It has been exactly a decade since Tatum Keshwar was crowned Miss South Africa. Such an opportunity has seen an array of former contestants and winners, advance in their lives either in entertainment or the corporate world. Keshwar, on the other hand, has had the best of both worlds: she runs her own consulting company, has presented on SABC3’s Top Billing, walked on New York Fashion Week, shes also expecting her first child. She further personifies superwoman by accepting the ambassadorial role at the Gateway Vodacom Durban July Preview Fashion show.
Do you find that people treat you differently when your’re pregnant?
People interact with someone who’s expecting in a different way: there’s more care for comfort and concern. People tend to be aware of your energy because it changes, you become more maternal, softer – when it comes to the way you process your interaction with people, you become aware of the energy you put out there and the energy people give off to you.
How has your pregnancy been?
It’s been so amazing! I haven’t been sick at all, I’ve been quite energetic; I still go to gym, its wonderful.
I’ve obviously but on a bit of weight but that’s normal, as well as the cravings – I’m enjoying it.
How was the experience walking for New York Fashion Week?
That was one of the pinnacles of my career because when I started out about 16 years ago, I had a definite vision of the things I wanted to accomplish, and certain touch points I wanted to reach to be able to say “my career has been successful & worth it.” From the very beginning NYFW was on the cards. I didn’t necessarily think I would accomplish that, but I knew that if I had, it would be amazing.
I’m very close with David Tlale, I’m his muse. When he phoned to say he was going to New York for NYFW he said “you have to come!” It was amazing that he would offer me that opportunity. I had such a fantastic time, did a lot of networking, there’s a lot of media. I had the pleasure of attending & sit front row to some of shows. Theres’ absolutely nothing like it, the energy there is over the top. It is the capital of fashion at the end of it all.
It has exactly been a decade since you were crowned Miss South Africa, what immediately changed after that?
The way that I thought of myself changed and that is the very beginning of everything, because after that you carry yourself and deal with yourself in a different way and allow other people to deal with you in a differently.
I realised that there can be nothing that can be asked of me that is outside of my capabilities. So if you asked me now to deliver a speech right now, I can. If theres’ a certain skill you require from me, even if I don’t have it I will try it but I know that I will eventually master it. That is the thinking that came from being given this wonderful opportunity in which you are only made ready on the job. I have everything I need within me.
Vodacom Durban July, the build up has officially started what happens before the actual event?
Having been a model for so long I’ve been involved in the Vodacom Durban July for just as long because being a Durban girl, a bulk of work comes around this event; and of course there are so many wonderful events prior to the actual main event.
Events like the preview fashion shows that are taking place at the Stewards Quarters itself where designers are showcasing what you could possibly be wearing to the event, because its been designed for the event.
Specifically the Gateway Vodacom Durban July Preview Fashion show and concert is a huge one. It takes place a week before the event which is fantastic because you get an idea of what to wear or how to interpret the theme, it draws on the talent thats going to be shown at the main event as well as an over the top concert featuring all South African artists. Its fun because everyone goes down there a week before for all these run-up events happen, Durban is in a party vibe, the weather is amazing, even though its winter: you could be in a bikini in midday it doesn’t matter.
Its a great way to kick off the whole vibe and of course any shopping that needs to be done, you can get anything you need at Gateway itself, its a one stop shop and you can get anything from outfits to shoes, accessories, fascinators.
Tell me more about the concert line up.
The concert will take place at WavePark on June 30th. The line-up includes Kwesta, Locnville, East Coast Radio’s Deon G, Okmalumkoolkat and more.
On the Gateway Vodacom Durban July Preview Fashion show, who are you most excited to see?
A lot of the designers that I’ve worked with for years are showing this year. The likes of Gideon, Francois Vedemme, Malcom Kluk who people don’t know that hes actually a Durbanite. He’s lived in Cape Town and Johannesburg, which could be the reason why most people don’t know that he is from Durban.
Other designers that come through from the ranks of Durban July like Kathrin Kidger, a Durban born designer who had entered the VDJ competition a over 10 years ago. She won the price which was to show at SAFW. She has built such an amazing brand and name for herself. Those are the kinds of designers I’m excited to see, whose careers we’ve watched grow and evolve over the years through the VDJ and have really ran with the opportunity and that’s what the VDJ is all about: creating opportunity and a platform for young designers to showcase what they have and make something of themselves and that is why this event is worthwhile to support because it’s not just about being flashy on the red carpet, its about supporting our own, wearing our own.
Any advice for anybody going to the VDJ?
Whats’ great about this kind of event is that its so open to interpretation: as you know this years’ theme is, It Is Time , so you can do whatever you feel like doing and almost anything can fit with in that theme so, people come wearing the most & the biggest. Its ostentatious and over the top, but that is good because it really is the day to see the fashion and see how people interpret the theme. Anything can happen on the red carpet: dresses tear, zippers break and then you have to improvise and thats’ what fashion is about – to make the best of what you have.