Tshego Seakgoe, model and ambassador for our new spring range, is something of a mystery. This breakout style star has been making waves since appearing on the cover of Playboy South Africa in May 2011. Now we shed some light on the other aspects of Tshego's life, from growing up, to school, to where she's at right now and where she sees her career going – plus some insights into her LEGiT experience.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Meadowlands, Soweto, I lived there until I was about 12 and after that I moved around and stayed with different family all over Gauteng – I'm a Johannesburg girl, born and raised.
I have a big family – I have an older half-sister and four younger brothers, the youngest will be turning two later this year. My mom passed away when I was nine and my dad remarried when I was 11 – and all of us grew up together, me and my four brothers, including my step brother. We were all really close and I never thought of him as a step-brother, I’ve always thought of all four of them as my brothers and we were all very close knit.
On growing up
When I was a girl, I was always interested in entertainment, singing when I was eight for Nelson Mandela’s 80th birthday and took part in some events on TV. My mum always saw that for me and motivated me to do that. I was very focused on academics in school, I wasn't the hardest working student but I got good grades. I never thought of modelling or acting as something you could do – although we had drama in school, I never thought I could do it as a career – I always thought I had to be a lawyer or a doctor!
If you spoke to anyone at my high school they'd have a lot to say about me! I was outspoken, very opinionated. I guess you could say I was a rebel with a cause; I would always fight for something if I thought it was wrong! I didn't have a crew, I was everywhere, I moved between groups of friends at school.
I enjoyed high school – when I got there I was popular and it got to my head and I had no friends for a while in my second year – I realised you can't be mean to your friends. High school forced me to grow up – the politics and high school dynamics were so ridiculous, I tried to stay away from that, I learned to just keep out of that and it made me grow up.
On life after school
I didn't know what I wanted to do when I left high school. I started a course in management – I wanted a job that was going to earn me money, where there wouldn’t be a lot of competition and where I could be successful. I hated it! I dropped out after three months – dad was not happy! I decided to take a gap year and worked as a receptionist, which was where I realised that I am not suited to working in an office – I just knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do and I left after a really short time.
I decided to study politics at Monash University. Six months into that, a friend of mine approached me about modelling, he was entering a competition for Elle magazine and had to shoot someone. I told him that I wasn’t a model, I thought that he might want to choose someone who actually knew the industry if he wanted to win! I didn’t think I could win the competition – that’s the way it’s always been, friends have seen things in me that I haven’t, but I went to the Elle magazine shoot and I won!
The best advice you ever received
I've received a lot of advice, the best advice I’ve received for my work is: If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough. The only way to achieve something is to dream big and keep dreaming even when people say you can't. It’s like how I did the Playboy SA shoot, people said things about how risky it would be, but now I’m reaping the rewards of being part of it – I always dream big.