Currently residing and studying in Berlin, Germany, we jumped at the opportunity to shoot with the gorgeous Tumi Kekane on her recent visit back to South Africa. Featured as our LW Babe of the Week, we get to know more about her lifestyle abroad, her tattoos and piercings, and more…
Full name: Itumeleng Kekane
Day job: Student and work half-time in events, modeling and hostessing
Likes: Food, sleep, ice-cream, traveling, dogs and pandas
Dislikes: Spiders and arrogance
Special talents: Piano and negotiating
When people meet you for the first time, what do you think their first impressions are?
In a few cases people have said that I’m a bit intimidating because I have such a straight face, but this is because I’m actually a very shy and timid person. As I grew older I started coming out of my shell a bit, but I am still quiet and very shy. When people actually come up and speak to me they get along with me very well, so I’m easy to get along with and I don’t cause conflict with anyone.
What one thing do most people not know about you?
That I’ve done Ballet since the age of 3, which is actually one of my special talents I’d say. I also play the piano.
What can you normally be found doing on the weekends?
I’m either at home chilling with my friends or boyfriend, or going out shopping. I also go to the lake here in Berlin, recreational places like that are really cool here. Usually also at a bar or nightclub. If it’s a long weekend or if I don’t have work, I’m usually traveling.
You are currently living and studying in Germany. How did that journey come about?
I always wanted to travel abroad since I was young. When I lost my dad when I was 14/15, my plans changed and I knew I would not feel comfortable leaving my mom alone, so I put those thoughts aside, until I was given the opportunity when I was older and my mom supported me. During the time of the #FeesMustFall I wanted to study and finish my degree, and because of the protests and strikes going on it kinda prevented me. So I applied to study in Europe and I got in, after doing some research I saw that Germany was the most fit because they have a lot of trading companies within South Africa so I could easily go back home and work for a German company. Berlin is very multicultural, it’s diverse and it’s the capital so It’s one of the best cities to live in. Also one of the main reasons for moving to Germany is that they don’t have tuition fees, they have something called the semester ticket which costs between 200 and 300 Euros per semester.
How often do you get to come back to South Africa to visit?
I’ve been in Germany for two years now and I go home once or twice a year.
How would you best compare living in Germany and its people to back home in South Africa?
Living in Germany is much easier as a student, financially and also getting around. The county itself is really stable, the economy is stronger, it’s safer. It also has its cons, I am a foreigner in this city so I have to watch where I go and watch my back. I have to be cautious of decisions I make cause it could jeopardise my VISA and stay here. I do feel like Berlin in my second home and I have made a good amount of friends. The Germans are very serious and there’s that South African sense of humour and spirit that you can’t find here.
Do you see yourself making the permanent move to Germany?
In the beginning I had the intention of coming here, studying, finishing my degree and going back home. But, living in Europe has really changed my perspective and with the way things are going in South Africa, I’m thinking of staying here. Not Berlin necessarily but definitely around Europe. I will always have a home in South Africa, maybe when I’m older I’ll come home and start my own business or continue my career there.
You have no shortage of tattoos and piercings. What attracts you to the culture?
I don’t know why I love tattoo and piercings, because I’ve been brought up in a Christian home. I started piercing myself actually, I pierced my ears. For my 16th birthday my mom took me to get my belly ring, then I got my nose pierced in Matric. When I first arrived in Berlin I went straight to a tattoo artist.
In your opinion, which place is the most painful to get tattooed or pierced?
I only have two tattoos so I cant really make a fair comparison, and I have way more piercings. My worst piercing definitely has to be my nipple piercing. The nose piercing was also painful and I can’t really explain the type of feeling.
What goes through your mind when you are in front of the camera?
I try not to think when I do a shoot because when I’m thinking too much I overdo a pose. If I just let go, feed off the photographer and feed off the energy then everything becomes more relaxed and it comes naturally.
What scene from our shoot did you enjoy the most?
The ones I enjoyed the most were the ones outside, I love outdoor shoots.
What drives you?
My parents, they are both really huge role models for me. I have goals and ambitions, and I know what life I am destined to have – I drive myself. I like a challenge and I like pushing myself.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when we mention:
Partying? I used to party a lot, now I’m definitely more calm. I love partying and think I’m a good partier.
Music? I love music. It’s my way of escaping and I have huge passion for music.
Fantasy? Books, I love fantasy/ fictional books.
Attraction? I think of physical, mental and emotional attraction.
Foreplay? A waste of time. It prolongs the enjoyment.
Fetish? I think of feet. I don’t have a fetish myself but I have met a lot of people that have feet fetishes.
Photos by Hotlens Photographic.