With Father's Day having just passed us by, Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine caught up with Samsonite brand ambassador Mohale Motaung to talk about his father's influence in his life, his passion for business and love affair with travel.
Mohale Motaung cuts a svelte, stylish silhouette as he swans into the Rosebank offices in a floral print button-up, black skinny jeans and a Simon and Mary hat and big rimless sunglasses. In high spirits after a series of productive meetings, he’s all smiles, positive energy, and trailing a suitcase. He’s boarding a flight to Durban in a couple of hours. “If I could, I would travel every month,” he says.
The 23-year-old model, actor, academic and influencer is first and foremost an entrepreneur. His two-year-old business Glam Troupe is a one-stop shop – from make-up to dresses and car-hire – for matric dances, with consultants based in the North West, Polokwane, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Mohale attributes his drive and focus to his boarding-school upbringing, but it’s clear where he gets his style sensibilities from. “My dad would wear chinos with a polka-dot shirt, sporting an afro with an afro comb stuck in there. He loves standing out – and that’s me now. I love looking great because I want people to see me and notice me when I walk into the room. I’ve always been in leadership positions – I was head boy at my school – so I always feel the need to live up to that.
“My dad is a strong man, but different. He has an understanding of many things that I think he would get at his age and in this time. I grew up very close to him. I would speak to him to get his advice and he would kind of understand or know what I was going to say before I’d even said it.”
Mohale’s father retired just a few short weeks ago, and the family hopes he will take some time to take a break and relax for a change but that doesn’t look likely to happen. He is currently doing his masters in law.
“We’re talking about a man who would get to work at 6am to read the newspapers and drink coffee and prepare for a day that only started at 9am,” says Mohale chuckling. “And he’s the biggest planner, with bags and bags of notebooks where he writes everything down. I do that now,” says Mohale, who admits to having a collection of at least 15 notebooks where he writes down his goals, plans, achievements, failures, learnings and more.
“He taught me the importance of planning. And keeping time, and respecting other people’s time.
“This Father’s Day, we brought the family together to celebrate him not only as an amazing man and father but also his career and his life.
“We just wanted to say thank you for all the years that he’s had to sacrifice his own needs and wants in order to raise us.” Mohale’s favourite destinations
*Amsterdam: I went in winter last year and my skin was just glowing the whole time I was there. I would definitely go back for the nightlife there; everyone is so free. It was such a contrast to Paris where we had just been.
*New York: I want to spend some more time there and for inspiration. I’ve seen how artists live there, how business works there... I want to learn more.
*London: I love the royalty and the lifestyle.
*Durban: I visit Durban when I need to unwind, and run away from the buzz and people and Jo’burg. I love Zulu people.
*Italy: For the clothes and the food, of course...