Modeling Lessons For The Girls of The Xhosa Tribe
I love that my career as a model takes me all over the world. So when I was given the option of spending a couple of months in South Africa, I jumped at the chance. It’s so amazing to experience other cultures and see other countries. It makes me realize how beautifully and wondrously made this earth is.
Last week while shooting on location in a township called Philippi in Cape Town, I found myself surrounded by children of the Xhosa tribe (pronounced Cosa). They gathered around while I was shooting and watched in awe.
When I finished shooting and while the crew was packing up, one brave girl walked over and asked if I was a “news star.” I asked what that was and she told me that news stars are in magazines and on television. I confirmed that I had done both and she called over all her friends to ask me questions. At first they assumed that I was a from their tribe because I have similar features to them (cool!) But then they figured out by my height, clothing and demeanor that I was not.
They explained that they’ve never seen a black model in person and they had certainly never met an American black person before. To be honest, I was just as fascinated by them as they were by me – I know this may sound ignorant, but I really didn’t know that there were tribes of people who spoke by making clicking noises with their tongues. I thought it was something Hollywood made up just for laughs. The kids were taught English in school so they spoke fluently. However, when I began to ask their individual names I was quite surprised when they clicked them to me. I tried my best to repeat the sounds and they thought it was super funny. Though they said I was quite good at it (for an American.)
They asked if they could touch my hair to see if it was real. Of course I let them (Hey, we were all learning new things here) and I explained that their hair could look the same if they just let it grow naturally. They then asked if I thought they could be models. I told them they were so incredibly beautiful and intelligent they could be anything they dreamed of! Then we all had a blast while I showed them how to pose like a “news star.” I think it was a great experience for us all, not soon to be forgotten by any of us.
Other than having the most unreliable Internet service ever, I absolutely love South Africa!