Model of the moment


“1995 when I was born there was no Facebook, there was no Instagram and there were no filters. My mom had to accept that I was different. So for me, it’s more of giving back to my mom and my family for raising and loving me the way I was.”  

Allow me to introduce you to Brian Maqhawe Makhubela born and raised in Nkomazi, Mpumalanga. After deciding to follow the advice of many voices that persisted he should be a model, fate took Brian to greater heights. 

Today we have seen him on our screens alongside Khanyi Mbau in the iconic production Iconoclast film by Josh Dylan, and worked with great brands like Vodacom and Superbalist. To put the cherry on top he has made history by becoming the first-ever Mr. Albinism South Africa and this is just the beginning. 

Now we get to know him better as he opens up about his journey, shares his honest opinion about the industry, and gives details on current and up-coming projects.  

AYANDA: How did it all begin, how did you become a model?

BRIAN: It all began at a very young age, at some point, I stopped thinking about modeling. When I got to Pretoria in 2015, I just wanted to focus on my school work but a lot of people were approaching me and telling me I should consider modeling, but I was not thinking about it. So in 2019, I decided to try this modeling thing after I finished my studies.

AYANDA: How would you say your upbringing has shaped you as a model?

BRIAN: I think my upbringing makes me an entire person because I have a supportive family that always makes me appreciate myself. As much as people looked down on us. My family has played a huge role in my life and that’s why I had the confidence to pursue modeling.

AYANDA: Naomi Campbell once said that the modeling industry is moving backward in terms of diversity and inclusivity. How do you think the fashion industry has implemented diversity and inclusivity over the years?

BRIAN: To be honest, the modelling industry in South Africa is not as prominent as it is in other countries. In terms of diversity and inclusion, we are making progress in some areas and going backwards in others. 

Honestly, I think we still have a long way to go because ultimately you say that you are a designer but you make garments specifically for a certain type of look or physique. For me, I think there is a lack of trust in a way. People don’t want to trust other faces, other body sizes, and other skin tones. 

Lack of diversity will continue to be an issue as long as we are still fighting amongst ourselves, and pulling each other down on social media. We must keep in mind that a united front always triumphs especially on these uncharted waters of diverse modelling.

AYANDA: Why do you think representation matters in the industry? 

BRIAN: It matters a lot, when people see us do what we do, they appreciate themselves better. I mean five years ago who would have thought that there would be the first Mr. and Miss Albinism South Africa.

Inclusion and diversity in the industry set up a seat for a lot of people whether they look like me or don’t, have the same physique or not, but for them to appreciate themselves.

AYANDA: In one of your interviews you mentioned that you have a formal qualification that is not media related. What was your initial plan, and do you ever think of leaving modeling?

BRIAN: No, I don’t think I will leave the modeling space anytime soon because by the grace of God I am doing better than I would have been if I had a normal nine – to -five job. Modeling empowers me, It has given me the platform to address social issues like Albinism. I also get to travel and meet all kinds of interesting people.

I studied Eco-Tourism and Wildlife Management. It requires me to be in the sun a lot, and because of the condition of my eyes, I cannot be in the sun for a long time.

When I was doing my 3rd year in varsity, I got a job at the Kruger National Park. I only worked for three days then I resigned. I was like “no I cannot continue with it” because ultimately my health was at risk and I would have jeopardized other people’s lives as well. 

AYANDA: You have worked with top brands and appeared in some of the coolest editorial campaigns. What would you consider your career highlight?

BRIAN: My career highlight has to be Mr. and Miss Albinism South Africa. I didn’t take it as a gig. It was a gift to my family. In 1995 when I was born there was no Facebook, there was no Instagram and there were no filters. My mom had to accept that I was different. So for me, it’s more of giving back to my mom and my family for raising and loving me the way I was. 

AYANDA: Who is your greatest inspiration and why?

BRIAN: My greatest inspiration is ‘shiy indoda eDubai’ (Khanyi Mbau). It’s not because I have worked with her before, but it’s because of the controversy around her name, and what she does as a person. I think I can relate to her story because I have gone through a lot. I have been called a lot of names, but when I look at her life and everything that she does, I relate to her. 

At some point in high school or even primary when people call you names, you don’t fight back. As soon as you start fighting them you are giving them what they want, but the moment you start saying, “no it’s fine to call me Sheamus, call me whatever you want to call me,” they get tired because they are not getting the same attention that you would be giving. So, Khanyi Mbau is my inspiration in life. 

AYANDA: What are you currently working on and what are your future projects on the lineup?

BRIAN: I am currently focusing on Mr. and Miss Albinism South Africa. My current title ‘Mr. Albinism SA’ means a lot to me, I get to serve and bring more awareness about Albinism.

When I started modeling I told myself one thing and that is to inspire people. I want people to look at my life, be inspired, and believe in themselves.

I recently shot a UNICEF HIV and AIDs campaign for Namibia. Other jobs are coming my way, they just come unexpectedly but my main focus, for now, is to use my title in a positive way.


Twitter: @Brian27417684

Story by Ayanda Mavundla

Designer at work

Renowned Fashion House Rubicon Clothing Debuts’22 Autumn/Winter Collection at this years SA Fashion Week

On the 29th of October 2021 Rubicon Clothing stunned the crowd with their latest collection at their sold out show. 

