Thandeka Kulate is a 27-year-old model from South Africa. The African model has always loved fashion and modeling from a very young age. She has always adored her curvy figure. However, Thandeka always felt that her curvy figure has been a disadvantage for her in the path of being a super model. But her strong will and courageous nature has always made her feel that she can burn the cat walk alive and slay it! Thandeka has been a confident woman and is self-aware of how she styles herself. She often uses vintage for her styling. And, likes to try new styles for her such as Artsy, Grunge Punk, Trendy and Feminine amongst others.
One of the most important qualities of a model is to know how to groom themselves to look great. Thandeka believes she is too good at it. Also, when it comes to the level of comfort in front of the camera, Thandeka is very confident at it. In fact, she loves the camera! Right from knowing which angles would be good for the pose to making her poses work, Thandeka knows it all. The model can easily identify a good picture.
While the South African model had her own apportion of hardships and destitutions along her journey, Thandeka’s faith and confidence in herself always kept her going and because of all the bravery she displayed to face these hurdles, she has become what she is today! Kulate comes from a disadvantaged background. Austerity of resources and facilities has often made one feel to give up on their dreams.
However, it is said that “Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into light.” Thandeka decided to light her life with faith and positivity. A positive mindset towards herself, her goals and self-belief kept her focused. Thandeka always worships that one must be thankful for what they have and they will eventually end up having more.
“I think coming from a disadvantaged background where there aren’t enough resources to help you achieve your dreams. Might make one give up on their dreams. Faith kept me going. Positive mindset kept me going. Being thankful for the little that I have, but also believing that there is more for me out there.”
Talking about her modeling career for how and when did it begin. Thandeka started her modeling career in the year 2015. Initially, it was hard for her because, the location she comes from there aren’t any modeling agency or media companies that she could sign up with and begin her journey.
Young and confident Thandeka decided to make the best use of social media and took it to the social media app Instagram. She began doing shoots herself. The African model started styling herself with the little and minimal number of accessories and wardrobe she had. She began with the hopes of taking her work to the world and in search of recognition and appraisals.
These little actions of Thandeka have got her the much-needed recognition. Today she is being featured on media pages and organizations, and she is immensely thankful for the opportunity.
“I started doing shoots, styling myself with the little that l had in hopes of taking my work to world also being recognized. So am very thankful for this opportunity. Being spotted means I am definitely doing something right!”
Thandeka’s family was not that supportive until they saw things happening for her. Soon after, Thandeka began to receive appraisals and recognition for her works, then her family began to support her and took her work seriously like the model did.
“I think most parents want their kids to be a doctor, a teacher something more professional, but you have to make them realize that this is what you love and it makes you happy.”
The South African model loves to travel and explore various types of fashion shows. Meeting fashion models, fashion houses, experiencing different cultures of the world excites her to a whole. Despite the hard journey, it has been exciting at the same time for her. But her love for her art and work has kept her going because at the end she is doing what she loves.
If not a model, Thandeka would have been a fashion designer or would have been a professional dancer. Currently, she is also a fashion designer and designs accessories. She also loves to dance her heart out, reading self-development books and working out.
“I think overall I am just a lover of art. It makes me happy; it heals my soul.”
There have been times when there were specific bookings and people preferred models from a particular race only. Some of them do not even wish to see black people at all. That set her back because it would have been a big show. Where she could have received a lot of exposure to a lot of people in the industry.
In an era of Global Connectivity through social media, she believes that social media is really helping aspiring models. They can be spotted by an agency and give a kickstart to their career. They can also grow their audience and show people their work.
Her goals are to do Milan fashion week, London fashion week and New York fashion week. Also working with different high fashion houses like Gucci. She wants to work with Rihanna on her fashion brand since she loves the fact that she appreciates all types of models and she also loves her designs.
Thandeka’s advice to the young models is to believe in oneself, build confidence. In future she aspires to open an organization that will help a black child achieve their goals. Especially children from disadvantaged backgrounds. She wants to groom them and mentor them so that they can be their best self.
“You are magic. Your melanin is needed in this world. You are worthy. Go and get them.”
Also read: Meet The First Drag Queen To Walk Down The South Asian Fashion Week
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