Aneeka is an Instagram model from Stellenbosch who has over 50k followers, but is also a student of BEng Chem. Her Instagram content will blow you away, as the content she posts on her feed is very well curated.
What does ‘SUMMER YAMA 2000’ mean to you?
Summer Yama 2000 to me means the summer of the youth. It is our time to shine through our individuality, creativity and just the all-round vibe that we bring.
Have you ever experienced peer pressure? What advice do you have for young people who are under pressure from peers to drink alcohol, when they are too young?
I think that the most peer pressure that I’ve experienced was during high school. We go through stages where we have the need to fit into certain groups and in most cases, you need to act and look a certain way to be part of those groups. For me, that is when peer pressure mostly hit me. So many things changed after high school and that is when I realised that there is no need for that – the best version of yourself is when you are being your true self. My advice is to rather focus your energy on things that aid your future, whether it be your studies, sports or any other talent that you have, even if it means that you have to lose certain friends.
How would you describe your experience working with Coca-Cola?
This has been such a fun and uplifting campaign – not only did I get to meet some of the most talented South African young influencers, but I have also been inspired to do so much more with my platform since this has opened my eyes on how your platform can inspire others and how many people you can reach.
What is the story of ‘Aneeka’. What can you tell us about yourself for those who don’t know you but want to?
A lot of people have the perception that I am a city girl. I come from Malmesbury, born and raised, a small town about 50 minutes outside Cape Town. I am full on Afrikaans speaking, which also comes as a surprise to many. I am not really the typical girly type. I grew up with two brothers and I preferred playing with them. I am a gamer – I love playing games such as Fortnite or GTA. In Malmesbury, there is much more freedom in terms of playing outside, so I love the outdoors. Growing up we had quad-bikes and right behind our house were woods in which we would drive around. I love doing park run jogs in the woods with the local community. I am a very active person, and I can’t stand to sit still for too long, so sign me up for any adventure.
We know you are a well-known Instagram model, and nowadays with so much content out there what would you say helps differentiate you from all the other people that are trying to do the same thing?
I think what makes me different is that I don’t stick to one type of content. I try so many new things on a daily basis and I share that with my followers, even if I fail I would show that too. I keep my content real and I feel that people relate to that. My advice is to be yourself, show us who you are – we want to see you and not a copy of another influencer.
What inspired you to become an Instagram model?
I used to be a TV presenter from the age of 15 until I was 18, and that gave my Instagram account quite a boost. I signed up with a modelling agency at the same time. During that time I would post some of the work from jobs that I did, and through that, I started getting jobs on my own from people who would see my work on Instagram.
For anyone out there that would love to become an Instagram model – what advice would you give to that person?
Try to get as many professional shots of yourself as you can, by doing some collaborations with new or upcoming photographers. Use those on your Instagram and create a feed that attracts the kind of jobs you would want to get, whether it be fitness, street style or whichever type of modelling. Decide on what you would want to do and post accordingly.
How would you advise young people to stay safe when starting out modelling on Instagram?
Always triple check accounts that contact you. If you see that someone that you know has worked with them, ask them what the experience was like. Google the brand and make sure it is legitimate. Speak to your parents or agent and let them know what is happening. Get someone to read through brand contracts. Always ask questions when you are unsure about anything. Rather say no to a job if you feel unsafe than put yourself in an uncomfortable position.
You are starting out as an Instagram model, and you are currently studying so besides being an Instagram model and student, what other ventures would you like to pursue, if any?
My studies are currently full-time, some days even from 9 am until 9 pm, so I do not have much time to do anything else, but I would love to travel the world. There are so many places that I would love to see so I think apart from passing my courses and content creation, that is definitely on top of my bucket list.
What made you study B. Eng Chem?
I have always had a love for mathematics and science. Chemical Engineering for me is the perfect balance of the two. I am a very curious person – I love knowing why and how stuff works. I love making things work and figuring out how to fix things. This field is all about research and problem solving, so it made sense to me to go into it.
Can we get more girls into science?
Definitely, there are currently so many girls studying engineering with me and doing so well. Opportunities are being made for women in the science industry as well, and our universities have programmes for girls in science to get jobs after their studies. Women are needed in the science world.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Hopefully done with my studies if all goes well. I would love to work overseas, preferably in Dubai. That is my end goal with my studies
How would you advise balancing school or studying with extramural activities to other young people that are perhaps are trying to accomplish something similar to you?
Make sure to have a clear balance between the two. I don’t mix study time with fun time. When exam time comes, I am completely focused on that. During holidays or off weekends I would make the most of the time by having content shooting days to create all the content that I will need during exams.
How would you describe your creative process for coming up with striking images?
Lighting. Lighting makes such a big difference in your pictures. So I would find a spot with good lighting and work around that, even if I have to move things around.
Which models do you look up to?
Carmen Solomons. She is a fellow South African but has made it big and modelled for brands such as Kylie Cosmetics – proving once again that we can go international.
Aneeka – what words of encouragement do you have for kids that are looking up to you?
Life won’t sparkle unless you do – put in the work and you’ll be sure to see the results. Even when things seem tough, the good outweighs the bad, even on your worst day.