Thusi is the embodiment of being comfortable in one’s skin. That she can randomly break into a twerk or dance up a storm outside an international airport, all while slowing down traffic, is classic of her. Once, during a 2013 photo shoot and interview for City Press’ iMagazine, she nonchalantly slipped out of her shoot ensemble back into her own clothes — completely unbothered that she was a bra and panty away from being naked in front of a journo she had just met. At our November cover shoot — at the Cradle Moon Lakeside Game Lodge in Muldersdrift — I joke about how that 2013 incident scarred me. “Yini, do you have a crush on me?” she asks wittily, before inviting me to watch her change into the first swimsuit ensemble of the day.
When I meet Pearl for our interview the next day, she keeps interrupting her lines of thought with long animated pauses — something she does when wanting to communicate a new brainwave. And then there’s the incessant requests for her manager, Yvette Gayle, to complete her sentences with words that seem to have escaped her mind at that point. I must admit that at the start of our chat, I found myself lost in the profound and self-invented quotes she kept dropping like a rapper would a smashing punchline. “I want to have an impact greater than I can fathom,” she says, unprompted.