Model (15) ‘just ordinary teenager’

2016-03-16 06:00
YONELA LOUW (15) discovered her love of modelling at the age of four. Photos: Supplied

YONELA LOUW (15) discovered her love of modelling at the age of four. Photos: Supplied

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YONELA “YONIE” LOUW (15) may have the perfect posture for the ramp, but she is just an ordinary teenager who loves school, fashion, dance, music and spending time with family and friends.

She has passed her auditions and is proud and ready to represent the Northern Cape at the upcoming South African Championships of the Performing Arts, hosted in the Rustenburg Civic Centre from 1 to 10 April.

“My Drama teacher, Ms Tharina van Tonder, encouraged me to enter the auditions and I got permission from my parents, who supported me on the day,” says Yonela.

“I was nervous, but my teachers, parents and friends were there to take me through the course.

“I was very happy to learn that I had made it to the nationals, because I always work hard to make my parents proud and to be a good example to other young girls. I will work hard to put my province on the map.”

She has expressed her gratitude to the owner of Rio Lounge, McDonald “Khindo” Visser, for his sponsorship towards her travelling expenses to the national event.

Born in the small town of De Aar, Yonela moved to Kimberley at a very young age, where she developed her passion for music, dance and modelling.

According to her mother, Funeka Louw, she is just a normal child who often gets into trouble at home for playing loud music. Her seven-year-old brother calls her the Queen of Selfies, as she takes selfies whenever she gets the chance.

“When she’s in front of a camera, she feels like she’s in her own world,” says Funeka, laughing.

Yonela was a ballet dancer at the Mayibuye Dance Academy in Galeshewe since 2013, where she also participated in the winter dance school, until she decided to take a break to focus on her studies before going back again this year.

Young Yonie discovered her love of modelling at the age of four, when she started wearing her mom’s shoes and clothes and posing in front of the mirror, pretending to be a model on TV.

“Dancing and modelling is my world. When I dance, I feel free.”

She says her mom’s decision to register her with eModels KBY in 2015 was the best decision for her, as she is now able to manage her own assignments and create her own photo shoots.

“The agency, under the leadership of Johane Zurich, has taught me about self-confidence, healthy lifestyle, fashion, beauty pageants, respect and life in general.

“One of the projects that I’m working on, is to create my own shoot where I will be working with Norma Kruger, a local make-up artist, and Karla Rose Photography.

“I also had the opportunity to participate in workshops and fashion shows in Bloemfontein. That gave me the privilege to represent the Coca-Cola brand in youth development promotions.

“One of my best moments was to be featured in the advert of one of my make-up artists in some of my shoots, Tamsin Dickson.”

Still excited about being a model, Yonela’s dreams go beyond modelling and being on TV. This gr. 9 learner of the Kimberley Technical High School wants to be a lawyer.

“I want to fight for children’s and women’s rights. So many children and women are being abused on a daily basis.

“Modelling doesn’t have guarantees, I need education.”

Yonela looks up to her mother for teaching her to be comfortable in her own skin and never to allow any one to put her down.

“Most importantly, she taught me to always believe in God. No matter how bad things look, I must always trust in Him.

“My celebrity role model is Minnie Dlamini. I love her hard work and dedication and, of course, her fashion style.”

To her peers and other young girls, Yonela encourages them to always be comfortable in their own skin.

“Never stop dreaming, work hard and always remember that education is the key to success.”

Focusing on her studies is her number one priority and she would love to be more active in development programmes and local schools, including addressing teenage pregnancy and alcohol abuse.

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