Monday, September 28, 2020

Model New York – bound while organizers

In last week’s published story about the tug of war over the ownership of the Botswana International Model Expo whose title-holder, Tebatso Tshuma, won a prestigious modelling contract with Trump Model Management (TMM), we reported that Tebatso received P10 000 of her P25 000 prize money.

Fashion Lounge told Sunday Standard that the P10 000 was paid to Tebatso according to an initial agreement that the remaining P15 000 would be paid to the winner by Fashion Lounge when she leaves for New York. They assured the Sunday Standard that the remaining money would be paid to Tebatso before her new departure date of the second week of March.

Tebatso had been expected to report at TMM’s New York offices in the first week of January. Fashion Lounge said her failure to do so was due to them being unaware of her New York Fashion Week date.
“We had the money all along and Colin Nawala, who had been communicating with TMM, did not disclose to us that information,” said Dan Moskovic, owner of Fashion Lounge.

Moskovic says Nawala’s comments were defamatory, telling The Sunday Standard that indeed Fashion Lounge owned a 50/50 share of BIME with Marnox Media and produced a letter from Colin Nawala that confirms this. Moskovic says it gives strength to Fashion Lounge’s inheritance of the project after Marnox’s withdrawal.

He said the Fashion Lounge did 90 percent of the work in putting together the event.

“Colin Nawala did not put in any work for the event such as hiring the ramp, musicians, entertainers and so forth. Instead, he set off on a trip to South African safaris with the talent scout which was not in BIME’s budget.”
To this Colin responded that he had been told not to organise these by Fashion Lounge’s management.

“They said they would, because they wanted to satisfy their club’s standards,” he said. “Is accompanying the talent scout on a safari not a duty? He was not getting paid for his BIME engagement; the trip was only a small price to pay,” Nawala said. “The contract that gave Fashion Lounge and Marnox Media 50/50 ownership was never signed.”

He also said he has given TMM the go-ahead to communicate with Fashion Lounge to send Tebatso to New York while be commences legal proceedings.

Caught in between is Tebatso. Moskovic says Nawala asked Tebatso’s mother, Edith Tshuma, to sign a contract that will earn him 10 percent of all modelling jobs Tebatso would undertake. Tebatso’s mother confirmed this and said, “Colin said Tebatso would be his model that his company offers to Trump models, earning 10 percent of Tebatso’s income.”

Tebatso older brother, Tebogo, said they opted not to sign the contract for Tebatso to be an independent model. “We would rather sign Trump’s modelling contract,” he said.

To this Nawala says, “The mother agency contract is standard practice in talent competitions of this magnitude as the mother agency we would, amongst other things, prepare Tebatso’s trips and visas for her modelling jobs, in liaison with the agencies she is signed to.

“Mother agencies also negotiate contracts with agencies on the model’s behalf. It is also standard that the mother agency claims 10 percent of all her jobs. It would be unwise of us to set inexperienced models to fend for themselves after winning BIME.”
Tebatso’s mother said Moskovic had contacted them to arrange Tebatso and her visas to which they will respond after their family meeting. In the meanwhile, Tebatso will not be joining her mates next week for Form 4 classes at Senior Secondary School.

“We opted against it as she will be gone for a year according to Duane Gazi (TMM Director of Scouting and Development). We will be communicating with him for alternative options; we will also communicate with the Ministry of Education for an exemption so she can return to government school if she must,” Tebatso’s mother said.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.