June 17, 2024

Precious Mustapha from Winx Saga on modelling for H&M, being an advocate for Black women

East London girls do it best – so says everyone from those ends – but best believe Precious Mustapha, 24, makes a good case for them. Now starring in her breakout role of Aisha in The Winx Saga next to GLAMOUR’s former coverstar Abigail Cowen, and also now modelling for H&M’s new sustainability-first Fall Fashion campaign, for Precious, the only way is up.

Precious was born and raised in Hackey, East London, with her mother and two sisters, who have supported her flip-flopping through various careers and aspirations before acting came calling. Fast forward three years since her acting school graduation and she is now busy filming season two of the hit Netflix series The Winx Saga – inspired by the cartoon version we all grew up watching and loved dearly.

With a die-hard fan base, she confesses to having been a little anxious about taking on the role but has not let imposter syndrome stop her from chasing her dreams.

Precious Mustapha sits down virtually in an exclusive interview with GLAMOUR, to talk through her humble beginnings, the nuances of sustainable fashion, filming The Winx Saga, and much more.

On being an advocate for Black women…

“I’m such an advocate for Black women, especially dark-skinned black women being in roles where it’s not about our race. We just happen to be Black, but we’re playing these characters who are super nuanced and super fun and not traumatic. It’s so important to depict Black women as amazing and powerful as we are. One of the reasons why I took on this job was because I knew that ‘young me’ would love to see this type of representation. ”

On how sustainability can be very *damn* expensive…

“Sustainable fashion is very important to me now. It’s so interesting because some element of it is a class thing and it’s a privilege to be able to dress sustainably. I. e. Having the funds to be sustainable. A lot of the reasons why growing up my mum would buy us clothes, from I guess you could call it fast fashion is because that’s all we could afford. Whereas I think now, I’m becoming a lot more aware of what I’m consuming and what I’m putting on. I always ask myself questions before I buy things and make sure I’m checking what I’m buying before I buy them. Like: ‘Do I even need this? Is it good quality? Is it multi-tasking, where does it come from, and can I wear it over and over again? ’ Cutting down on the things that you buy, knowing where they come from is quite important. Hand me downs to siblings and charity is great too. I love charity shops. ”

Precious Mustapha from Winx Saga on HM collection and growing up as a Black woman

On the H&M collections…

“I wore this oversized orange jumper-dress vibe and I love it. I was obsessed with it. It was so bright and you instantly felt so happy in it. I also love the water repellent gilet that they have. Those are really fun to wear. Then one of my faves was the quilted shopper bag, which is just stunning. It looks like a pillow. I love it. ”

On her best beauty buys…

“If my beauty cabinet was on fire and I had to save three products, I would save my moisturiser because I need to be moisturised at all times. My mum is from Nigeria, so she gets pure shea butter in blocks shipped from home. Secondly, I’d say perfume. I have an obsession with smelling nice. I use the YSL Libre. Lastly, my SPF, because we need to debunk the myth that black and brown people don’t need sunscreen. I use La Roche Posay Anthelios. ”

On being unapologetically ‘you’…

“I used to be apologetic for just existing. Empowerment for me is when you take ownership of the fact that you have a right to be here and you have a right to take up space and you should just own that and own your power. If everyone did that, we’d all be unstoppable. It’s also not apologising for being you and like working on yourself constantly because there’s always room to improve yourself and to improve how you maneuver around the world, how you speak to people. The more we do that, the more empowering it is and the more empowered we feel.

“I’m not further than where I was. I can see it. Even the way I move on set and stuff, when I’m acting, I’m a lot more vocal. A lot of the time I’m having to navigate in predominantly white spaces. So I’m no longer feeling uncomfortable or like I don’t have a right to be here and use my voice. Now I’m definitely in a space where I’m ready to speak up for the things that I believe in. Whereas a few years ago, I probably would say nothing. I suffer from anxiety. So sometimes I have spells where I just don’t know if I can do this, or that I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s a day-to-day thing. I’m constantly growing and evolving, but ultimately I want to be someone who moves in a space of love and kindness and I want to always be able to have my voice and not allow people to take my kindness for weakness. ”

Precious Mustapha from Winx Saga on HM collection and growing up as a Black woman

On navigating anxiety…

“It’s really important to take breaks, especially on social media. Whenever you’re feeling super anxious, that’s what I do. There’s no shame in that either. Especially in this climate that we’re in, everyone has to be on social media all the time or you feel like you’re gonna miss out on everything. It’s like this FOMO that people feel. But to be honest, your mental health is way more important than whatever’s going on. So just switch it off, have your time, and do things that you actually like. I love taking baths, so I’ll just get in the bath with no phone and that feels good to me. ”

On season 2 of The Winx Saga…

“It looks so cinematic. It’s a lot bigger and grander. The costumes and the makeup have been elevated. It’s just epic! ”

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