A FAST-GROWING modelling agency is making its mark in the modelling scene around Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas.Co-owners of Intsha yoMzansi Modelling Agency, which was established in 2010, Thandokuhle Dlamini (36) and Lucky Mthembu (26), said it is their determination and passion of working with the youth that is the driving force behind the agency’s success.“The agency offers basic life skills and modelling etiquette, which is the base of professionalism in this industry. We groom these young people to succeed in all spheres of life using modelling as a tool to help channel their inner greatness,” said Mthembu.She said their agency works mainly with youth from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and rural areas.“We looked at all the social ills that exist in these communities and decided to use modelling as an angle to combat them while also equipping these young people with valuable life skills. Our aim is to produce models that can confidently compete on a national stage against those from other recognised agencies.”Mthembu, also a professional model and Masters student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal joined the agency last year as a way of giving back to the Pietermaritzburg community.She was crowned first princess in Miss SA Teen in 2009 and in 2012 entered the Miss South Africa pageant where she made it to the top 24.“I have been a professional model for a couple of years and I want to impart my industry knowledge on upcoming models so they know what is expected of them when they compete at national level. “I was the ‘face’ of Garnier from 2013 for three years. I modelled for big clothing retailers like the Hub, Jet, Mr Price and worked with True Love and Grazia magazines on fashion spreads.”Intsha yoMzansi models have walked the ramp at some of the country’s top fashion shows, including the Vodacom Durban July. The agency was also nominated in the KZN Young Achievers awards and Indondo awards in 2012 respectively.Dlamini said when he established the agency he didn’t have a clear plan.“I have no background in modelling whatsoever, but in 2004 I was involved with a couple of friends in organising beauty pageants in Imbali - this was back in 2009. I enjoyed working with young people and helping them realise their talents and I guess the love grew from there.”Dlamini said he is proud their models have represented the agency in various contests across the province.The agency offers a modelling programme with four courses a year each lasting three months.