Luthando Shosha, is consistently immaculate, while it is part of her profession to look good, she does this while always looking like herself. Keeping it street, or G. always. Everytime I see her there’s a new item for me to covet, a new shoe Nike has blessed her with, a leotard with her name on it. Rings and accessories put together to present her as she is, beautiful, brave and boughetto fabulous.
Luthando’s story is one as old as the golden city itself, so many of Johannesburg’s inhabitants come from the country to make it big in the city, yet it is a lucky few who make it and even fewer who are recognizable as themselves once they do. A self proclaimed alien in the concrete jungle this tomboy from the Eastern Cape stays true to herself at every stage of her stellar career. I ask what drives her to succeed. She is coy at first, telling me she does it for the money. But I know better, and I tell her I think she’s lying to which she responds.
‘I do this to prove a positive point, that doing you actually works. Its harder than conforming but being yourself is what will feed your passion and drive the pure energy that keeps motivating you to keep going back and try harder after the rejection and the disappointment’
Her journey begins in her hometown of Port Elizabeth where she hosted a radio show on Kingfisher FM, fast forward to 2012 when she wins a competition (on her second attempt) to be the newest host of LiveAmp,
‘Live was the best deep end I was ever thrown into but I treated every Friday like a new audition to payback the people that voted for me, and prove to myself and the industry that I deserved this opportunity’
I recall going to see her shoot her final episode of LiveAmp. After the show wrapped there was palpable emotion and tension in the air, and Luthando, luminous in a pale periwinkle pantsuit, graciously stepped off that stage and into a new phase of her ever expanding career. Now she hosts the Urban Music Experience, SABC 1’s latest entertainment offering that is innovating how the nation consumes its musical content, shifting the focus from parties to artistry and the global trends within the music industry.
Her love for the art she engages with is obvious, she consistently refers to the importance of the musical craft and in her interviews she asks the questions a creative wants to know, delving into the mind and processes of the artist. I get the sense that it is stirring for her to be on the other side of an interview, but she is a perceptive and sweet subject. Our interview goes down in the middle of a photo shoot, she’s being made up and styled and her phone is always going off yet she is easy and focused, ready to regale me with her story.
Watching LootLove shoot is capturing, her physique is the stuff of dreams, long limbs and doe shaped eyes peppered with that famous pout come together to create this image of the graceful city slicker. The urban princess in search of solitude and understanding in the cold city.
This millennial A-lister has built a career on representing herself authentically. In refusing to stoop to mainstream ideals of beauty and success Luthando has created a persona of tangible cool, grace and humility, always open to talking to her fans and friends, yet cautious about the spotlight. She has the persona of the mysterious rock star, a rebel on a quest to maintain herself and sanity in the frivolity of show business. Millions of viewers would agree; it is a most enchanting experience watching her do it.
Editorial image credits
Photography: Chris Saunders
Styling: Jamal Nxedlana & Anita Makgetla
Make-up: Ayanda Shabangu