By Mzukona Mantshontsho
From young girls asking to be her protégé, to her giving compliments to well-dressed colleagues at work, to her doing wardrobe audits for close friends, to her offering grooming tips to her girlfriends and guy friends, to her running a mobile boutique currently, and most recently toying with the idea of having a casting agency for underprivileged girls, Tebogo Sheela, still works at the Information Desk in the aviation industry and says she is enjoying it.
If you ask me, she is in the wrong profession, so said an ex-colleague of hers. I accidentally met up with Tebogo from Tee Collections in Cosmo City and she was on her way to work on a Saturday afternoon at the airport. “Hey, I sell advertising space for a magazine I work for, was told I need to speak to the advertising department that has the final say,” I asked her.
“Yes, speak to the advertising division there, what magazine is that? TransformSA, I responded. We exchanged numbers with the hope of speaking about this big idea she had to transform the lives of young girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, particularly high school girls, into successful, focused, groomed and confident young ladies with professional modeling portfolios that would open doors for them into the modeling world.
Tebogo has plans to search and find ten young girls from all the high schools in Cosmo City and transform them into groomed ladies with portfolios to die for. These ten young girls will be chosen for their looks, their skins and body shapes and sizes. She took up a course in fashion styling at FabImage Agency and is currently studying towards a diploma in Image for Consulting through Blackford Centre in London, as well as a marketing qualification with UNISA.
Soli Deo Gloria Boutique Hotel on Saturday 22 March will be the venue for the announcement of the ten ladies who will be ready to be models. “These young girls will know the value of looking good, the importance of how you talk and handle yourself in public and being an all grounded individual is,” says a very passionate Tebogo.
Sponsors for the event have been secured and the one issue that is left is finding the girls through auditions to be done at the various schools in Cosmo City.
30 year old Tebogo from a village called Mmametlhake in Hammanskraal will have her short–term goal of ten young and groomed ladies sooner than we all think – whether she will keep her day job is a story for another day.
“People always assume that I am a model but the reality is I tried modelling with Porch Model but fell in love with working with people,” she says jokingly. Tebogo is outspoken, bubbly, a go-getter and loves fashion. She is a proud mother to a wonderful 8 year old boy. Tebogo doesn’t compete, she believes in women empowering each other,” she concludes.