Buhlebenkosi
South Africa
Age
16 years old
Rank this month
Rank in South Africa
Who am I?

Hi everyone, my name is Buhlebenkosi Fongoqa (commonly known as Buhle) and I am a 16 year old aspiring singer songwriter, model and poet. I am a fun, loving , caring and compassionate person by nature. I am vibrant and passionate about what I do. I enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends , as well as meeting new people and learning new things. I am currently a grade 10 student in high school and would like to go to university after I receive my Matric certificate to study Psychology and English literature as I enjoy helping and encouraging people to get through hard times, knowing that sometimes you just need someone to be with you through the storm , having struggled with mental health related issues myself. As I mentioned I’m a poet and would love to study English literature so that I can publish my own books and one day open my own publishing firm. I am multi-talented and very determined to pursue and succeed in all my God-given gifts.

What do I think about the Fashion Hero TV Series?

I think the mission of the Fashion Hero is very commendable and empowering because it encourages people to break the beauty barriers that the industry has created. And allows us to create a new and more realistic normal for the fashion and beauty industry. I for one , think that The Fashion Hero is amazing in that it has given people of all shapes and sizes the opportunity to change what it means to be beautiful and to embrace their originality and unique beauty.

Why would I be a great role model for this generation and inspire people as the new face of the Fashion Hero?

As a child , it was my dream to become a model and from an early age I attempted to pursue it. I entered many beauty pageants and countless competitions but was always unsuccessful. I was never thin enough, tall enough, or beautiful enough to make it in the industry. I felt I wasn’t good enough because I could not manage to achieve these almost impossible standards. As I mentioned above, I have struggled with mental health issues for a long time and because of this , was on medication that made me gain over 30kgs in 3 years. This weight gain resulted in a very low self esteem and caused me to give up on my dream of ever becoming a model because I believed I did not stand a chance. Because I have had to combat and conquer depression and anxiety, I believe that if I were the face of The Fashion Hero, I would be inspiring millions of people who struggle with mental health all over the world. I want to be a beacon of hope for those who have none and show them that there is more to life. I know what it’s like not to have a reason to live but I am living, breathing proof that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and trust in your dream and that for as long as you are still breathing, you have another chance at life. I want to inspire them to connect with their true self just like I have done. This amazing opportunity has enabled me to revive my dreams and rekindle my passion for fashion and find myself again. I have a story to tell just like we all do, and I’m taking the leap of faith to impact even just one person’s life and teach them to love and accept themselves as a whole. Every body is a beautiful body ! Having struggled with self image , I now know that beauty is much more than what you see on the outside and embracing your inner beauty brings out your outer beauty.

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