Written by Zaynab Asmal

Zoeleena as Star Guardian Lux. Photographer: Jade Thomas

As part of our initiative to encourage more cosplayers and connect the community more deeply, CCT will be posting local cosplayers’ profiles on all their social media and encouraging people to follow them or provide constructive feedback. Our first ever feature is the brilliant Zoeleena Cosplay!

Zoeleena has been a wonderful addition to the cosplay scene here in Cape Town, and we have watched her grow with pride. She never backs down from a challenge and pushes herself to complete her outfits no matter what. She’s the type of cosplayer who, even the midst of a crazy con, is always happy to explain a construction process, share advice or have a chat. Her sewing skills have always shone in her usually gaming-based costumes, and somehow she always seem to choose cute but deadly characters. Her cosplay star is on the rise: get to know her basics here!

One of the first props I ever saw her with, the adorable Snowball! This was for her Mei Rise and Shine! (Over watch) cosplay

Cosplay Name: Zoeleena Cosplay.

How long have you been cosplaying?

4 years.

What was your first cosplay event?

UCON 2014 as Toph from the Last Airbender. It was at the last minute and so bad that it’s hidden at the back of my cupboard. I keep it purely for memories’ sake as I now know how to make pants! 😂

How did you become a cosplayer?

I got into cosplay right after I cosplayed Toph! But I’d first heard about it in art class when my friend was talking about this amazing Syndra cosplay from Kinpatsu Cosplay. Then we all found out about UCON, which was also how Toph happened, and now I’m happy to be in the magical world of cosplay!

Have you entered or won any cosplay contests?

I’ve entered a few. I placed in EGE 2015 with Pool Party Leona for my use of recycled objects in my cosplay and I also think it’s the first competition I entered too! Then 1st place at EGE 2018 with Magical Girl Mei.

Do you have a favourite con?

Definitely Fancon!

What’s your favourite cosplay that you’ve done?

Magical girl Mei since you can see the improvement.

Her EGE-winning entry, Magical Mei from Overwatch (Shourca fan art version). Photographer: Ziggy Fuchs

Do you have a ‘cosplay support team’ that keeps you going or assists you at events?

My cosplay team is actually more just a person: my mom. Yes, everyone supports me, but my mom and I sit in the same room while I do all of this. We make weird noises when I get frustrated over my cosplays not cooperating, and we fight over my cosplay if I ask an opinion (very normal) and one of us comes out victorious! Honestly she’s the most supportive with all of this and I couldn’t ask for better.

What’s your favourite aspect of cosplay?

Definitely sewing

And the hardest?

Making props. But I’m trying!

Do you have a particular skill set or area of cosplay that you want to improve?

I want to challenge myself to try make a small armor cosplay maybe near mid year or at the end of 2019. Or try a prop to better myself with eva foam as I’m terrified of armor cosplays and I really want to do it for 2020!

Dream cosplay: Championship Shyvanna from League of Legends!

Championship Shyvana from League of Legends

What’s one piece of advice you would give to new cosplayers or people considering doing cosplay?

Don’t be scared of cosplaying because you think people will laugh at you or tease you. It doesn’t matter what they think and you cosplay for you! So if you’re happy and proud of your cosplay, that’s all that matters!

You can follow Zoeleena’s journey on any of the sites below! Send her some encouragement and tips, and hopefully we will see her armour skills grow soon!

Instagram @zoeleena

FacebookZoeleena Cosplay

Zoeleena Cosplay as Riven from Overwatch, an outfit that placed third at UCON 2019. Photographer: Nicole Thiel