Breathtaking Pretoria model with white birthmark defies industry that told her to cover up

By Pam Magwaza
01 June 2017

"I had to re-learn to love myself."

Going against the status quo, Kgothatso Dithebe has made a name for herself in the modelling world despite having a birthmark she was initially told to cover up.

The young law student from Pretoria has a white birthmark that runs from her hairline down the left side her face. The mark makes her dark hair blond to the front and her skin much lighter.

As a child, Kgothatso claimed she was bullied for her unique look.

"When I was at school, I used to get bullied verbally, I was called all sorts of names – people used to say how my birthmark looked like an African map," she said.

"I had people staring at me a lot. People think I have vitiligo."

She began modelling at the age of 15 and says she was told by modelling agencies that she needed to cover her birthmark with makeup.

"When I was approached by my first agency I was told to use makeup and that become my confidence. I would cover up and feel beautiful."

But when she was 19 she decided enough was enough. She defied the advice of industry veterans and bared her natural skin, making her the first model with a birthmark in the country to walk Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Now, she says, she never uses her makeup to cover her birthmark because she has learned to love herself just the way that she is.

Kgothatso decided to bare her own beauty without makeup for the first time during a casting.

"At first I was very scared, I didn't know how people would react. They knew the face I had with make-up and I had never posted pictures without.

"I was afraid and nervous, but then something just clicked. But I got lots of compliments and now if I get jobs, I get them for my birthmark. Clients see me and want to use me because I'm different and they remember my face."

The young beauty's dream is to grace New York, Paris and Milan Fashion Week and is on the hunt for a New York agency.

"A lot of people have approached me and I try to motivate them about self-confidence and self-acceptance," the sought-after star added.

"It's important to tell them about what I went through and learning to love yourself."

Find Love!

Men
Women