Valery, full name Valery Nangula Ndahalovanhu Shaninga, was born on November 7th 1993. She was born and raised in small country, in the South-west of Africa, Namibia. Her mother, Miriam is a Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Namibia and her father, Peter, is an Education Officer. Valery has a younger sister, Nalitye. Valery’s parents are not married, so Valery and her sister were raised by their single mother, but their father is also very present in their lives. Because of her mother’s job as a researcher, Valery and her sister moved a lot within Namibia, accompanying their mother. Thus Valery has attended a total of 7 schools in her life time, in 3 different towns. In 2006, when Valery was 12, in 7th grade, the family relocated to the capital city of Namibia, Windhoek, which is where the family is currently located.
Valery grew up in a well-off, middle-class family and attended private school since she was in the 5th grade. Valery is currently a full-time 1st year law student at the University of Namibia, while still trying to make a name for herself in the modeling world internationally. “Trying to get into the international modeling industry is not easy, considering almost every girl in the industry is much taller than me. But having my sister trying to do the same thing, makes it a fun and exciting journey. I’m glad I get to share this with her”.
Although Valery’s ultimate dream is to become a Supermodel and a role model for other girls out there, being in law school has always been something she saw herself doing. “Before I was interested in modeling, my only dream was to be a lawyer. That’s all I saw myself doing”. Says Valery. Valery was approached by a local agency owner in Windhoek, while at her friends’ sweet 16 party in 2009. At the time, Valery was 15 years old and in 10th grade. “At first, I didn’t take her offer seriously, because in my country, the fashion and modeling industry is almost non-existent. I didn’t even know one could have a career as a model, so I was shocked”. Valery’s mom convinced her to set up a meeting with the agency owner and that’s were it all started. She received runway training and etiquette classes there, although not under contract. Valery hadn’t signed a contract then because she wasn’t completely sure she wanted to commit to modeling.
In 2010, Valery had signed her first official contract with an agency in Windhoek and had her first professional portfolio shoot. “It was surreal! Even though it was locally done, I felt like a Supermodel. There were make-up artists, photographers and hairstylists. That’s when I knew for certain, this is what I want to do for, it was so fun.” And that’s where it all started. Her then agency offered to enter her in an annual beauty pageant competition, Miss Teen Namibia, but she refused because she felt Beauty pageants aren’t for her. “I prefer the high fashion world” says Valery. Although Valery is not super tall (5ft7 ½ ), she still believes she has what it takes to make it in high fashion. Valery looks up to Models like Behati Prinsloo (who is also from her native country, Namibia), Candice Swanepoel and mostly admires Chanel Iman. Valery says she wants to someday become a Victorias Secret angel, as she sees that as “the ultimate model experience”.
Anyone who knows Valery well will tell you that she is by nature a very shy, quiet girl. “I had always been the smallest, shortest person in my class and my peers were always taller and bigger. I think that is why I was shy and quiet, Until I miraculously grew a couple of inches in 9th grade. Then my confidence just came rushing into me”. Valery is a very sporty girl. She has been taking part in school sports since she can remember. In high school, Valery played soccer and Basket ball for her school teams. She also has several sports awards for athletics, namely 1500m, 3000m, high ump, long ump and 100&80m Hurdles. In her spare time, Valery loves to sing, sometimes even write her own songs and she also dances. “It gives me some me-time and its great relaxation methods”. She listens to a lot of Rap music, and RnB. She also loves watching wrestling on WWE.
“Until I achieve all I want to achieve, I will just keeps living life. Taking it one day at a time. After all, the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”.
Valery is a determined young lady and is only striving for success. This is only the beginning for her and nothing and no one is standing in her way. Watch this space and try to keep up with this 18 year old Diva.