FamCast News
a year ago



By Thabo Raphotle

GA-KGAPANE: In prior years, back when the sought-after emerging fashion model and Lash Showbiz Modelling Agency founder was a pre-teenager, she was taunted by bullies at school for having dark-coloured skin.

The stunning petite beauty (21) said she was called ‘ugly’ for having a dark complexion.

Speaking of her bullies, Bolobedu’s newest local model Molatelo Selepe, said that being mercilessly bullied at school for having a dark skin complexion has left her hurt and diffident.

“My childhood was uneasy! I constantly isolated myself from other kids and developed self-hatred. Trust me; those days were the worst days of my life,” said the model, who is the ambassador of Peace Authentic Wear, a local clothing brand.

“I was always anxious about displaying my talents to the world because I lacked confidence and was terrified of rejection. I felt like I was carrying a heavy weight on my shoulders.”

“Luckily,” she said, “my mom was always there for me.”

As soon as she had restored her newfound, enviable confidence, in 2020, Molatelo decided she wanted to become a fashion model.

Known to her fans as Kgadi Ye Tshehlana, the Tzaneen-based model, who hails from Tshabelamatswale, Ga-Kgapane’s modelling career took off in her bedroom during the Covid-19 pandemic.

She captured images of herself displaying her fashion creativity and uploaded them online. In those pictures, she wore a “wild range of old clothes in a stylised way.” Her sheer originality attracted a huge following on social media. With the power of her 10k+ followers on Facebook, Molatelo became an ambassador to an array of local brands, including Peace Authentic Wear, Kitso’s Knitwear Designs, MD Designs, Nyiko’s Knitwear, and Mannu’s Beads.

Asked where she got her nickname from, the dusky model— who draws inspiration from Bolobedu’s international dark-skinned model, Makobo Rakgwahla— said the name was adopted from Thobela FM’s presenter and producer, Matlou Cate Morwana.

“The way she describes her melanin beauty is like she’s talking to me. I love her so, so much! I love how she describes herself,” Molatelo said with emphasis.

From being a victim of bullying at school to becoming one of Bolobedu’s famous models, Molatelo said that her priority right now is to bring change and confidence to up-and-coming dark-skinned models through her company, Lash Showbiz Modelling Agency.

Co-founded by model and dancer Trecias Chokwe; Emily Rampedi, a designer and model; and Keletso Ramatago, the agency has already signed 20 models, who are trained free of charge.

“Modelling agencies are quite expensive, so we decided to make things easier by providing everything for free,” said the founder.

“I want to show dark-skinned girls … that their skin does not define who they are. I want young girls to look at me and be inspired; I want them not to compromise or let anything stand in their way.”

Asked whom Perfect Radio should interview next, as part of the Youth Empowerment initiative, Molatelo suggested local designer Lucia Khanyisa.

“Her design art is so beautiful and unique. The fabric she uses gives her designs mystical and metallic vibes. . . . All her designs are complex, spiced up, and classy.”

To get in touch with Molatelo Selepe, contact her on 063 318 1097.