Born and bred in Strandfontein, Cape Town, the model’s life wasn’t always as glamorous as it is now. Melissa grew up with her two siblings in a single-parent household after her father tragically passed away from Motor-Neuron Disease when she was just 8-years old.
The brunette beauty didn’t always know she wanted to be a model, and as the most inspirational rags-to-riches stories usually go, she stumbled into her fate almost by accident. It was only after an impromptu photoshoot with her cousin at the age of 13, that the idea dawned on her. She was able to get her photos out to various agencies around Cape Town and the rest, as they say, is history.
“My journey hasn’t been an easy one but it’s been rewarding one for me. I’ve worked extremely hard and have sacrificed a huge amount.”
As she got older, Melissa was able to book bigger jobs with top clients such as Coco-Cola, Sorbet, Cell C and Doritos, as well scoring numerous international gigs.
When she was tagged on a Facebook post about Top Model South Africa by a friend, she didn’t hestiate to enter. She eventually became the only contestant from Cape Town to make it through to the top 38 in the competition. However, her location would often count against her as it caused a barrier between her and the other models. There were often events that she could not attend because they were held in Pretoria.
Speaking on what motivated her to enter the competition, she said:
“I felt that I’ve been in the industry for so long and I just needed my big break. That big break that would open doors for me.”
Despite the setbacks, Melissa persevered and showed up to the finals ready to shine. And that’s exactly what she did! After the winning the contest, she recieved a brand new contract from the amazing modeling agency Fanjam, along with a whole bunch of prizes and vouchers. It also means she will presenting Cape Town, South Africa at Top Model Nationwide in London on the 6th and 7th April 2018.
“I’m ready for what my future holds as this is only my beginning. I am coming for everything I have ever wanted.”
We’re rooting for you, girl! It seems this rising star has finally found her big break.
AUTHOR: Farah Khalfe/Supplied