SA model Thando Hopa making waves overseas

South African model and lawyer Thando Hopa made headlines last year when she was featured in the prestigious Pirelli Calendar alongside international stars like Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong'o and Whoopi Goldberg.

Now Hopa has just signed with an American modeling agency and will be moving to the States to pursue her modeling career.

She spoke to CapeTalk's Pippa Hudson about her career as a model and her future prospects.

I was scouted by Stephen Lee and he said to me I think you have a strong message that can penetrate into the United States and that how it came about that we work together.

Thando Hopa, lawyer and model

When I worked with Stephen he understood me and there was some synergy and I am hoping that everything is going to work out stellar.

Thando Hopa, lawyer and model

Hopa says she will not be moving to the US permanently, she will be travelling between South Africa and America.

She says her modeling career started when she was scouted by Gert-Johan Coetzee when she was still practicing as a prosecutor.

When I was a prosecutor and I was scouted by Gert-Johan Coetzee and I decided I would only do the shoot because I wanted to portray albinism in a positive light because there was a lot of stuff in the media that was continuously negative.

Thando Hopa, lawyer and model

When I said to Gert that I want to represent albinism in a positive way, it was actually an oversimplification of what I was about to do because I was representing black people, South African women, Africans and the more I traveled I understood the complexity of that representation...

Thando Hopa, lawyer and model

And when I went to Pirelli and saw the calendar, I looked at the initial pictures and realised it was actually a boy calender... the questions i was asking myself whether I want to do this or not, were question relating to women, not albinism.

Thando Hopa, lawyer and model

To hear the rest of the conversation with Thando Hopa, listen below:


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