Ballito is nurturing many talented people. Meet these three remarkable young people who have made or continue to make their mark.
We often talk about rising talent in our excellent schools but forget to shine a spotlight on those out in the world, figuring it out on their own and, in doing so, making waves while excelling in their talents. One person who turned their talent into a career is Shannon Trollip, who, at only 20 years old, runs her own freelance makeup business. Her journey started with watching her mom do her makeup. “My mom bought me a Top Model makeup children’s book, and I would sit for hours applying sticky lip gloss and dusty eyeshadow to paper.”
During Shannon’s teen years, she would consume hours of makeup videos on YouTube. “I started putting my knowledge into action and tried different looks and techniques on myself and everyone around me.” Her makeup fascination grew when she stumbled upon makeup artists creating looks with face paints. Having taken art as a subject, she was excited for the two worlds of makeup and art to merge. When matric hit, Shannon was asked questions like “What are you going to study?” and “Which university are you going to?” She knew her passion wouldn’t lie anywhere else but in one place. She enrolled at SOMA (School of Makeup Artistry) after school. “My times at SOMA were amazing. I soon started getting clients for matric dances, photoshoots and weddings. I even ended up on a production set for an upcoming international series!”
Shannon creates beautiful makeup looks that are relatable to her audience that they can recreate, but she loves using face paints and eyeshadow to transform herself and others into creatures or characters that shock. Her talent shines through when she does intricate makeup looks for themed events and parties.
“One project I enjoyed was teaming up with Hunter Russell for a modelling competition she took part in last year. We worked together to create makeup looks that would fit the theme she was given for each photoshoot round.”
Shannon has some words of wisdom for anyone wanting to be a makeup artist. “It is hard work. Having a social media presence, translating clients’ needs into reality, ensuring your knowledge is up to date, and practising your techniques repeatedly to perfection is not easy. Still, nothing can stop you if you have a passion for it.”
There are many different ways to express yourself. Dance is definitely one of them. Meet Calden Gibbs, the dancing sensation who has flourished over the years and continues to stun his audience. His path led him to Cape Town to pursue opportunities in the arts sphere. He also recently performed in a ballet production that featured at The Playhouse Theatre in Durban. We are happy to now have him back home in Ballito!
Calden remembers always wanting to perform for others. He was the creative type, constantly conjuring up a sequence of dance steps to songs he had heard on Disney Channel, making his living room a stage whilst forcing his family to sit on the sofa to witness his homemade ‘recital’. “Performing was my thing. When it came to extracurricular activities, dance sounded better than rugby or cricket.” One of Calden’s earliest dance memories that he can remember is from when he was around eight years old. He, his sister, and his mother left Johannesburg and moved to Ballito for a change of scenery. The three of them would jam out every night to all sorts of hits blasting through the computer in his mom’s room.
“Something about jumping on my mom’s bed and dancing the night away made me forget about everything wrong in the world. I think that’s when I knew that I wanted to dance.” He began taking dance seriously in grade six when his friend wanted to try out hip-hop classes at a local studio called FootworX. From there, he took classes every week in a multitude of styles and eventually started taking part in professional performances. His biggest motivation is his nonna. “She loved that I danced and was always so impressed with every photo, video or newspaper clipping of my latest performances. Now that she has passed, I love to think of her while I dance. I can picture her watching from the audience in spirit.” He has worked with many talented choreographers and appreciates how much he’s learnt and grown from each piece. However, his favourite dance pieces are those of his own. His dancing has also allowed him to branch out and create a successful modelling career.
Calden has some words of wisdom for any guy who wants to start dancing: “Do it! There are several societal norms geared towards men, and dance definitely is not one of them. Don’t feel pressured to conform if it doesn’t suit who you are. Don’t be afraid to be you!”
l am still mesmerised and proud that my old school friend now struts her stuff so elegantly and has represented our hometown in Supermodel KZN and many other events over the past few years. Meet the lovely Abigail Van Der Linde. Her journey in modelling started with Simply Models at age 11, mostly doing runway shows. She has grown her talent and profile over the years until she was ready to take modelling on as a freelance career. In 2018, she entered her first competition and was crowned Miss Teen KZN Ambassador.
She became a freelance model and, in 2021, she was recruited by York Models where she completed her Runway, Acting & Photogenic Modelling Course since then, Abby has done photoshoots with impressive names like ULU Underwear, Gelique Couture, and OnfleekSA Boutique, just to name a few.
Last year, she entered Supermodel KZN which took place over three months. This was her biggest competition yet! Abby was placed as Supermodel KZN First Princess! “This competition allowed me to grow not only in my modelling career but as an individual. I met the most amazing photographers and fellow models throughout the competition.” With talent comes the reason or motivation behind what we do. For Abby, it’s her family. They always believed in her, even when she didn’t believe in herself. They motivated her to be the best version of herself. “| am an independent, confident woman all because of them.”
Abby has some words of wisdom for any girl who wants to start modelling: “The secret to modelling is not being perfect. You just need to be you. You need to embrace who you are and believe in yourself. As soon as you can accomplish that, you will achieve unbelievable things.”