Jethro Jaftha, 22, is making waves in the modelling industry working as a magazine and runway model.
He has already featured in Port Magazine, Cake Magazine and Out Magazine, and has jobs booked for international brands such as Adidas, Louis Vuitton and Moncler.
Since he started strutting his stuff in August 2016, he has also walked the ramp of South African Menswear Week and African Fashion International.
Jethro first got a taste for modelling when he took part in a community fashion show in 2013.
He was scouted by his casting agency, My Friend Ned, in 2016 when he attended a fashion show.
Jethro says he never felt comfortable while growing up in Athlone.
“Children would make fun of me for not fitting in and it would result in people teasing me about the way I looked because I am Khoisan, not coloured,” he says.
“I remember I used to have a little afro and kids would play around teasing me about that, they would say ‘Jethro Afro’.
“I found myself doing things just to fit in, instead of embracing my true self. I’m not exactly the athletic type and hate getting hurt or dirty, but I tried playing soccer and, needless to say, it didn’t last.
“Even when I started modelling, I could tell that my parents weren’t really for it because it’s seen as feminine or because it’s not a ‘real job’.”
Jethro is currently a first-year Industrial Engineering student at Unisa.
When not hitting the books, he goes for castings with his agent.
“My job is to make sure that the clients love me, which is hard sometimes, but it’s all about being yourself.
“The male modelling industry in South Africa is a tough one, not only because we are competing against each other, but because we have models from all around the world come to South Africa.
“The only way to survive this cutthroat industry is to maintain a positive attitude.”
And he hopes to be a positive role model for kids on the Cape Flats: “I’ve seen how drugs and gangsterism destroyed our community and I would like to help our people fight this disease.”
His role models are reality star Scott Disick and Hollywood actor Will Smith: “I love how they used their platforms to create a business for themselves.”