When it comes to models, the female counterparts often get all of the attention, but male models need to be recognised as well. Our most recent model of the moment feature spotlights a promising male model with a relatively fresh face. Meet Nkululeko Mbatha, a former Durban University of Technology student and now employed there. Nkululeko came in first place for Mister Supranational South Africa 2023. We caught up with Nkululeko to learn more about him.
MUZI: Who is Nkululeko Mbatha? (brief history).
NKULULEKO: I am a 28 year old, originally from Ulundi, the capital of the Zulu Kingdom in the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal. I was raised by my maternal grandmother, as my mother passed away when I was around 6 years old and I never had a close relationship with my father. Well, that connection is nearly non-existent, but that is a story for another day.
I hold a Bachelor of Technology degree in Public Relations (PR) and Communications Management from Durban University of Technology (DUT) and am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Business Administration there. I also work as a professional model.
MUZI: You are currently signed with Boss Models Management. How did you end up in the modelling business?
NKU: I was scouted by Boss Models in 2018, after I did some campaigns with Mobicell. People saw potential in me and I followed that. I’m one person who truly believes that people wouldn’t say great things to you or see potential in you unless it is really there. So that is how I ended up in modelling and in the influencing business. I’m a micro-influencer, gigs hardly come by, but I certainly enjoy each and every chance I get whenever I’m afforded one. I’ve been enjoying it quite a lot, modelling and influencing concurrently.
MUZI: You placed first runner-up in Mr. Supranational South Africa 2023, what is Mr. Supranational SA and why did you compete in the pageant?
NKU: So it has always been my dream to go on an international stage, and unfortunately me being first runner up means I cannot go yet. The reason I’m saying this is because it’s a dream I’m not willing to give up just yet. Probably going back in the next year or two. I’ve got some things that I need to work on, things that I need to improve on, so that whenever I am selected to go internationally, I am ready to tackle the other gents from other countries.
This pageant inspires and aspires men. One key aspect is “From the Ground Up” project, like mine – donations for scientific calculators for kids in rural, underdeveloped communities. I won’t stop helping them. Not just calculators, but any assistance I can provide, I will. Growing up there, I know how much help means. When someone offers aid, it means so much.
MUZI: What did you gain from that pageant experience?
NKU: The experience reinforced the importance of brotherhood, especially among men. Rarely do groups of men gather and engage in substantive discussions that foster personal development. Therefore, I am profoundly grateful for that opportunity. It considerably boosted my self-confidence as well, as I had never performed on a national stage previously. I gained valuable insights into teamwork, support, and pushing one another to achieve more than any individual likely could alone. The bonds formed and memories created will endure for years to come.
MUZI: What are you actively working on currently and what can we anticipate from Nkululeko Mbatha in the future?
NKU: So many things have changed. I am now 28 years old, so my perspective in life has shifted from the person I was in 2019. I am currently finishing off my Masters degree hopefully within a year or two, I’ll be finished. I’m seeking another international trip, merely as a retreat for the work that I’ve accomplished, because I genuinely believe in rewarding myself. Besides, I work for a communications department at one of the learning institutions in KZN.
On my part, I’m cultivating myself mentally and physically, which I truly believe is highly empowering, especially for a young man like myself who is willing to assist others, because as they say, you cannot pour from an empty vessel. For me to be able to aid others, I must ensure that I have aided myself first, which doesn’t necessarily imply that I do everything myself. I also derive strength from elsewhere. So at times, I must return to that particular place, even though it’s non-existent, yet it means I have to work on myself before I can even venture out and help others. So that’s essentially it. And well, profoundly grateful to, well, everyone who was extremely supportive. I really felt it. That made me stay visible on social media. The love and support I received as well. It really made me feel like a human being that is loved by many.