Meet the stunning Canadian-based Guyanese West Indian model, and economics student, who one day plans to work with the United Nations…
Welcome to MAXIM, Shazeeda. How does it feel?
It feels surreal! It has been such a dream.
We see you’ve done a lot of runway work; how did you get into modelling?
I got into modelling when I was 18 – I had just started University at the time. I’d always been very interested in modelling, so I decided to seriously pursue it that year and I’ve been modelling and living my dream ever since.
Besides modelling, what are your other passions?
I’m very passionate about women’s rights, environmental sustainability and equitable social policies. Also, believe it or not, I’m also passionate about what I study in University – Economics! I’ll be working with the United Nations one day.
If you were not a model, what would you have been?
This is always a tough question because now, even as a model, I have so many other attributes to my life than just my modelling career. If I could choose one though, I definitely would pursue the full student experience – I love to learn.
Your family is Guyanese West Indian and you’ve grown up in Toronto, Canada. Do you find it difficult to blend the two cultures?
Guyanese people are Indo-Caribbean, with an even blend of West Indian and Caribbean cultural practices – mixing this with North American culture doesn’t always work. My family (thankfully) can be very progressive with certain topics, like dating and what I wear – they are traditional about family and individual values, such as valuing higher education. I’m thankful to have been brought up like this because it strengthens my understanding of intersectionality, and tests my patience and pushes me to be the best version of myself no matter what area of my life.
What’s your most favourite part of your culture?
My favourite part of Guyanese culture is the food. We have such a wide variety of dishes that are a fusion of influences like the Amerindian, Chinese, Cajun, Creole, and Latin American. You have to try our signature dish, Pepperpot – it’s best enjoyed around the holiday season.
If you had one superpower, what would it be?
I would want to be able to teleport – time is money and commuting is a waste of time.
Define your dream guy in three words.
Educated, kind, ambitious!
How do you let a guy know that you’re interested in him?
I’m pretty forward if I’m getting the right energy from a guy. I flirt playfully with a few arm touches here and there.
What’s your take on dating apps?
Dating apps are cool if that’s what you’re into. I’ve personally never met anyone worthwhile on a dating app – I think the guys worth dating probably don’t need dating apps.
If we had to arrange a perfect date night for you, what would you like us to do?
A perfect date night would be with a guy I liked doing pretty much anything. I’m not a very picky girl with any expensive taste – as long as he makes me laugh a lot and has a charming attitude it’ll be great.
When do you feel at your sexiest?
Right after I finish working out. Gotta love that booty pump!
What’s the secret to a sexy selfie?
Sexy selfies are all about the eyes and lips. Smiling with a slightly parted, moist lip and you’re good to go. ■
PHOTOGRAPHED BY NICK SAGLIMBENI
HAIR & MAKE-UP BY INDU JAY
Follow Shazeeda Gafoor on Instagram at @s.gafoor