They have full figures and they love it! A group of women from Strand has started a group for full figured women called Thick Nation. It was founded by Sinovuyo Mndayi (23) and her male friend Sakhe Somdaka, a photographer. Mndayi told City Vision how they had started the group after seeing a gap for big women in the entertainment industry. “There are no opportunities for full figured women, and we would also like to be models walking the runways and performing,” she explained. “We started this group to focus on big girls in Cape Town, with the main purpose to equip them with skills while building their confidence.”The group has photoshoots in different locations and runs sessions where the women talk about the challenges they face as full figured women, such as body shaming, and how to deal with them. “We do not only focus on taking pictures, which is how we are different from other groups,” said Mndayi, who recently signed a contract with a professional modelling agency. “We encourage healthy living lifestyles – and not obesity as some may think. We are involved in running, hiking and other outdoor activities.” Zuziwe Ndlwana said she found a home in Thick Nation.“I was looking for a group in which I could be myself without thinking twice, a place where I could grow and be accepted as I am,” she said. “Since joining the group I have found sisters and I am more confident. I still feel there is still more we could do, like reaching out to young girls who are suffering without support.”The group recently organised a photo shoot in Cape Town to commemorate Freedom Day.