Local models to compete in New York

At the back, from left, are Jonathan Klopper, Tayla Talmage, Jose Stoffberg and Christell Klopper. In front are Dewald Redelinghuys, Abigail Kirkland and Hannah James.

Two local models have come out tops at an international modelling and talent convention aboard a cruise ship sailing from Durban to the Portuguese Islands.

The International Model and Talent Association (IMTA), South African Convention presented by Figures Finesse International took place between March 19 to March 23 for aspiring models, actors, singers, dancers and songwriters.

Jose Stoffberg and Hannah de Waal, from Melkbosstrand, both placed second in their modelling divisions and have been invited to compete at the IMTA convention in New York later this year.

Jose, 27, and Hannah, 12, who both belong to Table View modelling academy, Figures Model Finesse International, competed in front of 12 judges made up of international agents, scouts, casting directors and managers.

Jose, who has a degree in marketing management, almost missed the competition due to a knee injury he sustained a few weeks earlier.

“I tore my ACL (the anterior cruciate ligament, which is one of the four main ligaments within the knee that connect the femur to the tibia) while playing touch rugby and had to undergo an operation. I almost pulled out of the competition but I’m glad I didn’t. I met some awesome people,” he said.

He walked away as runner-up in the men’s division between 18 and 28.

Hannah, a model and dancer, was in the top five in six divisions she participated in. She was also the overall winner of the commercial print category where models are judged by their pictures.

Besides Jose and Hannah, Figures had 17 other contestants who participated in the competition.

Dewald Redelinghuys, 14, from Parklands won top scorer in the acting categories: improvisation, theatrical headshots and screen test; Tayla Talmage,20, a charted accountant student at Stellenbosch University, won the television commercial section in her category; while Abigail Kirkland, 8, a Grade 3 pupil from Parklands College, tore up the competition by walking away with medals for singing, dancing, acting and modelling.

Jonathan Klopper, who runs Figures with his wife Christell, said their main aim was youth development with the key focus on anti-building, respect, self-confidence, self-esteem, poise, appearance and presence starting from the age of three years and older.

“We believe that we have tremendously great talent and we love to grow with the youth and help them achieve their goals,” said Mr Klopper.