Young Movers & Shakers owning their industries: Thando Hopa
June is Youth Month in South Africa and we saw it as a great opportunity to feature & celebrate some amazing young women who have been inspiring us with their amazing accomplishments earned through hard work.
Thando Hopa, Model, albinism activist, and lawyer was introduced to us back in 2012 she was scouted by South African designer Gert-Johan Coetzee who used her as the face for his collection. She became the first South African model with albinism on magazine covers and on fashion week runways & has since changed the game for most who have followed her.
Since then Thando decided to leave her legal career & pursue her modeling career full time & boy did it pay off. Thando has made some great strides locally & internationally with a number of accomplishments & history-making.
In 2017 Thando made history as the first black South African featured in the prestigious Pirelli Calendar, alongside international celebrities such as Naomi Campbell and Lupita Nyong’o, with a picture of her shot alongside the legendary Whoopi Goldberg.
In December 2018 the 2019 BBC released its top 100 inspiring influential women from across 60 different countries between the ages of 15 to 94 based on academia, influence, social activism, politics and arts, women who were described as leaders, trailblazers, and everyday heroes and Thando made the list as the only South African that year, chosen by the BBC because of her diversity and inclusion advocacy.
As if 2019 wasn’t already amazing for her, she made history by becoming the First Woman with Albinism on a Vogue Cover.
‘I once said to a close friend that it would really be lovely to see a woman with albinism on a Vogue Cover, I would not have imagined that that woman would be me.
We are truly inspired by Thando not only for her strides in her career but for also opening doors & opportunities for many men & women who live with albinism. Not only that but she has shown the world how exclusion should not be normal & that representation is quite important.