This season’s collection was heavily inspired by the late Dickson Ralushai, father to founder of Rubicon Clothing Hangwani Nengovhela.


The collection paid homage to her fathers signature style while still aligning with the classic elegance that is the image of Rubicon Clothing. As it comes to no surprise the inclusion of a men’s line is indeed uncharted territory for the brand, however there is no challenge Rubicon Clothing cannot face. 

As mentioned before, Hangwani’s father was the inspiration behind this season’s collection, therefore it was highly imperative that Rubicon brought his love for fashion to life. The collection played around bold colours in asymmetric patterns, while still staying grounded to neutral colours. 

With almost 20 years being an established fashion house, Rubicon Clothing have proven time and time again that in order to stay on top of the fashion world paying attention to detail is highly imperative and is the true art of fashion.

Since the beginning it has been Rubicon Clothing’s goal to uplift women everywhere. We believe that everyone has a right to feel beautiful, “when you look good, you feel good” that is what every garment embodies and that is what Rubicon Clothing lives by.

For additional information and to view the latest collection, check out Rubicon’s social media platform as per below: 

Instagram  @RubiconClothing 


Letoya Makhene Pulumo – On Natural and Holistic Healing

More people are seeking natural products and complementary/alternative medicine to manage health symptoms, enhance quality of life, and holistically prevent illness/disease. However, deciding between traditional herbs or modern medicine can be challenging given western ideas dominate globally. Letoya Makhene Pulumo, known for her television roles and as director of House of Kgwedi (focused on natural healing), shares her perspectives on traditional and holistic health approaches.

Have you always believed in cultural practices in a world dominated by Christianity and western ideas, and how has your spiritual journey been so far? 

So,before initiation school, I wasn’t super into cultural practices. My family did thanksgivings and stuff, so it wasn’t totally new. But becoming a Sangoma really made me understand on a deeper level. My spiritual journey has been amazing. Marrying my wife made it even better too. She’s so supportive and passionate about my path. It’s really beautiful to have that kind of support.

What does African spirituality mean to you? 

African spirituality to me is a celebration of ourselves as Africans. It’s a celebration of who we are, our past, our forefathers, and traditions that have been passed on from generation to generation. It is a continuation of ancient traditions that help us to understand who we are and where we come from and it gives us a foundation and it grounds us.

What inspired you to open a place of natural healing, and who is your target market? 

The target market for the practice is people of all ages from all walks of life who need spiritual and traditional healing. The practice provides African traditional herbs, medicines and healing consultations. It was started after closing a previous practice called House of Nubia. The practice was inspired by my spirituality and identity as a healer. It has a separate physical location to provide a private space for consultations and treatments. In addition to African spiritual practices, the location also sells beauty products infused with traditional herbs.

What type of services does House Of Kgwedi offer? 

House of Kgwedi offers so many services. We offer readings, consultations, and healing to whatever the problem is that I have picked up and whatever the spirits guide me to use for the healing of my patients is the healing that I will give to them. It’s the assistance of a guide; I am a guide to people. Some people are trying to be earthed, some people are trying to go back to their roots at times and they don’t know where to start, so I assist in guidance. There is psychological healing, spiritual healing, and physical healing.

We are challenged by the choice of using African traditional herbs or modern medicine – What is the difference between the two? 

Traditional African medicines are derived from plant and herb based roots similar to ingredients used in western medicines. While traditional healers provide physical, spiritual and psychological healing, modern western medicine relies more on chemicals. Both traditional and modern medicine can co-exist to provide people with options based on their preferences. There is space for traditional healers, doctors and different healing methods in the world as they all provide valuable healing services in their own way.

House of Kgwedi


What's Hot


Trace, the global platform dedicated to afro-urban cultures and youth empowerment, has today announced its new original creation CODE.

Premiering on TRACE Urban and TRACE Africa this Friday, 5 November at 16:00 (CAT), CODE is a 16-minute docuseries hosted by the fabulous Ninka Mbaye. The show will decode afro-urban trends and put the spotlight on talents from different origins to empower the new generation.

          “TRACE not only plans to offer great content on our platforms but also to create programs that promote diversity and inclusion for all. We want to put the spotlight on the success stories of artists, creators and entrepreneurs in order to make talents from all over the world shine while inspiring the youth” declares Olivier Laouchez, co-founder and CEO of Trace.

The new flagship empowerment show will introduce new afro-urban trends from all four corners of the world, decrypting the latest news from music, culture, beauty, fashion, dance, art and food trends. It puts a spotlight on inspiring iconic industry players making an impact in urban culture across the globe such as Sean Paul, Shaggy, Youssoupha and Kendji Girac.

Each episode is centred around the industry insider, as they touch on a wide range of topics including their rise to fame, their downfalls, and how they overcame challenges in their intimate conversations with presenter Ninka.

In addition, the audience will have the opportunity to interact online during the show, thanks to the QR code of the logo that they will scan directly on the screen. CODE’s unique feature will grant viewers access to all episodes and additional content. Viewers will simply need to scan the QR code logo on their television screens to access Trace+.

 Alternatively, viewers can visit to sign up from there.