Chit chat: Lunga Shabalala

2010-09-18 08:24

Hunky Lunga Shabalala is the winner of ‘Represent South Africa in Calvin Klein Underwear’ competition and is New York-bound as part of his prize. The lad from Pietermaritzburg is studying town planning at Durban University of Technology and is a ­part-time high school rugby and soccer coach.

How has your life changed since you won the Calvin Klein title?
Many more windows of opportunity have opened. Things that would never have ­happened, have happened.

I get recognised by people now and then and, as a result, my plans for the ­future have changed.

Has it been a long road to get ­into modelling?
Working with a brand such as Calvin Klein didn’t seem possible. The odds were not on my side.

When the opportunity came up, I jumped at it.

Three years ago, I told my friends I wanted to be an underwear model.

When they saw the CK model search advert in a magazine, they knew it was meant for me, so I entered.

But I was cautiously optimistic.

Who are you taking with you on the trip to New York?
I still haven’t decided. At this point, it’s a case of who am I not taking with me.

It’s my first overseas trip and I am really excited.

What has been the ­strangest thing a fan has said or done to you?
If I could publish my Facebook inbox, it would be really X-rated, stuff you read in adult ­novels.

People are ­imaginative out there. It is flattering, I won’t lie, but I don’t take it to heart.

What is the appeal of ­modelling to you since you’re studying town planning?
It’s a glamorous career that most people want to try out, but they either don’t have the looks or are not fortunate enough to have people lead them into it.

It’s a tough business to be in and you can easily be out of favour in no time. I am not naive about it. My degree is for me to fall back on when things get tough.

What is your training regimen?
I’ve always been active. I play rugby and soccer. But after high school, I didn’t play sport that much.

I would do short but intense 30-minute sessions working on a specific body area, and then run afterwards. When I am stressed, I run.

What’s the best piece of trai ning advice you have ever received?
Make it a lifestyle and don’t try things that other people are doing because your body may not be ready for it.

What will you never be caug ht dead with on your plate?
I eat probably more than people can ever ­imagine. There’s nothing I wouldn’t try.

What is your trusted aphrodisiac?
You can never go wrong with chocolate. ­Ferrero Rocher gets half the work done.

Which reality star would you like to be stuck with in your hotel room in New York?

It’s gonna have to be someone funny and ­eccentric. Someone I can get up to mischief with, like Rob and Big from the MTV series Rob & Big.

What’s your fashion taste?
I am more sporty. I would wear Superga sneakers with jeans and a cardigan. I just want be comfortable with what I am wearing. I am an easy-going person.

Who is your favourite Calvin Klein model?
Former Arsenal player Freddie Ljungberg. You can see in his pictures that he doesn’t try too hard. He knows he has it.

Boxers or briefs?
Briefs. They are form-fitting and not too tight. They complement certain parts of your body.

What’s the best thing about living in Durban?
It’s summer all year round. You can swim in the warm waters. The stretch between uShaka Marine World and Suncoast Casino is the best for running.

You realise that you live in South Africa when you see all the people from ­different cultures.

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