“I became a model in 2012 but I’ve always taken it seriously. It’s a passion I’ve had ever since I can remember and my mother tried to hold it off for a while because she wants me to focus on my studies. In 2012, I couldn’t wait any longer and I got right into it”. I am very happy to be doing this interview with Gail, I have known her for 9years already. Got turned to her by her big sister while she was just doing grade 5 at the time, beautiful, bubbly and confident at a very young age. The model explained to us her life and upbringings.

“I am Gail Mokwatlo and I have three other names. It’s always a shocking fact for people to know. I am the last of three siblings and we were raised by a single mother, I was born in Mokopane and bred in both Mokopane and Ga-mashashane”. Gail is also a full time student at the University of Limpopo where she is doing bachelor of Accountancy.

(PICTURE: Phuthego Photography)

Having mentioned that her mother wants her to finish off her studies, we asked Gail if this modelling shandis is the career she wants to pursue for the rest of her life or it is just a hobby, until she gets her degree. “Modelling is my other career , it’s not a hobby. It’s the one thing I’d still do even if I wasn’t getting paid for it”

She has been doing this modelling business for about 5 years now, she is still working towards that 10 000 hours, but one cannot take away the amount of work she has done with various brands. We chatted to her about some of the coolest campaigns she has done to date. “Shuuu in 5 years, I have done quite a number of things. Modelling for Werner Wesel, the Miss World 2014 stylist at a Miss SA womentality workshop is my highlight despite how small, it validated my Miss SA dream” How she finds working with Werner Wesel small still puzzles me She also mentions the style diva national hair campaign which was in the stores nationwide and magazines such as true love and drum as one of coolest campaigns in her career.

(PICTURE: Phuthego Photography)

In the fashion and modelling industry brand association is everything and more, we asked Gail what is the secret formula in choosing a brand you want to associate with as a model/brand. “Honestly, there is no secret, I believe in associating with brands that going to be beneficial for me in the long run and I reject those I can’t identify with as a brand. I guess the formula is ‘know your lane and stay in it”.
Scroll throw Gail’s Face book wall you will find a lot of inspiration, positive energy only, even a few people will write on her wall to say how much of an inspiration she is. How does she do this at a very young age? “There is nothing as inspiring as authenticity and a person who unapologetically goes for what they believe in relentlessly.

(PICTURE: Phuthego Photography)

My mother taught me to be true to myself and I believe that is the energy I exude-genuine, passionate, hardworking, and dedicated to my vision”.With such an inspirational story, always has to be where it all started, the source of inspiration for Gail’s story. The role model that inspired her to be such a great person. “My grandmother, Sophia Mokwatlo, was my role model. Her way of life inspired me. She was the ideal 21st century woman, I see most of us trying to be – the kind that is independent, feminist, stylish, classy and well-spoken and yet she did all that more than 50 years ago. I saw a lot of who I am becoming in her, the need to help others, class, being a natural counsellor for a number of people, hardworking and dedication”. Like many of our grandparents she was the woman who raised her family on domestic helper’s wages and still lived like a Queen. A true Monarch.

 

(PICTURE: Phuthego Photography)

Like many other girls in her industry there a lot of challenges one faces on a daily , from the height to being told you are not skinny enough, we chatted to her about her hitches in the industry. “I have faced a lot of rejections in the fashion and modelling industry as a result of my height. This would include being rejected by agencies I so badly wanted to be a part of such as Ice and Boss models”.
“In pageantry you win or you lose and a series of losses once made me question if I still wanted to do this, dedication kept me in and I’m still doing it”

(PICTURE: Phuthego Photography)

To close off our conversation with the model, we chatted about what’s in the pipeline from her “I believe that all things are working for my good. There are a few talks in modelling, a new business venture and a pageant a lot of people have been dying for me to enter it”.

Asked her to give advice to the young girl out there who are looking up to her?
Baby girl you are enough, a thousand times enough. May you know it and believe it.

Follow her on Social Media: 

  • Instagram: gailee08
  • Twitter : Iamgailm
  • Facebook: Tebatso Gail Mokwatlo
(PICTURE: Instagram)