Limpopo hunk rules rest of Africa
Two years ago Paballo Moalushi was rejected by modelling agencies who told him that he didn't have what it took to succeed.
But last week he was crowned male model of the year (Africa) at the Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards in Kampala, Uganda.
Moalushi, 29, who is also known as Pabznasius, said the nomination came as a surprise.
"This was not just South Africa, Johannesburg or Pretoria, but across Africa," he said.
Moalushi, who is from Lephalale in Limpopo but is now based in Pretoria, has been a rising star in modelling after breaking down doors that were shut.
"I was an ordinary guy who studied psychology at Unisa and I fell in love with working out and taking pictures. That passion and hobby developed into something serious," he said.
His body confidence grew as compliments began flooding in. He was often mistaken for either a model, personal trainer or an actor. So he resolved to explore that space but got a lot of rejection.
"Most of the responses I got were: 'You don't have the look', over and over again, but people kept telling me a different story.
"It was tough and I wanted to give up when I was told that I was wasting my time. But I'm not the type to give up. There are many ways to kill a cat. So I took another strategy."
He entered fitness competitions, and the first one was Men's Health in 2014, when he earned the first runner-up spot. "I felt like a winner because I had challenged myself," he said.
"It changed my mindset and how I look at life."
Moalushi has since lent his face and body to campaigns by large retailers, catalogues and fashion ramps all over the country.
"I found the things that differentiated me from the rest - my smile, abs, character and energy."
He also works as a sales manager for a cellphone giant. "It makes me happy that my work is recognised all over Africa."