‘I’m not your stereotype’ says Thando Hopa


A force to be reckoned with, Thando speaks to us about her partnership with Audi, being a prosecutor and how she is ‘untaggable’.

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Why do think the brand chose you for this partnership?

I think they felt I could understand the campaign from a very personal perspective, due to my personal need to not be constrained and confined, the manner in which I have embraced my own personal diversity.  The #untaggable campaign is just so evocative with its disdain of labels and boxes – it fits the car, and it certainly resonates with me. I think Audi saw that crazy synergy. It's about forging our own path and the complexities we should embrace.

In your own words, define #untaggable.

Labels carry images and singular narratives.  When we tag things we have an expectation of what to see and what to get.  Untaggable simply says,  "don't do that to me, I’m not your stereotype, I am my own being, I’m self-defining, unique and you can't fit me into a box."  It's to declare that one is multifaceted and won't be handcuffed by a label.

What element are you bringing to this brand? ?

I bring who I am, the completeness of my many facets. I believe #untaggable will not expect any less from me.

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The ad is about breaking boundaries, how have you broken boundaries in your life? 

When I was a prosecutor I was always told how surprisingly young I was; then I became a model and was told how surprisingly old I was to start modeling. Then I closed the show for Gert-Johan Coetzee with two weeks of training in heels when I had never walked on anything higher than a flat shoe! But on a more serious note, I was a little girl who was labeled intellectually deficient due to teachers misreading my shortsightedness. I was told I couldn’t go to a mainstream school because I wouldn't cope.  And yet they were wrong on both assumptions. Then I became a model and a lawyer and on both fronts had a very unique yet pronounced appearance. I used both to try and do what I can to propel positive narratives, not despite this peculiar combination but because of it.

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