BIOGRAPHY AND WIKIPEDIA: Melino Carl, Botswana’s first trans model, is taking the runway by storm with her activism through fashion KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Tuesday, February 21, 2023

BIOGRAPHY AND WIKIPEDIA: Melino Carl, Botswana’s first trans model, is taking the runway by storm with her activism through fashion

Information reaching Kossyderrickent has it that Melino Carl, Botswana’s first trans model, is taking the runway by storm with her activism through fashion.

Melino Carl does not just belong on the runways of Botswana or South Africa. She also belongs on the catwalks of New York, Paris, and Milan.

She exudes a moody elegance reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn combined with the in-your-face attitude of Brenda Fassie.

Melino has been strutting her stuff since 2016. “The relationship in my life is the one I have with the runway,” she says. Her tone is strong, confident. There is no doubt that fashion is her one true love.

Rantsimako is a resilient force of nature who has achieved a lot in a short period of time. She identifies as a fully-fledged creative by profession.

Apart from being a fashion model, she is a make-up artist, hairstylist, model director, personal beauty pageant trainer, actress, choreographer as well as a netball player. “I strongly believe that from my younger age I was already born into the creative,” she said.

She stated that she is a very innovative person with colourful ideas always running in her head of which one day she just decided to test out in reality. She joined the industry in 2016 and has already earned a profound mark, having worked with David Tlale at the recent inaugural Gabs July Fashion Show and also directing The Comfy Fashion Show all in the same week.

It’s easy to understand why this smouldering trans woman is in demand for shows by South African couture designers – including David Tlale. In fact, Tlale described her as his ‘dream come true’ before promptly making her the showstopper in his show.

Melino is from Gabarone, Botswana, where she continues to live. She has been at the receiving end of her country’s negative attitude to LGBTQI+ individuals.

She recalls how she was assaulted five times, even in her own home, and at school by other learners. She was ridiculed and humiliated by teachers, peers and even her own family.

She added that due to her adaptive nature, she conquered beauty pageantry as she walked in Miss Rainbow Identity Association Botswana and made appearances as an actress on a drama entitled, The Mist Of Gender-Based Violence. Furthermore, she has worked with Miss Red Ribbon Botswana as a choreographer, Glitz awards 2022 team and Glotto clothing brand. “This is where I really fought hard to show my talents and learn a lot from those who have been in the industry before me,” she said.

She accentuated that one of her most recent achievement was being nominated for Zikomo Awards 2022 under best female model of the year category. She gave credit to Raymond Geofrey’s model classes stating that her attendance is bearing fruits as that is where her fierceness and acceptance were groomed. The gender-fluid model expressed that her biggest challenge has always been homophobic slurs from people describing it as a daily hour challenge that she faces the moment she leaves the house. “This is scary because some come too close to my face and there is always fear that I could be attacked,” she emphasised. She shared that it took her a long time to penetrate the modelling industry because most were not familiar with androgynomy and instead of giving up, being different cultivated her passion further.

According to the fierce Rantsimako, her existence has never been something that was purely celebrated until she was older and around caring people. She recalled that from a young age, she lived in torment of being bullied. “Some threatened to beat me, some would force to undress me to see what's between my legs as to verify my gender,” she said. She added that she has bad experiences and phobia of bathrooms till to this day to an extent that she finds utmost comfort in using them when she is with her female friends.

On the brighter side, she has never had doubts about who she was and has long accepted who she really is. “I only realised I was uniquely different when people started pointing things out and mocked me and self embrace became even more important and easy when I ventured into my creative industry where self expression was praised,” she said.

Moreover, she highlighted that most models are dynamic and seem to be more receptive and understanding. She stated that her support structure has blossomed tremendously as people appreciate her work and directed encouraging words to her. The radiant model offers classes for models and beauty queens who are passion driven to dominate the industry.

She teaches them techniques such as, how to walk, how to answer questions and posture. But most of all, she builds their confidence and boosts their esteem. “I build women and men that are assertive in life,” she said boldly.

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