Making moves in the modelling industry

POLOKWANE – It takes years of experience, hard work and confidence in your instincts to become a successful model. This is a lesson Tebogo Masekela learned early on in her career.

“You need to be comfortable in your own skin, have self confidence, passion, and brains; being clever enough to know when to accept or reject a job offer, as well as the ability to exploit oneself without losing dignity,” says Tebogo, model and director of Model Base Crew for Youth Development.
She says she started taking part in modelling from the age of 16, participating in local beauty pageants. When she started working in 2007 she took another step in fulfilling her modelling career when she joined a local modelling agency and participated in local fashion shows. It was at these local fashion shows where she modelled for one of the best designers from Apara and Derby’ora.
“I do what I love with passion and focus on my goal by following a good plan. I am motivated by the great feeling I get when I make an impact in someone’s life. It gives me the hunger to want to do more. I have parents who strongly held the belief that children are best when they play outside in the fresh air and have general freedom. They taught us to respect any individual, young and old, as they are part of our family and we shared the little we had with the less fortunate. Before the age of 15, my biggest obligation was being home in time to help my mom with standard household activities. My parents were obsessed with me being an individual and independent but otherwise, I was brought up to think for myself and defend for myself. I had good friends and bad friends, the right amount of both to teach me important lessons about people,” she adds.

Growing up, she found inspiration from top models such as Tyra Lynne Banks, who began her career as a model at age 15 and was the first African American woman to be featured on the covers of GQ and Sports Illustrated magazines. Banks, she adds, has achieved a lot in her career being a TV personality, producer, businesswoman, model, actress, singer and author. Tebogo says Banks is one of four African American and seven women to have repeatedly ranked among the world’s most influential people by Time Magazine. “Over the years I attended auditions where I was told I look younger than my age and I would not succeed in the audition, but I always took it as a positive insult and at the same time a good compliment,” she explains.
She tells BONUS balancing modelling and work is the easiest part of her career.
“With proper planning and focus I always win. I’m currently helping local orphanages by sourcing funding for them while focusing on my modelling career.”
Her family, she adds, has always been supportive of her career choice and have done their best to always attend her shows. “They always want to know my next move and give me a word of encouragement every time I fail. My biggest fan is my mom who keeps and frames all my photos and newspaper articles. My goal is to be featured in one of South Africa’s top magazines, billboards and TV adverts,” she adds.
Her advice to the youth is to first have clear goals before they begin modelling. “You should know what kind of modelling you want to do and how big a part you want modelling to play in your life. When you know this, it’s easier to get started. When you are ready to embark on your journey towards modelling you should make sure you have read enough about modelling and that you know what to expect. As long as your goals are set from the very onset of your modelling career, you should have a much clearer and more secure picture of what you should know as an aspiring new model. Should you encounter rejection, do not give up. All models experience rejection at one point or another, it’s just a fact of the business. Stick to your goals work hard and start connecting with the right people in order to make your dream of being a model into a reality,” she concludes.
More facts about Tebogo:
• Matriculated from Dawana Commercial School.
• Studied small business management with Tshwane University of Technology, did a flight attendant course at Future Flyers in Johannesburg.
• Currently enrolled with Unisa for a diploma in marketing.
• She was Sunbabe 2010 in Sunday Sun Newspaper.
• Crowned Second Princess of Miss Polokwane.
• Selected as Face Of Samaritan Children Home 2012.
•Model at Marula Festival fashion show 2016 by David Tlale.
• Crowned First Princess of SA Walk for Fame.
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Maseo Nethanani

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