Thando made global headlines in 2019 for being the first model with albinism to grace the cover of Vogue Portugal. The year culminated with her being one of the esteemed panel of judges for Miss South, as well as numerous campaigns cementing her as one of the leading voices to champion diversity in a variety of social spaces.
The WEF in Geneva, Switzerland, launched the New Narratives Lab and announced Thando as one of the 3 fellows chosen globally for its 2020 programme.
“The New Narratives Lab is a year-long fellowship dedicated to fostering a new and diverse generation of Cultural Leaders. Through one-to one mentorship by the World Economic Forum’s network of Cultural Leaders and support from peers, Fellows will develop leadership skills to navigate circles of power and decision-making to bring about change”, according to The World Economic Forum.
Throughout the fellowship Thando will be mentored by one of the world’s cultural icons, Angelique Kidjo, who is also a Grammy Award winning musician and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
“I am exceptionally excited to be a fellow for the Forum’s New Narrative Lab. My objective is to do what is within my capability to contribute to a more inclusive approach to our cultural economy.
The fellowship serves as confirmation, that our voices are loud enough to be heard across the world. Having the opportunity to gain solidarity and support from other cultural leaders and like minded entities, means that there is a multisectoral investment in diversity and inclusion that aims to be future proof,” asserted Hopa.
Lynette Wallworth, Artistic Director of the Lab and 2020 recipient of the Forum’s Crystal Award says “by creating a new fellowship for cultural leaders who strive to create change and by surrounding them with a team of allies who have experience navigating corridors of power, we hope to elevate the role of artists as leaders and to lift them up as they generate urgent new narratives for a changing world”, she said.
Hopa will be heading to Davos at the World Economic Forum and will be among global cultural leaders presenting a Betazone talk which will be STREAMED Live at 15:15 on the 22 January on the forum’s social media platforms.
Thando’s journey of inclusion and representation continues to manifest to even more influential audiences such as at the World Economic Forum (WEF) and thereafter she will be heading to Paris for a Global Alliance led by the United Nations on the rights of people with albinism throughout the world.
Image Elsa Niemoller (Globetrotter Thando Hopa ready to mingle with influential world leaders at Davos, Switzerland).