Some look at short models as not worthy of the runway. Yet this has not discouraged Segolame Ramolefe from the ramp – the petite lady is unrelenting in the pursuit of her dreams. Ramolefe has always loved modelling. When she started pageantry was the closest thing to modelling in school and she found herself doing pageantry. “Half the time it was just about passing time because I knew I had the potential to be more in that area and progressing on I left pageantry in high school. I also moved on from playing softball to doing Latin dance. I wanted to let go of some things that I thought were not going to help me become the person that I wanted to be,” she said. Latin dance taught her many things as their teacher encouraged them every day to be whatever that they wanted to be. When she was in in her last year of high school she auditioned for a local docudrama – Ntwakgolo – that is produced by Dee Zone Productions. Though initially sceptical about it, she landed the role of Naledi. She is still part of the show. “That was my first experience with television and having to deal with a professional crew was a great experience. I managed to learn so much from all those people. I realised that as a village girl as I was I can just transform from nobody to somebody,” she said. She loved what she was doing, not that she had any other motive or that she wanted to be popular. She then auditioned for Miss Botswana in 2013 and despite being short she managed to go reach the top 15. She loved the fashion show experience more than anything else. “That made me realise that I really wanted to be a runway model more than a pageantry model,” she said.
Last year Ramolefe auditioned at the Empire Models – a model management company that cast models for different projects. She was very excited when they signed her up. She has become a corporate model at the agency because she likes looking like a boss and that is the kind of image that she keeps on a daily basis. “This led me into channelling into different looks and experiencing with them,” she said. She is still the shortest model at Empire and that used to bother her because she thought she was not taken seriously. As a go getter that she has she tried to go for runway auditions and they kept telling her that she is short. This has driven her to come up with the Imperfect Models conference that is billed for May 13 at Woodlane Hotel. Imperfect Models encompasses those models who are short, plus size, freckled, living with disabilities and even those who are scarred by abuse. “I am trying to raise awareness to different modelling agencies and the general public to try and break these barriers that always leave so many young people bruised because of the harsh things that are said to them during auditions,” she said. Some of the speakers slated for the conference are Aobakwe Molosiwa of Gilded Sands, Mmoloki Walker, Sumaiya Marope and Rosemary Keofitlhile. She said they have approached different agencies so that different imperfect models that attend the conference will have the opportunities of winning up to a year’s contract with them. There will also be a mini fashion show by the imperfect models during the conference which will bring fashion influencers together.