Q&A with Kopano Fanasi

Kopano Fanasi is a Wits master in physiology student and South African model. He has a significant ten and a half thousand followers on Instagram, where he has collaborated with prominent South African photographer Cedrik Nzaka. Fanasi spoke about the future of fashion at UP’s Tedx Talks in June 2020 and has modelled for brands such as Dickies South Africa and Diesel, among many others. Fanasi completed his undergraduate degree in physiology and biology at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, located in Pretoria North. 

When did you start modelling or realise you had a talent for modelling?

I started modelling around 2017 but it really started to pick up in 2018. I remember my first ever job was a Nedbank commercial, one of the biggest sets I’ve been on and especially as someone who had just booked a job for the first time. 

Funny story because the set was one that a friend of mine was taking behind the scenes and I happened to be in their snap then got scouted for African Fashion International week. Literally a few days later I was on set for an entire week preparing for the shows… I even had to take a whole week off school.  

To be honest I still don’t feel like an “actual” model because I respect the profession so much that I feel like I haven’t even done enough work to say I am one.

What inspires you your creative energy when going on a shoot

 I’m naturally a dreamer, I fantasise a lot! So, going out for a shoot is an event for me because I channel what I want to feel like and almost create a new person and personality from my imagination fused together with people I find inspiring…so basically channelling my “spirit animal” but with a bit of me in it. 

I won’t lie though it’s very scary because it’s my responsibility to make sure the shots are great…I can have award winning photographers and producers but if I can’t perform the work is going to look whack anyways. 

Actually, shooting for the first few minutes before the camera rolls are the worst for me because I can’t stop thinking about how I need to KILL IT.

Why is it important for you to still complete a degree even though things could work out for your modelling career?

I’m very passionate about medical sciences and medicine as a whole, all that I’m doing now academically is to really get into medical school, the toughest journey ever, really. So, I wouldn’t really say it’s important for me to get an education but it’s more so my passion and that’s probably the sole source that’s driving me to make sure I achieve what I want academically otherwise school? No! I can’t imagine studying towards something else that’s not medicine

How did you gain a following on your social media and how do you use it for your benefit?

I honestly started posting very model-esque and fashion-esque like content and again with really no intention of modelling or have a significant following. I just did it because it was an outlet, I enjoy seeing myself in a picture. 

Also having become an influencer has helped my modelling career in a sense that with all these deals people believe you’re “somebody” and want to collaborate with you etc. So that’s really also how it picked up

What would you like to see innovate in the modelling in the South Africa industry?

I want a more diverse scene, a one that not only books you based on your following or your presence on the socials. I want to see more fashion, serious fashion…crazy productions that really push the envelope because I think we have mad potential.

Would you say that you market yourself as a brand and leverage it in an entrepreneurial sense? 

Oh absolutely, making money from social media and modelling is also what’s keeping me going. Funny story I had a job actually, I worked as a promoter for a cleaning solution and jeez I couldn’t do it! 

So, I promised myself to rather take the risk, leave the job and take social media seriously and make some money to get by. It worked out and I’m super grateful for that to be honest!

FEATURED PHOTO: Kopano Fanasi posing on his instagram page, dressed in Dickies South Africa. PHOTO: Provided.


Coolkid on campus

Mpumi Mlambo is a Wits BA Industrial psychology graduate who has a keen interest in entertaining the masses. She also studied entrepreneurship and development at the Raymond Ackerman Academy.  This move was inspired by her business orientated family. With so much confidence, this multi-talented actress has managed to grab the attention of casting directors from an early age. She is part of the vibrant Alcatel One Touch SA team, where she has been a brand ambassador for the last couple of months. This year she won an MTN radio Award for the Best Breakfast show presenter for The Morning Shake Up on Vowfm. She has also been part of a television series on SABC. Recently she starred in a Dove advertisement for DSTV which has made her even more visible in the entertainment industry.

Photo: provided

                                                                 Photo: Provided



When did you realise that you were interested in acting or presenting?

 I didn’t have specific interests but I loved entertaining people, so when other kids left school to go home. I stayed behind because we had to practice for a school concert. I was involved in every school concert in primary school. I was always participating in most of the Drama productions as well as mc’ing school events if not dancing at the school concert. Oh and how could I forget pageants? Every girl wanted to be a queen at some point, right and I became one too (laughs).

Who or what has been your inspiration? Why?

My mother and sister. My mother was able to put all of us through University with the little that she had. My sister is a warrior; she showed me that where you come from has little to do with your success. She taught me that with drive and hard work you can be whatever you want to be.

She also taught me that it is important to fail because we learn through failure and become better at whatever it is we do.

When was your first big break?

When I was on Sokhulu & Partners at the age of 16. It was not a big break but it was great to work with people I had never thought I would even meet in my life. I am from a small Township where even making it to matric is a privilege, being on TV seemed highly impossible but it happened.

How does it feel to be a recipient of an MTN Radio Award? How has it changed your presence as a presenter

It feels absolutely amazing to know that as a woman I was able to prove to a lot of people who think that women can’t host a prime time slot like a breakfast show and do great at it.I feel highly blessed to be a part of a great platform like Vowfm, it would have never happened without my bosses constantly critiquing me!I speak with way more purpose than I did before. I keep growing each and every day. I realised that a lot of people listen and I have the power to share empowering information with them instead of meaningless content.

Acting or presenting?

I can’t choose, if I had to choose it would really suck. The reason why I can’t choose is because the two are intertwined. As a radio host, I often have to be in character and prank people on air.I love the two just as much as I love My Mom and Jesus.

How do you juggle everything that you are doing at the moment?

The weirdest thing is I really have no idea. I just make sure that I do what I have to do. Get work done.

What are the struggles that you face in the entertainment industry on a daily?

It is very hard to be taken seriously as a female in the industry. When you are taken seriously, a number of men want to mix business with pleasure.

What can we expect from you in the future?

What do celebrities say again when asked this question, watch the space? I’m joking, I am looking forward to being a part of the biggest events this spring and summer with my Alcatel One Touch SA team as well as winning or rather slaying like the Cool Kids would say every single day.