Reservoir Hills model and mom showcase Indian culture in campaign
Durban - MODEL and entrepreneur Naliyani Uma Govender and her mother, Kalaivani, recently featured in a Woolworths campaign titled “The Power Of Us”.
The 23-year-old, of Reservoir Hills in Durban, said she felt emotional as she worked alongside her mom, who recently won her battle against breast cancer.
“Being captured with my mother in her thaali (marital chain) and red dot in a sugar cane field commemorating 160 years since the indentured labourers arrived on our shores, was an iconic and liberating moment for me,” said Govender.
She said this was a perfect opportunity to showcase her Indian culture that had been long overlooked in the advertising and modelling industries.
Govender said Woolworths had approached her agent to connect with her and celebrate her for being her “authentic self”. “I went in for a fitting, and the next day they called saying they also wanted my mother to be part of the campaign. I was grateful for the opportunity, and I now have a duty to help others in my community to get into these spaces.”
According to a Facebook post by Woolworths, the campaign was an expression of positivity and unity.
“It’s about harnessing our collective passion, ability, voice and spirit as South Africans to overcome, to create, to redefine our futures,” said the post.
Apart from modelling, Govender is a supply chain and marketing student.
She also started her own South Indian chai brand, Thalki Chai, of which her mom is the face.
“I naturally made her the face of my brand for several reasons. My definition of Thalki is a woman who does not conform to society’s standards.”
She said the products would be available online by the end of the month.