Zookie discovered by international talent scout

Hlukani 'Zookie' Maswanganyi (7) is heading to America to showcase his talents.

A young and determined future star from Springs auditioned for an international movie and has been scouted at the International Arts Talent showcase which took place at Silver Star Casino on October 2 and 3.

It all started for seven-year-old Dersley Park resident, Hlukani ‘Zookie’ Maswanganyi last year during his Grade R year when he gained confidence through training at a local modelling school.

Zookie is currently in Grade One at Mount Linden School in Benoni.

He entered modelling competitions and participated in the 2014 Model of the Year competition, as well as fashion shows in Benoni, where Zookie first felt the rush of excitement of being on a stage in front of an audience.

After winning a photographic competition with hundreds of entrants nationwide, Zookie was introduced to his agent, Addi Lang, who nurtured and further encouraged him to attend auditions for TV advertisements and movies with her sister company.

Zookie received a call back for e.tv as a child presenter and recently featured in a cleansing product TV advertisement.

“I like fashion and movies, that’s why I’m doing modelling and acting,” says Zookie.

His other hobbies include playing rugby, soccer, cricket and swimming.

He was also one of the child models in the Forever Changed Campaign shoot and featured in the photographic exhibition at the event held at Foxwood Theatre in Houghton in June.

According to Zookie’s mother, Portia Lopes das Dores, after he auditioned for an international movie, he was scouted by Kim Myers, an international talent scout from America.

“For over 23 years, Kim Myers has been scouting talent around the globe,” says Portia.

“She has enabled talent to be booked on Broadway, in the cinema and on television, her models are not only walking the runways at NY Fashion Week, but are currently placed with agencies overseas from Japan to Italy.

“You can find her talent on shows like Disney’s The Lion King, Suite Life, Hannah Montana, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Hallmark and Nickelodeon.”

Zookie will be heading to Orlando, in America, in July, to showcase his talent at The Applause Rising Talent Showcase in front of industry giants and decision makers including managers and agents.

“I am very excited for my trip to America,” says Zookie.

Portia says: “I fully believe that he will make South Africa proud one day, as I already am.”

Izahn van Huyssteen

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