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Home Bot CategoriesGlamCover Girl REKHA THAPA – QUEEN OF HEARTS

REKHA THAPA – QUEEN OF HEARTS

by Ankita Jain

Actor Rekha Thapa need little introduction. Rekha is a household name in the country and celebrated as a versatile actor, filmmaker, and now a politician, who dons all her avatars with her signature style. Starting her career in the field of glamour with Miss Nepal in 1999, Rekha then joined films and has worked in more than 200 movies.

Bold, outspoken, confident, Rekha’s life is a story of struggles, achievement and change. She is a self-taught artiste who captured the imagination of the masses. Girls across the country see her as a role model of not just beauty but someone who achieved her dreams amidst many of life’s struggles, getting through the roughest of times with sheer grit and determination.

In a conversation with WOW’s Ankita Jain, 37-year-old Rekha Thapa shares her insights on women power, politics, and success. Excerpts:

In your journey as an actor, director, politician what has been your greatest struggle?

From starting my career in Miss Nepal to becoming an actor, filmmaker, and now a politician there has always been struggle. During my acting career, people used to appreciate my work but no one was willing to cast me and I had zero movies in my kitty. This even led to lowering my confidence and giving me body image issues.
I am still on a journey where I am working from scratch to build a political career. I know I will be going through the same phase again but this time I know what it takes to be there. By the end of it, I am sure I will have plenty of stories to share.

What does an empowered woman look like to you?

Empowerment is an element that is within us but shouldn’t be limited to oneself; we must be able to enlighten and empower others irrespective of which field we belong to. It is the crux of development in a middle-income country like Nepal. 

What are the greatest barriers to women’s progress?

The suppression of their voices is the greatest barrier. Despite the practice of social inclusion in Nepal, women still tend to doubt their strength of becoming a leader or holding a higher position. The voices are heard but we subdue it with our delusional belief in what people might say and what if we fail. I feel women must overcome self-doubt. Some women are exceptionally talented but tend to stay behind the curtains despite their potential and abilities. I want to appeal to them to not fall prey to their insecurities. 

Has your idea of beauty changed with time?

We all have our own definition of beauty. When it comes to society, beauty is external. This notion is heavily implied in the Nepali film industry. Now, after decades of ups and downs, the film industry has evolved to a certain extent. People now look for talent and personality rather than just a pretty or handsome face. When I first stepped into films, external features were given more importance. However, beauty today is defined also as personality, intelligence, kindness, and whole lot of different elements of being human. 

How important is marriage and having children in woman’s life?

It’s a woman’s personal choice. To walk the path of motherhood is an individual choice. Traditional norms and values should not determine marriage and motherhood for a woman. She must have the right to choose what’s best for her. 

What does success mean to you?

If I am satisfied with my work and what I do, that is success for me. Success can’t be measured through a device but one can have certain parameters to evaluate it. I might be continuously facing failures and criticism for my work but I might be content with what I am doing. This is success for me.

You have to face failures in life, it is inevitable but to accept it and work towards your happiness despite the disappointments is again success for me. 

Why politics?

Through my film background, I often narrated the unheard voices, especially of women. The suppressed voices that have echoed through my career have resonated with me. Only a woman can understand the underlying issues of the vulnerable community in a country like ours. Thousands of dreams have been shattered with the fear of so-called societal pressure and judgments. I have experienced and seen mothers, sisters, daughters-in-law who have traded their dreams and goals to meet societal values. 

Since childhood, I dreamt of touching people’s hearts. With my career, I was able to do so. This is the biggest achievement I cherish.

Even in politics, when there is a necessity of women’s representation for the sake of inclusivity, we women serve as mere tokenism. When it comes to decision-making and holding leadership positions, we are overlooked. We are restricted in every aspect – from home to nation and society. We may have come a long way but now it is high time that real changes take place in the country. I want to be a part of this change through my films and my work in politics. I want to be part of building a nation where people live without fear, and good policies and laws determine equality for women.

Who do you consider to be a good leader?

Any leader who is devoted with heart and soul, without greed of wealth and personal desires, can be a good leader. 

What should politics look like?

We are in a transitional phase of seeing what will work and what cannot. In my experience, we are not on the right track as politicians are busy at power play. They are playing a political game to acquire the seats of power while citizens of the country are being overshadowed. We are losing our young generation every year to foreign countries. The government has no vision of mobilizing and retaining the youth in the country for national benefit. A government is like a parent and should be able to protect its children, no matter what. 

An achievement that you’re proud of…

Since childhood, I dreamt of touching people’s hearts. With my career, I was able to do so. This is the biggest achievement I cherish.

On the Cover: Rekha Thapa
Photographer: Supran Shrestha
HMUA: Suman Lama
Stylist: Sadhana Ranabhat
Jewelry: Apala Jewels
Wardrobe: Black sari with white cape by Manish Rai
Saash Conception
Interview & coordination: Ankita Jain

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