Former South African model and pinup, Adele Thompson, has set up a franchise of renowned modeling agency, Figures, in Botswana.
Thompson has appeared in many promotional posters and magazines of big companies like Mnet in South Africa and she was in charge of the boot camp for Miss Botswana in 2006 when Malebogo Marumoagae was crowned the queen.
Figures Models Talent International is an academy of modeling and personal development with nineteen (19) branches in South Africa, one in Malawi and now one in Botswana.
Figures is also a registered member of the International Model and Talent Association (IMTA), the world’s largest modeling and talent association, which boasts of opening doors and opportunities for Hollywood big names like Katie Holmes, Eva Longoria Parker, Tiffany Thornton, Haley Bennet, Riley Smith, Josh Duhamel, to mention but just a few.
In an interview with the Sunday Standard recently, Thompson said she started the Botswana version of Figures Models in 2008 and has so far held three graduations with the fourth slated for 28th November 2010 at the magnificent Gaborone Sun Hotel.
Thompson has said the aim of her academy is to groom and create job opportunities for girls. Prior to enrolment, the girls are interviewed and those that are under the age of eighteen must be accompanied by their parents at the interviews.
The good part about Figures academy is that the auditions are free, something that is rare with most agencies that want to recruit wanna-be celebrities. It is only after acceptance and enrollment that student models have to pay a registration fee of P150, which covers for the comprehensive modeling booklet, the contract and the certificate, which is issued when the models graduate. The tuition fee for the entire course is P800 and for those who cannot afford a once off payment there is an easy payment plan of P200 per month.
Classes are held at Phakalane and, to cater for those who cannot keep up with transport expenses to Phakalane, there are classes held every Monday at Westwood School at Phase Four, Gaborone.
Thompson revealed that at least 85 models of different ages, with the youngest being only 3 years old, will be graduating at the Gaborone Sun event on the 28th November. The graduates stand a chance to be selected to participate at Figures International Model of the Year at Carnival City in South Africa where the first prize in every category stands at R10 000 and other lucrative prizes.
Once every year the girls stand a chance to qualify to go to New York and take part at the International Model Talent Association (IMTA) Convention where they can catch the eyes of the best agents and managers from all over the world.
So far 300 models have attended the auditions locally and 40 have gone through to the semi finals.
In January next year the number will be trimmed down to ten at a show billed for Fashion Lounge at Phakalane and it is expected that the ten finalists will then travel to South Africa and compete for a grand prize to take part at IMTA Convention in New York.
Thompson doesn’t only focus on weight and height when selecting her models. She also emphasized that facial makeup for girls under the age of thirteen years old is not allowed at her school. The courses are available in different categories and according to age groups. She has added etiquette into the syllabus after she realized the gap in etiquette in the country where people do not have basic knowledge and appreciation of things like table manners.
The modeling course includes lessons in confidence, ramp skill, poise, cupboard planning, weight control, stage personality, wardrobe, interviews, criterions, portfolio, body language, hair care, nail care and script reading. Thompson said even though they are faced with challenges, they remain thankful to companies like Global Holdings who are their biggest sponsor during graduations.
Figures Models can be contacted at 3956118.