Western-Cape based sisters Anisa and Sithi have made their country proud.
The multitalented duo's dancing, singing and acting chops have earned them a spot at the 2021 International Model and Talent Association (IMTA) convention, and they're the only South African siblings to be selected to perform.
The event is held annually where a select few are chosen to showcase their talents interested talents scouts looking to find international superstars.
'It was such a shock'
"I first got a call back at 3 am on my mom's cellphone, and we were jumping up and down with excitement," Sithi says of her reaction when she first learned she had been selected.
But the 11-year-old says, her excitement momentarily lapsed when she realised "the call was just for one person". "We sat for about 10 minutes waiting, panicking if we were going to receive another call for Anisa".
Luckily, the sisters got to share the thrilling news when 16-year-old Anisa also got a callback.
"I was very happy when my sister received that call, but I started to question if I was going to get a callback after putting in so much work and effort. It was such a shock when I also ended up getting a callback," Anisa recalls.
Also read: Limpopo teen publishes her first book at 16: 'I did not walk this journey alone'
'During lockdown, we kept practising our craft'
The duo say they needed to pass through two rounds of auditions before the final selections were made and had about two weeks to prepare, often training for up to 6 hours a day to perfect their performances. For Anisa, preparation included battling through dental issues.
"I remember being upset with myself for not being able to sing to the best of my abilities. I struggled to pull out notes because I could barely open my mouth," she says.
As luck would have it, the sisters say being in lockdown also gave their talents a boost.
"During lockdown, we kept practising our craft by learning new dance moves and tricks, acting, designing and singing. All that practice during lockdown really played a role because it made sure that we wouldn't become rusted".
Anisa and Sithi also credit their mom as their "biggest supporter". "Our mom would always push us to do more…. Not many parents think and support their children when they choose to take the arts as a career choice," the girls say.
Also see: 'Uncompromising and brave': Zulaikha Patel looks back on the moment she made global news
Fundraising a dream
While initially intended to take place in Orlando, Florida, USA, plans for an in-person IMTA convention is still up in the air due to the pandemic, Anisa and Sithi say.
"By the looks of it, we might have a virtual one this year, or it would be postponed to 2022 to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and to keep everybody safe and healthy".
Nonetheless, the duo is continuing to raise funds, and so far, their mom and family members have come together to raise funds, but they still have a ways to go before raising enough money.
"Sponsorships are hard to get during [the pandemic] since companies are focusing more on health care and group activities and not individual sponsorships".
To help them achieve their target, Anisa and Sithi have set up a fundraising page.
To support the talented sisters, visit: Triple Threat Sisters on their way to IMTA Orlando, Florida
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