Beefcake in our backyard!

By Drum Digital
08 October 2010

SIX-PACK you could bounce a bottle of beer on, perfect pecs, a chiselled jaw and a smile you’d have to be blind not to be dazzled by. Add a charming personality and a sharp brain into the mix and what do you have? A recipe for the ideal hunk!

With credentials this impressive it’s little wonder Lunga Shabalala is setting the modelling world alight. The Pietermaritzburg- born 21-year-old was recently announced the winner of the Represent South Africa in Calvin Klein Underwear competition, beating nine other undie-clad hotties to be crowned the local face – and bod – of the famous fashion house.Lunga’s prize is a trip for two to New York and he can’t wait to hit the Big Apple. “I’m really excited and no, I haven’t decided who to take with me,” he tells us when we meet in Durban shortly after the competition.

He’s studying town planning at the Durban University of Technology and arrives looking like the typical student in white shorts, black T-shirt and sneakers. But as soon as that shirt comes off for the camera it’s obvious why he won the competition...

He will probably visit New York early next year after he finishes his studies, he says in between poses. “I’m planning on moving to Joburg next year to focus on my modelling career. I’m also going to start shooting the CK campaign next year – I can’t wait!”

Lunga is 1,8 m tall and weighs in at 77 kg of sleek muscle but he used to be really skinny, he says. His determination to play rugby at school motivated him to do something about his physique. “I’m very sporty and I wanted to play the game so I had to get bigger. I changed my diet, eating more protein and carbohydrates to bulk up. I started eating five meals a day and hitting the gym four times a week, lifting weights. It really paid off.”

He can say that again.

LUNGA says he “fell” into modelling two years ago after much prompting and prodding from his friends.

“In February 2008 I thought, why not? What have I got to lose? I went to a modelling agency on an open day and stood there smiling and was just myself.” The agency bosses knew a good thing when they saw it and snapped him up on the spot.

The jobs started coming in, mainly for promotional and ramp work, but he decided not to tell his parents. Thami, the principal at MehlokaZulu High School in Maritzburg, and Nomsa, a former teacher who now works for the Department of Education, always insisted their kids – Lunga has two younger sisters, Lungwela (14) and six-yearold Lungisa – put education first.

“They’ve always been supportive of me but I knew they wouldn’t be thrilled about my modelling,” Lunga says. “I eventuallly told them after about eight months and they were fine, as long as I kept on with my studies.

Read the full article in DRUM of 14 October 2010

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