoyable reading experience.

How is it being a model, specifically being a male model?

Fantastic is the word l would use to describe being a male model .In every discipline and career there are set backs but it’s all worthwhile in the end.

What do you think has been your greatest strength as a professional?

Being humble enough to celebrate other people’s success.This has ensured me the opportunity to be taught, advised and lectured by the achievers and have a wide perspective and spectrum on life in general.

How do you stay motivated in this role?

Reaching greater heights that l myself could not have possibly imagined. That has given me the incredible zeal to hang on cause there’s so much more that is in store for me.

As a model when you are on duty, what adjustments do you make to your daily life inorder to have a successful day?

Over the years, doing what l do, l have strived to dispel any separation fro me and my work. Modeling is me, I’m a model and essentially that means I cannot leave that character/ role at my doorstep each time l leave work. It is now part of who I am and everywhere I am go, l embody the role of being a model. A model of good character, structure and values.

What has been your favourite shoot/campaign/work to date in your journey as a model?

Working as a National Director under the guidance of Tichaona Nigel Shamu. He was a talented man who made for an amazing advisor and managed to grant me a platform full of opportunities.

Do you have any hidden talents?

 I am a dancer as well as an actor.

Do you get to travel a lot for your work? If so what’s your favourite city that you have visited?

Well I have been to Asia twice, all over Zimbabwe and got booked in Africa again surprisingly. So it has to be Asia there’s something to be said when one is experiencing a whole different culture and atmosphere.

Do you ever get shy in front of the camera?

No I am a bold man. Shying away does not exist in my vocabulary or world.

Can you give me five things you can’t live without?

God, my family, fun, peace and humility.

If you weren’t modelling what would you be doing?

A lawyer. Soon after A’level results were published, my family thought I should pursue Law as l had excelled. The unfortunate part (or fortunately, depends on where you are standing) is I decided otherwise, hence I should have been a lawyer. If not that l would have stretched to dancing (laughs)

Is there any fact or anything at all that you would like to add and make sure it gets featured in the article?

To say to everyone: Stay real to yourself, you are the owner of your life.

In conclusion, Ishmael Murangandi’s remarkable journey from an aspiring model to a bona fide star serves as an inspiration to aspiring models worldwide.

With his unparalleled looks, remarkable talent, and an unbeatable winning streak, Ishmael has firmly established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the male modeling industry.

As he continues to make waves and redefine the standards of male beauty, the future holds nothing but boundless possibilities for this extraordinary individual.

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