Loss? No.

As you may or may not know, I unfortunately did NOT make it through to the semi-finalists stage to become the ELLE Style Reporter for South Africa, with reference to my recent blog post titled “Beauty and the streets”.

When the time came to check which 18 individuals made it through – whilst wondering if it was me, I scrolled down the list only to reach “18” with no sign of my name.

Natural behaviour would be to feel devastated and worthless – instead I was and am happy, serene and grateful with a hint of disappointment

While my blog post may have not been what ELLE magazine is looking for, beautiful images and 2000+ words justifying myself – I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  

The past three months have been tremendously interesting, and as this may seem like a loss, it’s rather a huge gain – ELLE rejecting me, made me realise all that I have gained and all that I have learnt and experienced. Not only did I spend time with one of my good friends, almost every day but I met new people, and made new friends. I challenged myself and received and am extremely obliged by the feedback I have been receiving.

Street culture is something I will always love, I always have and I always will, words cannot explain it – I will continue to scout the streets when I am out and photograph all that I find interesting to share with you guys. I will continue to learn and express my love and interest for street culture creatively .

I must admit I would not have entered if it was not for my friend Karabo (@Karabo9) and my Mom, they saw my potential and believed I had the chance. The biggest thanks to Donald (@Don_LK) who assisted me throughout all my street scouting activities making every moment unforgettable.

Without YOU “Beauty and the streets” would have not been possible, so thank you.

Finally, the biggest acknowledgement goes out to all my readers. Thank you for the feedback, and for tuning into my blog – just a little piece of my life that I share with you guys. 

Stay inspired and remember from every “loss” there’s a gain.

– Love



Death, won’t do us part.

On 27 March 2012, I had an interesting day. Okay, I don’t remember much of that day, but I do remember the evening.

My cousin had a friend over for dinner, and whilst we wined, dined and enjoyed lovely desserts, nothing that was about to hit me next, remotely passed through my mind. That moment existed entirely by itself. No past or future interruptions. Just the present.

The next day for me was an early one, and far away from home in unfamiliar territory, I wanted to be prepared. I silently crept away from our dinner, went to the room, took out my clothes and just casually glanced over to my cell phone as I always do.

What did I miss? A few missed calls from my brother.

Now, I don’t usually panic, but in today’s day and age when people start calling you and don’t resort to communicating via social networks, then you know something’s up. Something either great, or not so great.

In this event, it was something not so great. My brother questioned and insisted it was true, I did not believe him. He said “Go onto Facebook.”, and there it all was, sympathetic messages and those three letters separated by full stops “R.I.P”, that we all dread.

I still could not believe it, I tried calling a friend I stopped speaking to for months, whose phone was off, then I tried other friends and when I finally got through to someone, my questions had been answered and I knew the saddest truth, I’d ever know.

My friend, T.Y.C, of seven years passed away, he died, in a horrible car crash. He’s gone.

I fell to the ground in shock, and cried my eyes out. I could not and still cannot believe it. His presence is within me, but he is lost.

He made me feel like a million bucks, he loved me and I loved him back like I have never loved anyone. When I thought about my future, he was in it. He always told me “Chanelle, my love, you’re going to be THAT GIRL in my first music video.” , and I’d always shyly respond “Yaaaa, Thato.”

I miss him so much. Somehow I couldn’t make his memorial or funeral. Life got in the way and as deeply filled as I am with regret, I know he forgives me, above all it was not meant to be.

The lessons I’ve gained from his being and death is to live for today, love, smile, laugh, be happy, be kind, forgive, and to mostly be yourself.

I frequently zone out and stare into space, thinking about him and it is as if he’s looking right back at me. I cry. I cry a hell of a lot thinking about him, reminiscing.

I yearn to tell him that I love him, and that I appreciate him. The tiniest things he did for me impacted my life like you can’t believe. He kept our friendship gold, without seeing or hearing from me for 2 years, when we finally reunited – it was as if neither of us left.

I know his soul roams about all his loved ones, and that he’s watching over all of us. BUT, I still cannot fathom that he’s not here. He’s not here. My friend whose hand I once held, voice I once heard, smile I once appreciated, is not here. Someone I could easily communicate with, is not here.

Have you lost a close friend or loved one? How did you react or handle it?

I’m waiting for the day till T.Y.C, walks up to me and says “Here I am”, till then he will always live in my heart, mind and soul, and his death will be a lesson I hold dearly to my thoughts & the way I live.

Love those around you unconditionally, live today as if tomorrow does not exist.

With Love, Chanelle.