After bursting onto the scene as the winner of Face of Africa Kaone Kario has managed to leverage that into a wildly successful career that has seen her grace many a runway and shoots in exotic locations. In addition she has done a stint as a presenter of the same show that made her famous. Most recently she was one of the finalists in the Top Billing search for a new presenter. On top of juggling a very full modelling career she has also managed to complete a degree in film and media studies.
We sat down with the lovely lady to chat with her before she jetted off overseas.
Because you are in the public eye, a lot of people think they know you or know a lot about you. How would you introduce your self?
I’m Kaone, a village girl by heart who just happens to be in a glamorous industry that sometimes I feel out of place in. I’m pretty shy I think, but I have learnt how to be an extrovert.I’m just like every other 24 year old girl figuring her way through life. Men, drama, school career,I’m just like you.
Your thoughts on the celeb scene in South Africa?
I don’t consider myself a celebrity. And I think it would be a completely different story if you could make money from this. But I don’t understand being all over the media and you’re broke, someone else has to subsidise your lifestyle. That’s living a lie, its an illusion. There are very few celebrities I admire, because not only are they familiar faces but they have done other things with their careers.When the highlight of your year is the fact that you got a free Blackberry, that’s a bit sad.
Advice for young women wanting to follow in your footsteps and pursue a career in modelling?
Don’t do it! Go to school and get a normal job! If you really want to do this, go in with another plan as back up. In the beginning, establish what you want : Is it a matter of basing yourself in South Africa? Or travel? Or stay in school? Have a plan! One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was coming into this without a plan or a real idea what I wanted. Also understand that it will not last forever, its addictive: the money is addictive, the lifestyle is addictive. At some point you must realise its time to get out.
But you seem to have done pretty well: in between the travelling, glamour and high profile jobs you managed to finish a degree in film studies. Is is possible to do it all?
Its definitely possible, UNISA is an option.There are so many ways to learn. If you want to model and one day design, you could shadow a designer. There are many different avenues to diversify into . And it’s nice because the industries I would like to get into the modelling definitely helps to make inroads.
Tell us about the Top Billing experience?
It was very different to what I had anticipated when I went to audition.I didn’t think it would go the reality TV route that it did. But when you are in there you just get involved.Honestly in the beginning I wondered what I had gotten myself into.I wondered what we were doing but eventually it started making sense.We got an idea of what the people wanted. But in the beginning I did want to throw in the towel.
Misconceptions about you? We all saw you labelled as the girl with an attitude. What was that all about?
I was also surprised. I stood there wondering who are they talking about? You put people in an environment where you push push push and then when someone pushes back its a problem? I think at the time because I didn’t know we were going that route I was yet to get my memo but I didn’t understand who they were talking about because I was like :I’m not that girl. It’s called reality TV but we all know most aspects of it are manipulated by editing. In the end I decided to brush it off because I know who I am and my friends know who I am. But I did have to call my mother and let her know its not true.
Are there any downsides to being famous or well known?
Mostly people thinking that they know you when they don’t. You don’t know me, you know my alter ego. You don’t know the things I deal with or when I’m sad. The downside is the expectation that you always have to look a certain way, you’re not allowed to have a bad day. People can be very invasive in that way.
Tell us 4 Africans you think everyone should know
From Botswana Dj O’Neal, hes an up and coming and is about to go massive.
From Nigeria Deola Sagoe, I like her style.
Andiswa Mangxiwa, a choreographer from South Africa.
Khalo Matabane, a filmmaker.
Who do you think is Jucy?
Sizwe Dlhomo, not that I’ve met him but I think hes grrr!
What would you spend your last R50 on?
Water, noodles ,a can of tuna and vegetables.
Salads and stir fries because I find them healthy and easy to make. Toast and avos for days you don’t want to cook.
And with that our chat was over. Right now Kaone is in New York modelling for a while before venturing off into other parts of the world to pursue her dreams. Living proof that you can have brains, beauty and ambition. This is one Smart Hot Girl we will be seeing plenty more of in future.
Yolisa occasionally spends her days hanging out with models. Its a tough job but someone has to do it.