A Glistening Morning at The Domain With Daejha

Tāmaki Makaurau

— June 13, 2024 —

Whether you’re pining for warmer days, dreaming about a European vacation — or, like me, glued to the couch watching VPR — we’re here to brighten your day and thaw out even the most cynical winter antagonist, with our latest editorial. Single-digit temperatures have nothing on this radiant new face: Meet Daejha.

Hailing from Whāingaroa, Daejha’s journey to signing with an agency is an out-of-the-ordinary tale: “I was actually found preaching in Manukau mall.” Our pal photographer Matt Hurley, was on hand to guide her to sign with Ngahuia Williams — an industry legend for those who know — and “the rest was history.”

Before you delve into the fresh fashion in the gallery above, let Daejha's astute words carry you through the rest of these frosty mornings: “I feel like happiness is a state of mind; happiness comes and goes, but if you’re content with what you have right now and stop comparing yourself to others, you will truly be happy within.” 

Where do you live now, and where do you consider home?
I currently live in South [Tāmaki Makaurau] Auckland but the place I feel most at home would be [Whāingaroa] Raglan and [Kirikiriroa] Hamilton as that’s where I grew up.

What does your ideal day in your hometown look like?
My ideal day in my hometown would consist of visiting family and going to Hamilton Lake for a walk with my son and my dog.

Where would you take someone visiting for the first time?
If I had to choose one place to take someone visiting New Zealand for the first time, it would be my hometown in Raglan; nothing beats Raglan on a summer's day. 

How do you think your upbringing helped to shape your worldview?
Just like most people my upbringing wasn’t the greatest but it definitely helped me be more open minded and understanding.

How did you get into modelling? Can you tell us the story of how you came to be signed to your agency?
I was actually found preaching in Manukau mall and was stopped by these two lovely girls Juliana and Vivienne who had asked me to model for their line that they’re making called ‘outerlines studio’, through that photoshoot, I met Matt Hurley, who was the photographer, who then put in a good word for me with Ngahuia from N Model Management, and the rest was history.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part of modelling would be the people I meet through each job, I love how every job is different and so creative, it allows me to be my true self and explore sides of myself I never knew existed.

And the most challenging?
The most challenging part of modelling would be when I go with low confidence or when I have very low energy because of my physical/mental health at the time, trying to get myself out of that headspace when I’m at work can sometimes be difficult because it would affect my work and how I perform.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice I’ve ever received is, “Give it to God, and God will do the rest.”

What is your idea of happiness?
I feel like happiness is a state of mind; happiness comes and goes, but if you’re content with what you have right now and stop comparing yourself to others, you will truly be happy within.

What would happen if you had to give up social media for a week?
If I had to give up social media for a week, I’d probably get stuff done and start focusing on what’s really important. 

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
I wish I could say the first thing I do in the morning is meditate or read, but in reality, I grab my phone, turn off my alarms, and go back to sleep.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A good lamp roast.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I wish I were a morning person, but I am definitely a night owl. My day starts in the evening.

How can we make the most of our time on Earth?
I think the best way to make the most of our time on earth is to do some soul searching and creating a relationship with God in the way God asks us to in the Bible. I feel like the most happiest I’ve ever been was when I was in church and preaching. I miss that version of myself.

If you could say something to your 16-year-old self, what would it be?
“You’re doing the best you can, and that’s enough; I promise you it’ll all be worth it; just be patient.”

What are you most looking forward to this year in 2024?
I would say I’m most looking forward to watching my son and my niece growing up together this year.

Favourite song?
'Drream' by JGrrey.

Favourite movie?
Howls Moving Castle.


Features Editor: Chloe Hill       Photos: Matt Hurley      Fashion: Annabel Dickson      Make up: Anna Guo      Hair: Ansel Xu

Daejha is represented by N Mgmt


Shot on location at the Domain, Tāmaki Makaurau


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