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.
Miss Earth semi-finalist, Nazia Wadee. Photo: Londell Phumi Ramalepe
Nazia Wadee is a born and bred Johannesburger who is doing honours in Media Studies. The 21-year-old Miss Teen Commonwealth South Africa 2015/2016 is a semi-finalist in the Miss Earth competition.
What does Miss Earth mean to you?
Miss Earth South Africa is a women’s leadership programme that aims to empower and educate South African women through the lens of environmental sustainability. It aims to create awareness about issues concerning conservation, sustainability and development. Being a semi – finalist for Miss Earth SA has been an educational and enlightening experience. This platform has allowed me to live out my true potential, break my barriers and to live out what I believe is my life purpose, which is to give back and make a difference.
What inspired you to enter the competition?
Given that I am a responsible active citizen who is passionate about positive change, the core values and duties of a Miss Earth title winner are that which I would like to continue to associate myself with. As former Ms Teen Commonwealth South Africa, I fell in love with the important duties that a titleholder has and the massive platform available to create a better life for all. My journey as a philanthropist had begun with the understanding of human suffering through exploitation or social prejudice at grass roots levels.
What do you do to effect change?
I have been afforded the honour of being the ambassador for the Youth Managers Foundation South Africa. The organisation aims to develop and discover leaders in underprivileged schools, and provides them with the necessary tools, leadership skills and resources to make positive changes in their schools and their community. I am involved in various welfare, cultural and goodwill initiatives, leading me to be a recipient of a Women of Wonder award as well as a second place award for the Nelson Mandela Youth Leadership award hosted by East Wave radio station. My love of goodwill initiatives has recently awarded me with the position of Head of Student Affairs on a university governing body.
How do you balance your studies and modelling?
I have always been active in terms of running charitable projects or initiatives or involved in sports or other extracurricular activities. The most important thing that I have learnt is have good time, management skills and learning to find balance. Passion is a powerful thing, and can drive you do to amazing and sometimes unexpected things, only because we are capable of so much more than we believe.
What do you hope to achieve with the Miss Earth competition?
My goal is to expand my knowledge, grow, empower myself in order to address critical social and environmental issues within my communities. My aim is to create awareness with regard to the various environmental issues that we face, and possibly provide solutions to them; to beautify my environment and make my community a beacon of hope for what is possible, for the betterment of all. I hope to inspire young people to get involved in our community and follow their passions. I hope to touch lives through my projects and initiatives. I hope to build lifelong friendships and bonds with the new people I have had the opportunity of meeting or the people that I will meet in the future. Furthermore, my aim is to empower those I meet along the way as well as those around me. Irrespective of the competition’s outcome, if I achieve this I believe that that will be my success.
What words would you share with young girls who look up to you?
Being from a small town, if I win this title it will raise the hope of others, to believe that nothing is impossible. The human spirit is amazing. In the direst circumstances the instinct to survive triumphs everything – so me winning this title will allow others to follow in my path and escalate humanity and our humanness to a level I know we can achieve.
Brains and beauty, medical student and up-and-coming model, Kelly Roux, is this week’s Cool Kid on Campus (more…)
Titus Masike. Photo: Tendai Dube
Titus Masike just completed his BSc Nuclear Sciences and Engineering degree and is now studying Industrial Engineering. He is a model with Boss Model Management and plays the guitar when he isn’t on the runway or in class.
How did you start modelling?
I started last year around August/September. My friend Fuaad introduced me to Adrian Abrahams (photographer) and suggested I take some test photos with him. So I did and Adrian liked my photos and as a result he sent them through to Boss and other modelling agencies. Boss were the first to respond and they wanted to sign me up.
Does being a male model mean you get girls easily?
[Laughs] I don’t know. I don’t even know what that means because I don’t really pay much attention to all of that. Honestly, you’re asking the wrong person, I have a girlfriend and “Hi, I’m Titus” is what I consider a pick-up line.
Is modelling hard?
I wouldn’t say that, the act of modelling itself isn’t hard. But getting booked is the hardest part. I think I’m lucky more than anything. The bearded look seems to be in.
What’s the last thing you ate?
A chicken sandwich.
What is your favourite song right now?
It would have to be a song by Dawn Golden – Discoloration.
What is your favourite accessory?
Bags. Leather bags are a good accessory. I also like watches and a whole lot of other things like spectacles.
What are your tips for the runway?
When you walk make sure you keep your feet straight, so you don’t look like a clown.
What is your gym regime?
I go four or five times a week and I do martial arts at Wits.
Who is the most interesting person you have worked with?
Khanyi Mbau at the Jet summer fashion show. She’s actually really sweet.