Introducing Up and Coming Model to Watch, Wokie Zaria
Wokie Zaria is a 25 year-old model who is taking the world by storm. She’s a Scorpio, which she says perfectly describes her and I couldn’t agree more. Passionate, intelligent and dynamic, Wokie is a force to be reckoned with.
Born in Liberia to a Liberian mother and father, Wokie emigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic with her family when she was six years old. The family moved to Southwest Philadelphia where Wokie lived for six years before relocating to Yeadon, PA.
Her journey towards modeling began when she was six years old and her mother cut her hair. “I always wanted to model, I was born for it” said Wokie, “Even as a young child I would draw stick figures of myself on a runway. People would come up to my mom and tell her how beautiful I was, but like any African immigrant parent she just wanted me to focus on school.”
After attending Catholic schools for her entire life, she earned her bachelor’s degree at West Chester University with a major in Psychology and minor in French. After graduating college, she officially entered the modeling world.
Recently, Wokie made headlines when she was featured with Benefit Cosmetics Happy Blur Foundation line. This foundation line was iconic for the brand because of its inclusive shade range.”
“We are in the climate where melanin skin is in”. Wokie describes the shoot as super fun and bubbly, with an all female cast. “I love and I respect female empowerment and I really enjoyed that” she said, despite suffering from a skin breakout that caused her to feel “30 seconds of insecurity”. “This was the day I realized this is what I wanted to do and I wanted to be represented by something bigger than myself”
Wokie was also recently featured in the Kendrick Lamar ft. SZA music video for “All the Stars”. She was contacted by the director via Instagram and shot scenes with SZA for the “back to Africa” themed video. “It was a really dope concept” said Wokie, “At the time I didn’t know how big it was going to be. I didn’t even know it was going to be used for Black Panther.”
Aside from modeling, Wokie is also extremely passionate about activism. She works as an ABA therapist who works with children on the spectrum of autism. “My main aspiration is to save the world” said Wokie, “Our purpose is bigger than who we are”.
Not your typical model, she plans on going back to school for her Master’s and starting a foundation to help those less fortunate. “I have a passion for homelessness. I come from an African country where we have a very collective culture. What is mine is yours” she said, “I would like to have a foundation that helps with homeless”. She wants to go back to Sierra Leone and Liberia and be a hands-on part of the foundation.
“In a world of Naomis, Tyras, and Imans, I want do not to be a needle in the hay and make a name for myself” said Wokie, “I always tell young people to say ‘Do you know who I am? Do you know who I am going to be?”
There is no question that Wokie is taking over the industry. To keep up with her, follow her @wokiezaria.
Article by Hanifah Jones
All photos are from Wokie Zaria's Instagram account.