From Eswatini to South Africa: Melusi Kunene, the Swazi King of the runway

From Eswatini to South Africa: Melusi Kunene, the Swazi King of the runway

Runway modeling and pageantry are among the top sectors of the modeling industry. Working in these two sectors is not an easy path. Melusi Kunene, born in Eswatini and currently residing in South Africa, is an international model who has represented South Africa at the prestigious Mister Africa International competition.

Although he did not win the title, Melusi has won the hearts of many in his home country, with some regarding him as the “king of the runway” due to his participation in international fashion shows across South Africa, Lesotho, and Eswatini. In an exclusive interview, he talks about his modeling career in South Africa and the opportunities Mzansi offers for runway models.

TR: Melusi Kunene, thank you for your time. If given a moment to describe 2024, what words would you use?

MK: Firstly, I’d like to thank you for this opportunity. 2024 has not been a great year for me in terms of progression compared to the previous year, yet I’m still grateful for not giving up on my dreams, as they are now taking another spark.

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TR: You are currently residing in South Africa. How are you fusing your Swazi culture with South Africa’s multicultural environment?

MK: Residing in South Africa as a Swazi has been a great opportunity and platform for me to learn more about other cultures, as South Africa is a rainbow nation with diverse cultures. My culture is part and parcel of South Africa’s culture, so it wasn’t hard to fuse them. I’ve been focusing more on runway modeling because it offers more opportunities compared to pageant modeling.

TR: Why are you currently more focused on runway modeling?

MK: Being a runway model in South Africa is highly advantageous because scouts often focus on runway modeling. Many commercial models are selected from the runway because they are versatile and perform well in front of the camera.

TR: Recently, you participated in Soweto Fashion Week. Can you share your experience with us?

MK: My experience at Soweto Fashion Week has boosted my confidence in 2024. The designers made us feel special about participating. We learned about personal branding, which is crucial for models, designers, and other related parties to utilize your services effectively.

TR: What did it mean to you to work with unique brands at Soweto Fashion Week?

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1f4f8 From Eswatini to South Africa: Melusi Kunene, the Swazi King of the runway SathiSathia Pather PhotographywetoSoweto Fashion Weeked by Musawenkosi

MK: Working with such unique and big brands at Soweto Fashion Week meant a lot to me. It showed me that I’m aligning myself in the right direction in runway modeling and that I can take my dreams to a higher level.

TR: Which international runway show are you hoping to take part in?

MK: I’ll definitely consider pageantry, as I recently did with Mr. Eswatini. I’m focusing on bigger competitions to gain more confidence in the modeling industry because, as an artist, confidence is key. Lesotho was good, but I prefer not to talk much about that show and my experience there.

TR: Do you see yourself going back to pageantry? If yes, which title are you hoping to win?

MK: Internationally, I’m looking forward to participating in the Swahili Fashion Week show and Island Fashion Week, both held in Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Facebook: Melusi Switch Kunene | Instagram: Melusi Switch Kunene

Tapiwa Rubaya

Tapiwa Rubaya is the current affairs, fashion and sports reporter at My Afrika Magazine.

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