24 year-old Olwethu Cele from Ice Model Management Durban is one of the faces of the Durban Fashion Fair 2016 ad campaign – and an example of just how an opportunity to shine in modelling as a winner of the new face category at the DFF 2015 recognition awards can build a career and create a role model for a whole community.
Although he is currently based in Durban, Cele hails from the small village of KwaNikhwe which is close to Bizana near Port Edward. As the first model to come from this small town, he is looked up to by many of the younger members of the community.
Within a very short space of time, he has worked with a number of trend setting designers and fashion brands including House of Saint Luke by Mxolisi, Duke, Hombre’ by Vanessa Pillay, Terrence Bray and Palse. He has also showcased for Shaldon Kopman and African designer, Clement Effanga and has done shoots for The Hub and a number of stores in Botswana.
“God has been good to say the least. I’ve achieved things I’ve never thought I’d achieve,” he says of both his career and his other career moves thus far.
Having completed a diploma in Information Technology last year, he now works as an intern with the eThekwini municipality – although he admits that juggling two completely different careers comes with its challenges!
“I love fashion. I think it’s the only way of showing yourself to people, who you are and where you come from without saying a word. I was raised by a single parent. My dad is my entire world. He couldn’t believe it when he saw me on TV. I can say that he is the reason and my motivation for becoming what I am what I am today,” he says.
Apart from drawing on hard work and determination, he says he has learnt a lot through various programmes arranged for newcomers to the DFF in 2015 and, especially, the model boot camp. These combined to help him realise that one has to be both mentally fit and in shape physically to have a strong modelling career.
To catch Cele on this year’s catwalk, ticket prices range from R100 per person per show with students at R50 per student per show. Prices for the Awards show will cost R200 per person and students at R100 per person. Tickets now available at Computicket. For more information go to www.durbanfashionfair.com