Working as a model in Gaborone has allowed me to meet some wonderful people and one of them is fellow model Michelle N. We met at a casting call for Gaborone Fashion Night last year and have been friends ever since. She’s gone from strength to strength in her short modelling career and I felt a feature on Soul Canvas was quite over due!
Meet Miss Michelle….
When did you first start modelling and why?
My very first show was “Little Miss Valentine”! I think my mum wanted to see her tomboy daughter in a dress for once (yes, I did a pageant!!!**cringe**). Many years later, my sister pushed me into going to casting for Gaborone Fashion Night. I loved doing that show because it gave me a chance to step out of my shell and do something different and show my love of all things fashion!!
How was your Gaborone Fashion night experience?
GFN was all kinds of crazy! Working with Kaone (Kario), Sesilee (Lopez) and Andiswa (Manxiwa) (yes, first names!!) was great and quite the experience. I learnt about some of the sweat that goes into trying to put together a good show and that there is a lot of hard work that goes into making it all look glamorous.
What challenges (if any) do you face in modelling?
People not taking the industry, as a whole, seriously. People see the finished product and sometimes don’t realise how much work and effort is put into it all.
What do you think your strengths and weaknesses are as a model?
I’m a little shorter than some of the girls who do runway shows but I don’t call it a weakness, it’s my Kate Moss appeal!!! Lol!
What have you learnt about yourself through modelling?
I have learnt that I seem to pull of being nervous quite well…..and that my left side is my “good side”!!! Lol!
What have been your biggest accomplishments as a model?
Being one of two models from Colour in The Desert Fashion Week asked to take part in Swahili Fashion Week last year and travelling to Tanzania with Julia (fellow model) is definitely at the top of the list. It was lots of hard work, but had so much fun with the whole experience.
What plans do you have for your future in terms of modelling?
I want to do MORE!!!! And get signed as face of [insert beeeeg cosmetics brand name here] 🙂
What advice would you give to anyone trying to model in Botswana?
It’s kinda hard to give advice, when I’m still trying to navigate the industry myself! But I think, one should really have some sort of passion for the industry as a whole because, it’s a lot of “hurry up and wait” and hard work! I get given the side eye for saying this sometimes, but I believe one also needs to be picky about the sort of jobs they do because at the end of the day, it’s all work associated with your brand/face/body! Oh, and one has to be NICE!! The industry is still quite small, we work with more or less the same group of people (models, MUA’s, Photographers. designers…etc) all the time. If you not nice or difficult to work with for whatever reason, word can get around quickly, so be nice!! (No Naomi phone throwing allowed here!)
Who are some of your favorite African designers?
My favourite African designer has to be Palesa Mokubung (for Mantsho). I love the work she did as a designer at Stoned Cherrie and the work she continued to do for her brand Mantsho. If I start listing everyone else….this will take a while!! Africa is huge…still trying to discover all the talent 🙂
Who are your role models in the modelling industry and why?
Hail Naomi Campbell for still being able to work well into her 40’s!!! Nyasha Matonhodze for waving “my” flag 🙂 and Kate Moss for having her face everywhere (ramps and campaigns) during her hey-day and showing me that tall b#ches aint sh*t!!! Lol