Success comes to those who aim high in life and climb the ladder of success step by step with hard work and determination. Tumbee Michelle Tjiharuka is one of the upcoming models in Botswana who has the passion and determination in her profession. The Rakops beauty was born in Maun on December 2, 1994 and grew up in Lethakane. Michelle says she had a problem with discovering her talent while growing up until one day she competed in a Mbanderu-Herero beauty pageant known as Ozombaze zo zo Serekaze in Kasane in August 2014. She became the 1st princess and decided to take up modelling as a career. In November 2014 she signed a modelling contract under Blaq October modelling agency, and started training as a fresher’s man in 2015. “That where I was taught modelling in general, given bountiful assignments. I had weekly photo shoots to hone my skills and identify the category I fall under," she says.
Michelle says that she has done a lot within a period of a year. She has featured in four music videos with locals artists such as Wil Wilson Ft B Swagg, Touch Motswak and Karabo Marumo. She has also modelled big clothing lines from the likes of Delayna Scott Designs, Glittery eyes, Adorn Africa. She has also done photoshoots with African gem magazine, Smart Candy Entertainers, Kilosky Photopraphy. “I have also done promotions and commercials for Credozones media productions and Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO)," she says, a big smile all over her face. Asked where she sees herself in the next 10 years, Michelle is quick to point out that modelling is a business, and as a model she is her own business. “Like any business, it takes time, effort, commitment and patience to become a successful model," she says, emphasising that success doesn’t happen overnight. “I would like to answer you but, I don’t let excitement make me announce things prematurely. I’m going to be silent until I’m sure and even when I’m sure I wont give too much away. Will get back to you in 10 years time," she says, giggling with excitement at the prospects ahead.
Michelle quips that although most people think modelling is a tremendously glamorous, fascinating and cheerful job she doesn’t get much credit for her job. There is also the pain and agony to modelling. She says sometimes the fabrics and glamorous jewellery used on the clothes modelled cause models bruises in areas where the public eyes cannot see. Despite having a good body structure, which she flaunts effortlessly, Michelle says nudity is another big challenge for her as model. Often times in her modelling career she has been pushed to take off her clothes, which could compromise her ethics and reputation. “Yes, I’m a gorgeous lady who gets to parade on the runway in clothing that I can't afford. But being a pretty face isn’t always so, well, pretty,” she says, explaining that there are ethics, with the risk of compromising photo shoots. She adds; “photographers will be like ‘yeah, let’s take this off, and why don’t we lose this too," and I quickly a model ends up not wearing much clothes, but I have learnt to be careful and strong enough to say no".