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COVER: SEAN McCOLLET

MUA: Naazi Laher | Stylist: Nao Cerati and Nthabiseng Molebeli | Directed & Photographed by Nevile Oarabile Dikgomo | Hot interview & article by Kay Khanye

You’ve probably seen him gracing the pages of your favourite magazines and billboards or like many us, you have a relentless crush on the man. A figure of body goals and a smile so dazzling it could blind an astronaut in space, Sean Mccollet is the idol you never knew you needed. 

Meet mzansi’s new golden boy. An all round athlete, seasoned top model and now the fresh face on SABC new reality show ‘Entrepreneurs’. Sean is the new age business man chasing his dreams and resisting conformity. At just 26 with an impressive portfolio, McCollet wins the hearts of photographers and brand managers everywhere; it is no secret that brands can’t get enough of him. 

We sat down and had an opportunity to talk success, relationships and what the future holds for South Africa’s new Hot spark.

What is Instapreneurs about?

The show is about profiling South-African influencers and finding out how they make money by using social media. South Africa has seen a rise in influencers and some of them are now household names due to their huge following and what they get up to online. So Instapreneurs provides you with a front row sit to their lives and shows you how they make money one post at a time whilst still showing you the unfiltered parts of their lives. It is truly my favorite show on tv right now and I’m not being biased.

Do you think you’ve manifested your own success?

“I think I somewhat have. I have never chased anything I have, it has all been God given. I never intended to be an artist manager , publicist , model or tv presenter. I’ve always been in a situation where I’ve been asked to do all those jobs and every time I was asked, I accepted because I understood that there was a path I had to follow to get me to where I want.”

“I still don’t think of myself as successful just yet however I have a tremendous amount of respect and dedication towards what I do so I have unintentionally manifested all of my achievements so far. The amazing Paulo Coehlo said it – “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”. So I’m aware of the power of the tongue and hard work. It also helps that I have been rather patient with myself about a lot of things pertaining my career so I hope 2020 will be the year that I can fully say “I am successful””

What is the power of relationships and the importance of investing in those relationships if you’re planning a successful modelling  in South Africa?

“I think having healthy working relationships with your co-workers, clients etc is important in every industry. For me, I have been fortunate enough to have started as an artist manager, where I had to know almost all the important people in the industry for the sake of my artists. I remember making sure that I attended every event with my artists so that the right photographers were taking pictures of my artists and that they were photographer with the people I wanted them to be associated with for the sake of their image. All of those little things factor into building a sustainable brand. So by the time i started modelling and tv presenting, I knew exactly how I had to play the game.”

What is the power of relationships and the importance of investing in those relationships if you’re planning a successful career in South Africa?

“Relationships are generally important because you never know who you might need and also who you can create formidable and profitable work with. Right now the entertainment industry is ran by people who have connections and if you don’t know the relevant people you will be left behind. So talent, hard work and connections are some of the main ingredients in ensuring that you are also given an opportunity to build something for yourself in this industry.”

What are some of the misconceptions people have about being a male model?

“A lot of people assume by that we have it easy and that there is a lots of money but the truth is there isn’t if you aren’t doing campaigns and commercials. You work so hard to look the best that you can so you can get work but it all doesn’t come easy. This is a female dominated industry and girls tend to get a lot more jobs due to the fact that fashion is a visual industry and women , as we know are a lot more concerned and are catered to when it comes to their looks. So girls can do make up campaigns, jewelry, hair etc and for men it’s limited.”

Looking at your career history, what do you think has been the one thing that gets you cast for a project?

“I think people are drawn to my versatility and personality. I understand the power of building rapport with people on set. Say thank you and greet everyone on set. I also started out as an editorial / runway model. That opened doors for me because I was able to connect with a lot more photographers and fashion producers. So when I decided to buff up and become more commercially appealing for underwear and tv projects, I no longer had to prove myself or cast for jobs because I’d already made my mark in the industry.”

Have you always wanted to be a model?

“No hey, my mother was a seamstress so I was exposed to the art of creating garments as well as the fashion industry overall , but I never thought of being a model. Looking back I think that had an impact on me more than I realise. I genuinely think me becoming a model was meant to be. I’m living my mother’s dream of being in the fashion industry and that for me means a lot.”

