BULAWAYO GIRL EYES AFRICA FASHION WEEK

THOLAKELE Dlamini has a sophisticated, sultry style and singular no-nonsense attitude which, together, are bound to make her a force to be reckoned with in the modelling industry.

THOLAKELE Dlamini has a sophisticated, sultry style and singular no-nonsense attitude which, together, are bound to make her a force to be reckoned with in the modelling industry.

If all goes according to her wishes, the former M-Net Face of Africa finalist might walk the ramp at the Africa Fashion Week Autumn-Winter 2010 Collections to be held at the Sandton Convention Centre from June 30 to July 3.

Dlamini, pictured, is one of the models chosen by casting producer for the show. But it will be up to the designers to pick her from the pool of models chosen.

"I'm very happy to be among the models chosen," Dlamini says. " I hope the designers like me. This will be my first job. The casting was very challenging. I cannot wait to strut my stuff."

The 24-year-old is no stranger to the spotlight. She represented Zimbabwe at the M-Net Face of Africa finals in February in Lagos, Nigeria. She was a hot favourite to win the competition and was chosen again and again for prominent spots in prestigious runway shows, raising her chances of winning. But unfortunately for her the competition was won by Lukando Nalungwe, a 22-year-old from Zambia.

The Bulawayo girl, who now works for KS Models, a South Afica-based modelling agency, started modelling in 2005 after she graduated from the Richochet Modelling Agency with distinction.

She says modelling was not a planned career move for her.

"My parents were in the Zimbabwe army and wanted me to become a soldier. At some stage I wanted to join the army but my love of modelling developed since people kept on asking me why I was not in modelling."

Her ramp experience includes walking at the Swahili Fashion Week during the Face of Africa competition. At the Swahili Fashion Week she rubbed shoulders with internationally renowned model Naomi Campbell, who lamented the small number of black models on the international scene.

Casting producer Deon Redman said they were very impressed by Dlamini's performance and confidence.

"She's got great potential and striking looks. I'm sure many designers will choose her."

Redman said they were busy with model scouting in Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria.

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