Miss Mamelodi Sundowns Thulani Ndzotyana is a woman on a mission
Posted: 18 April 2018 Time: 08:14
Miss Mamelodi Sundowns Thulani Ndzotyana is the type of woman to walk into a room and immediately grab everyone’s attention.
She’s tall, confident, has a bright smile and you’d just need to spend a few minutes with her to realise that there’s more to this happy soul than just beauty.
Born in New Brighton in the Eastern Cape, the law student has made a life changing move to Gauteng to begin a journey that she hopes will uplift her and the people around her.
The 20-year-old, who started modelling from as early as grade one, has a dream to become South African president.
“I am just a woman who has always been passionate about public speaking and youth empowerment. In high school I had a lot of leadership positions. I was active in debating, which has allowed me to have an open mind in challenging things in terms of South Africa and how we view the world.
“From a young age I have aspired to be president and it’s something that continues to be encouraged. I believe that in 2044, I will be South African president. So entering Miss Mamelodi Sundowns is part of the process because it’s about uplifting yourself and the community around you.
“Public speaking and debating have made me confident. For someone who went through peer pressure and bullying, that kept me going.
“So basically what I want to achieve from now until presidency is to be an influencer in getting more young activists in woman to empower each other. We still have issues, especially when we look at our black community – teenage pregancy, HIV, school drop outs and unemployment. There’s a lack of motivation in our communities.”
Ndzotyana’s father passed away when she was nine, so she was raised by her mother who motivated her all the time.
“I remember I was teased for being too thin and having skinny legs, but my Mom would say I am going to use those legs for modelling. I had a hernia operation, so my belly button does not look like your normal belly button. I remember during swimming I would never hear the end of it at school. I never used to wear bikinis until grade nine when I got comfortable. But it took my Mom constantly motivating me, hence I joined a modelling agency and I did drama. She found ways to motivate me and get into activities that would help me grow as a person. By the time I was 13 I was able to motivate myself.
“Being raised by a single parent, in no way have I felt like part of my life is missing. I am grateful for everything that my mother has done for me. It’s been truly amazing because she has kept me strong. She sacrificed a lot because she was investing in my future.”
Her father may have passed on while she was nine, but she remembers a great deal about the times she spent with him.
“My Dad passed away in 2007, but my parents had already separated. I was probably like five years old when they separated.
“My father was sporty. He went to Bishops in Cape Town during the apartheid era. He played tennis, rugby and he loved football. He was an Orlando Pirates supporter and I was given no choice growing up. Pirates is that one thing I hold on to because my Dad used to make us watch those games and make me dress in black and white.”
Her colour now, though, is the yellow of Masandawana.