A highly self-driven yet grounded business woman is steadily making her presence felt in the business of entertainment. At 23 years of age, Thabisile Zikhali is the Founder and CEO of Fino Diamonds Modeling Agency.
Her company specialises in Activations, Promotions, Fashion Shows & Shoots, TV Adverts, Hostessing, Music Video Shoots, Presenting and other related services. Some of the big brands they have worked with include DSTV, SAB, Distell, Soft n Free, Africa Coins, SABC, Afrotainment, Kalawa, Bongi Dube, Dj Boonu, S villa (from Ambitious), Uzalo, to name just a few.
Thabisile grew up in Kwa Mashu and went to Rydalvale Primary School where she eventually became Deputy Head Girl. She then went on to complete her Matric at Burnwood Secondary School. There too she was elected as Head Girl and a leader of the debating club. She furthered her studies at UKZN (doing Bcom Economics) and was appointed as the face of the Rugby team during her first year. Later on, that same year, she decided to start her very own business.
I am a very purposeful lady who loves God and seeks perfection in everything. I started doing beauty pageants at the age of 11 and did fashion shows when I got to high school.
The seasoned and dedicated professional did her first bikini shoot for Ilanga Newspaper at the age of 19 and that was when her life in the modeling & entertainment world began. That opportunity enabled her to do more photo shoots, which led to her getting bookings everywhere and even started featuring in popular music videos with the likes of Dj Tira, Duncan and Oskido, etc.
As more and more doors opened for her, she had the chance to do a number of interviews with local and national radio stations. It was at that stage of her career where she felt confident enough to form her own company in 2013. She started off with 10 models that were only based in Durban, and has since grown her business to a point where she now has branches in Pietermaritzburg, East London, Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town and in Swaziland.
“I decided to start my own company because I saw how old men would take advantage of vulnerable young aspiring models. I wanted to help young girls to make their dreams become a reality,” she says.
Thabisile herself has had to endure many challenges in the industry. “Most of the time, men don’t take young beautiful women seriously. They assume that we all want it easy in life but they don’t know that we are young purpose-driven women who know exactly what they want! Men often try to take advantage of me before giving me gigs and I always tell them that it is not how I work. I want a gig because I deserve it; not because the man in charge likes me,” she explains.
As far as her sauce of motivation goes, she tells us that JD Mdu was the one who encouraged her to keep going, at a time when she felt like giving up. She also describes Dj Tira as a humble brother from another mother since he took her in as his own sister under his company – Afrotainment.
In terms of the new plans for this year that may be in the pipeline, Thabisile informed us that she has a lot of exciting projects lined up BUT would like to keep them private for now. What we can reveal at this point is that she will be hosting some super-exciting boat cruise parties (at La Vue Floating Boat) and she would really appreciate it if people could support her by attending these game changing boat cruise parties.