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Nelly Nkosi – A Plus-Size Model Breaking Barriers for other Plus-Size Models

A Communication Specialist Nelly Nkosi is making the modelling world her second home. She is a Plus-Size Model from Vosloorus in the East Rand.
The first career she perused was inspired by her father who was a writer. She studied with the University of Johannesburg through Boston Media House, where she majored in PR, Journalism and Photojournalism. Hence, she is now a Communication Specialist for one of the top South African banks.
Not only is she a Communication Specialist but she is also a photographer, distributor of hair and skin care products and a plus-size model. Modelling has become her major project, which is not only working for her, but it is also working for the community.
In 2019 she had her first big show of showcasing on the runway. This was all after she had gone for modelling training.
“I was a fashion photographer since 2008. And I had a knee injury and I used modelling as physiotherapy to make my knee stronger. So naturally, I went for modelling training, which I found out about on social media. Then one of the models I met at training told me about the first fashion show I auditioned for. It was David Tlale, Vosloorus to New York fashion show. I was accepted into the show and it was my first time showcasing on the runway, at such a big show,” said Nelly.
Every career has its own challenges. The challenges Nelly had to face being a plus-size model was finding the right shoe to hold her weight and the heels to not be too short.
“I am shorter than other models, so I had to be stubborn, and audition confidently regardless of not being tall enough. The industry is filled with mostly men in management. The organisers are mostly male. So, we do feel at times that they do not treat us as equals because we are female,” she expressed herself.
There are always wins that come with as well. Nelly also achieved a lot from her modelling and made a mark in her community.
“In a short space of time I found like-minded self-driven plus size models from my hood, and we formed a group. Later registered as Thick Goddess modelling training academy. I have been on a talk show and a reality show on Moja Love promoting plus-size modelling. I was on national radio last week promoting the modelling training, and all these media appearances were not paid for. Meaning there is a demand for our work. We recruited kids into Young Goddess cos the kids used to come to watch us rehearse, and ask to join us but they’re not plus size, so we are doing social development, removing them off the street and giving them an extramural activity,” stated Nelly.
To the young women of different sizes and shapes that are not confident in their skin and body, the model wants to say “Change your mind, your brain has power. If u take the negative things people say and say them to yourself – it means you are affirming them. If you deny those negative words and thoughts, you’re exercising the power to change your mind.”
Written by Nqobile Magubane

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