The Durban Fashion Fair (DFF) – now in its sixth year – has seen the eThekwini Municipality create a platform for new faces.
Out of thousands who casted to take part in this year’s DFF, only twenty were selected to participate in a "model boot camp" - the ultimate model training workshop.
The aim of this workshop is to train aspiring models in all aspects of modelling including how to walk on the runway alongside professional models, etiquette at photographic sessions, as well as ways of keeping fit and healthy. This year, the workshop also focused on functional training that incorporated strength training, body weights and aerobics three times a week up until the show date in August .
"As each year passes, the Durban Fashion Fair grows from strength to strength, incorporating various programmes that the eThekwini Municipality has put in place. These have included internships, designer and make-up workshops and model boot-camps," says Sindi Shangase,Tourism and Markets Unit Programme Manager who spearheads the annual DFF.
Samkelo Shinga in a Martin Jogh Steenkamp creation. Picture: Supplied.
"There is so much talent on our doorstep from designers to new faces, and I believe it is up to us and the team behind the DFF to offer these platforms and provide opportunities relating to the fashion industry," Shangase adds.
Taking the title of the DFF New Face male winner for 2017, is Samkelo Patrick Shinga.
Shinga may have graduated from the Mangosuthu University of Technology with an electrical engineering qualification, but finding himself on the ramp at the DFF is what has really put a spark in his step.
The 26-year-old, who currently lives in Umlazi, entered the 2017 Durban Fashion Fair Model Search to help realise his long term ambition of being a successful model and has enjoyed showing creations by newcomers to fashion, as well as established designers and labels such as Clemas, Bakhar, House of St Luke, Palse Homme and 2017 DFF Designer of the Year, Terrence Bray.
He spends most of his spare time working out in the gym and hopes to have established his newly found modelling career within the next five years.
Nonjabulo Jali and Samkelo Shinga. Picture: Supplied.
The female New Face winner is 21 year-old Nonjabulo Samantha Jali from Port Shepstone.
In order to follow her dream of being a successful international model and business woman, Jali recently relocated to Durban to start focusing on her modelling career, even though she studied shipping logistics.
She says that she entered the 2017 DFF model search to follow in the footsteps of the many professional models that she had seen on television.
Throughout her DFF experience she has discovered her love for the ramp where she has shown designs from the likes of Quiteria and George, Kathrin Kidger, Treasure Cindi, Kireshen Chetty, Terrence Bray, Jacqueline Emmanuel, Brenda Quinn and House of Alfalfa.
Nonjabulo Jali wearing Quiteria and George creation. Picture: Supplied.
She hopes that, as she establishes her career in modelling, she can become a role model for others.
"I am a small town girl with big aspirations. I am sure that my-never-die attitude and love for people will inspire young models. I have set out to live my life in such a way that I can become a gracious, independent and diligent woman. If I could inspire just one girl out there, it would be a dream come true," she says.
Both winners agreed that they are thankful for the opportunity that the DFF has given them and are proud to be the faces for the 2018 DFF campaign.