As a model your work means wrapping yourself into someone else’s idea, do you find that people expect to get ‘Sean the model’ every single time they meet you and how do you let your own personality shine outside of modelling?

“Absolutely and I think people get surprised when I refuse to do certain things on set or refuse to wear garments because I now have a voice. I’m able to say when it works and when it doesn’t work for me. I’m now a lot more vocal about what I think is best for me and I always treat every project as a collaboration and I find that the new people I work with / don’t mind it at all and they actually appreciate it but those I’ve worked with before struggle with it because they still think of me as the same guy they met years ago who was willing to do anything and everything to book the job. For instance, David Tlale who is someone I’ve worked with since the beginning of my career has allowed me to grow with him. He asks me If i’m comfortable with wearing certain garments etc and in most case, I don’t even have to say it because he sees that no it’s not working. As an established model now , I should have a voice on set  and that shouldn’t shock people. The super models I look up to do it, David Gandy does it, Jon Kortajarena does it – why can’t I?”

Do you still find the first frame of a shoot nerve wrecking?

“Sometimes, it depends on the shoot and who I’m shooting with. When I’m shooting underwear, I like shooting with a photographer who makes me comfortable because ultimately they’ll be seeing me practically naked …flaws and all. So it helps shooting with someone who knows how to approach a model when in that situation. But if its editorial and conceptual – as long as the brief has been clear prior to shooting – I’m able to figure out  what mood to give to  the client it’s easier. Basically, the nerves come from the environment now more than anywhere else.”

What’s the one extreme thing you would like to do that you haven’t done?

“I’d love to bungee jump Bloukrans Bridge. I have been mentally preparing myself for 5 years but I’m still not ready hahahahaha! So maybe 2020 is the year I’ll be able to overcome my fears and just do it because when I did the Soweto Towers, I felt it on a spiritual level. There’s something about bungee jumping that makes you appreciate life a lot more because it’s really just  a freeing experience.”

If yes, how do they feel about you being a model and sometimes being put in ‘bare’ situations in your work?

“I just think generally for me it’s better being in a relationship with someone who understands the industry and appreciates your work and art. The last thing you want is to be with someone who will have issues with you posing in underwear or someone who will complain about you being intimate with someone for a shoot – because I do that most of the time.”

Do you see forever with the person you’re currently seeing?

“Hahahahaha why be in a relationship if you don’t see yourself spending the rest of your life with that person? It’s forever or asijoli! Hahahahaha”

What comes first for you, Love or Career?

“At the moment, definitely career. I think you need to be married and/or over 30 to be able to put the other person before your career. It’s important to have your own life before you start putting yourself second to anything else. I’ve been in situations  where I have chosen my relationship before my career and I had a wake up call about my entire life. A relationship can end at any moment and you will be left with only you. So it’s better to invest your time in your career and let a relationship come second to that especially since I’m in my 20s. I’ll be able to put my relationship first in my late 30s but for now – career first!”

Who are some of your favourite Influencers that you’ve had on the show?

“Mihlali, Siya Bunny and ThickLeeyonce who actually discovered me as a model. I’m all about black women cementing themselves in spaces (I said that in my Zozibini voice> hahahahaha.”

How has being part of the SABC  changed your life?

“A lot of amazing talented personalities like Bonang, Siyabonga Ngwekazi, Thapelo Mokoena all got their start on SABC 1 so there’s no other channel I’d rather be with due to the fact that they really are responsible for most of the great personalities in the land. Being with the channel has been truly life changing for me as I can see my dreams slowly but surely coming true. I’m having that Great Gatsby green light moment right now but unlike Gatsby I pray that I have a happy ending”

“It has also made it easier for me to get jobs and I’m definitely not complaining. And I’ve learned how to up my Instagram game which is important for me as a model and a tv presenter because I get to meet amazing influencers who are beasts at curating their social media content.”

What are your hopes for 2020?

“I always say don’t tell people your dreams, show them so I guess people will have to be on the look out for me in 2020.”

Any regrets?

“Never regret any decision you make, there are lessons in everything. I was watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday’s the other day and she said if we don’t learn from the ugly moments with go through in life – we will keep repeating the same mistakes until we learn. So I make sure I take my lessons and keep it moving thus not having any regrets.”

What are you most looking forward to in the new year?

“Growth in each and every aspect of my life, financially, spiritually, everywhere! Just growth!”

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