MASERU – Multi-skilled Tumelo Seepheephe Naha is focusing on breaking down toxic masculinity and creating a fairly good space for genderless fashion. In essence gender and fashion do not blend, he says. Tumelo first ventured into the fashion and modelling industry during the Lesotho Fashion Week 2016 when he was spotted and scouted by the then director of the event before he then joined Tgee Modelling Agency.
This is where he was trained, going on to wear a kilt and sandals for proms, an exploit he regards as the best ever in his career. Tumelo studied Tailoring at Lerotholi Polytechnic and French at Alliance Français. He is a cook, stylist, runway and print model, fashion forecaster, tailor and brand manager, and aspiring fashion sociologist. “I was taught cooking by my mother and I fell in love with it. She is self-taught. Similarly, the skills I have as a seamstress or a tailor came from my father who is a self-taught tailor and I have practically been around him for 25 years. I knew how to thread a machine from when I was six-years-old, more like when I started primary school,” he recalls.
He has been involved in projects such as providing safe spaces for minorities, The Styling Experience with Naha, Council of Aspiring models Lesotho CAM Lesotho grooms people who aspire to be models and refer them to agencies. “I live inside my head. Whatever comes to my mind I act upon it therefore nothing but my thoughts inspire or motivate me. I exist in the moment for I cannot change the future or the past.”
He believes his focus is on breaking down toxic masculinity and creating a fairly good space for genderless fashion, and in essence thinks gender and fashion do not blend. “What motivates me is creativity, impulse, positive feedback and love for fashion. I think fashion creates a space for everyone, without regards to sexuality and gender,” he said. “Fashion and food are a lifestyle. Now, imagine having the power to control the minds of people around the globe hence the inspiration for sociology of fashion, analysing trends in housing, the history of fashion and food all together.”
“I plan on creating this space for every other kid around. I want them to look at me and say ‘if he wore that, ate that, cooked that, built that, then, I can.’ Fashion is Love. Food is Life,” he told Life&Style. At the moment he is busy with making fashion films, which he says is something people hardly ever do. “I shifted from being the runway model to creating this platform where fashion just exists without borders therefore I seek collaboration from other exotic people to work with. I intend on dropping jaws in the next few months with the release of something massive, but I cannot disclose it now.
“Fashion and food is a lifestyle and I intend on living everyday as it comes, setting trends where it needs be and following some. I am a walking work of art and the streets are my runway. The best of my moments are with a cup of black tea or coffee, engaging in conversations around the works of fashion,” he said. Naha has been engaged in the 2016 – Lesotho Fashion Week Winterfall (model) and 2016 – Maseru Fashion Week. In 2017 he featured in the Maseru Street Show, Fashion Meets Music (model) while in 2018 he took part in the Council of Aspiring Models.
In 2019 he was in the King Moshoeshoe’s Fashion Show where he remains Top Model to date, the Lesotho Fashion Week, Royalty Fashion Experience, Feature in Love as well as Fashion and Food from South Africa. “In 2020 I started a food joint which, unfortunately, had to close due to low income. I took part in the Lesotho Fashion Week 2020 and in 2021 I worked as head cook at Moments Café. I participated in the Halloween Fashion Show, where we created two show stopper looks that broke the shell,” he said.