Brains, Beauty and Bravery and more on Tyrone Nell!

By: Sahl-Ahmed Karim (@Sahl_Karim)

Tyrone Nell, established underwear and clothing model, strategist and upcoming movie star tells all.

*ring ring*

tn3“Howsit”, those were the first words from Tyrone Nell, I was not too sure if I had dialled the correct number or maybe that Tyrone was just too humble and down-to-earth to make things casual and comfortable. Initial conversations with Celebrities and personalities can be so awkward and monotonous. Thank you Tyrone for not doing just that!

Tyrone Steven Hooton Nell also known as “scooter, tiger or ty”, aged 27, originally from Gauteng and currently a citizen of the beautiful Western Cape. Tyrone is following a cosmological career path as a fashion model and is currently signed with Cape Town based agency, ICE models; he is an underwear and clothing model who is gracing the countries fashion week runways. Tyrone has worked with some of the country’s top designers such as David Tlale, Roman Handt, Roger Saint, Craig Port and F. Wilson Designs.

In addition, Tyrone aspires to be a television superstar, he has played the lead role as an English soldier in a periodic short film, “The Unbidden and in 2012 Tyrone appeared in his first local television series as a rugby player in the popular Afrikaans soap, “Getroud Met Rugby”.

Moreover, Tyrone is a graduate of Brand Leadership and Management school, Vega. Tyrone is tn5a qualified marketer and strategist who works for a company in Cape Town. Tyrone proudly goes onto saying “I am one hour earlier than everyone else at the office as I love my job and feel that I can accomplish so much more if I’m early”. Tyrone is also the brand ambassador for Planet Fitness (who wouldn’t want that body to be their brand ambassador?).

During Tyrone’s free time, Tyrone likes to engage in water-skiing, horse-riding, archery, reading and blogging, he goes onto saying “I am a very active person so anything that involves effort, I’m game for it!” and with a giggle, he says “I am the worst person ever to do shopping with”, well duh, it probably takes a lot of time and effort to get Tyrone’s look! As I grab a comb and try out that hairstyle.

Moving over, all of this is just the tip of the iceberg, the front and cover of Tyrone Nell and honestly if you are not impressed, you need new friends. With every achievement comes a challenge that either makes or breaks you. Life is a weird game, sometimes you have to lose to win and sometimes you have to go all the way to the bottom just to make sure the view to the top is great! For Tyrone, life has set a very challenging game but that does not pose as a threat to him, he considers every challenge to be a stepping stone to success and self-development.

Tyrone has an inspiring and moreover a very unique story, his story is not like the one of an average celebrity, his story may make one grab a tissue, in some cases towels, to dry their tears. I say this because I have witnessed a close friend tear up while listening to Tyrone’s story!

Schooling days were not exactly just sports, academics and pointless teenage drama for Tyrone. Tyrone’s thoughts were very different to that of the other kids. During his schooling days, he knew that he was not attracted to girls as much as he was attracted to boys and coming from a very conservative Afrikaans home, Tyrone knew that this feeling had to be suppressed and not expressed. Tyrone went on to completing high school and continued to live in the closet with the fear of rejection and violence and moreover confusion, with a lump in his throat, Tyrone goes onto saying “as lost as I felt, I knew that coming out of the closet would just land me in trouble with my stepdad and family”. At this point, Tyrone was in and out of relationships with girls and considered this to be his exploring phase.

Life-changing moment, Tyrone had moved to London for a year and this was when he realised and was able to confirm with himself that he is gay, the London experience had opened his mind to diverse thoughts which lead him to be more self-aware and confident. Tyrone goes onto saying “this was a life-changing moment for me; I started to consider myself as a normal being and decided to be true to myself and this was the first time I had dated a guy”.

Returning to South-Africa meant a new lifestyle; however, Tyrone had still feared how his family and friends would react to the news. Tyrone had come out to his ex-girlfriend and she had supported his decision, in addition, Tyrone had started to secretly date a guy who had become close to his family too. Months later, Tyrone was out with his partner when he received a shocking SMS from his mother asking whether Tyrone and his friend were dating or not. There and there Tyrone decided to be honest to his mother and moreover honest to himself, Tyrone explains “I replied to my mom’s sms telling her that I am gay and that I am in a relationship with the xxx”. As assumed, his family did not take the news well and did not accept his lifestyle choice. A broken soul Tyrone was given an ultimatum to either choose to be straight and live in the house or be gay and exiled from the house. Let us think about this for a moment, are people choosing to be homosexual or are they born that way? Maybe we should just leave that to Debora Patta to sort out!

Tyrone had stood firm with his decision of being true to himself and decided to move out, he was not going to pretend to happily live another lifestyle. Leaving home meant finding a new home but definitely not new friends but that was not the case with Tyrone, some of his friends had chosen to disassociate themselves from Tyrone (like seriously? The dude is now a successful supermodel, still feel the same way? Forget it, we don’t care). Tyrone had received support from his friend Dale who had taken Tyrone in and offered him the couch. A few weeks later, Tyrone had started working at a stable; it was the same stables which Dale had managed, Tyrone goes onto saying “I was cleaning and managing horse stables, it wasn’t that bad, I got to ride the horses and this is where I found my passion for horse-riding”. According to Tyrone, the following images depict how “all the challenges that one goes through truly build you up to who you are today and contribute to your inner strength to overcome even bigger challenges.”


In the meantime, Tyrone had begun to network and explore the modelling industry, thank goodness he did or else that physique and bold blue eyes would have all been kept to his mirror! Tyrone managed to establish himself in the industry and keeps one thought in mind till today, “Give it your best shot”. Tyrone believes that no matter what you do in life, you should put in the best effort so that one day when you succeed, you can look back and thank yourself.

Astonishingly, Tyrone feels that he is still yet to accomplish his greatest achievement in life and considers all his past achievements to be nothing but things that have helped him develop as a better being. Tyrone has a personal blog where he communicates his thoughts and feelings but that is not all, Tyrone communicates through email with people who are suicidal, drug addicts and facing their own personal challenges. With a boost in his voice, Tyrone exclaims “everyone needs someone and I’m glad to be that someone for some people, I wish to inspire people and let them know that it is not over unless YOU say it is over, challenges is what makes us, us!”. In addition, Tyrone believes that we all need a constant reminder of who we are and what we want to be in a world where we all are told what to be and judged on it. There is a specific story which comes to Tyrone’s mind, there was a man who was on the verge of committing suicide and felt his world had come crashing down onto him, somehow, he visited Tyrone’s blog and poured out his heart to Tyrone through a lengthy email to which Tyrone had replied with a detailed email advising him and encouraging him to keep on fighting. That was it, no reply or comment and then three years later Tyrone had received an email from this same man telling him about how happy and contented his life is, he thanked Tyrone for encouraging him and believing in him at a time where no one did so. Now you think about it, has Tyrone Nell not yet achieved his greatest achievement? I highly disagree!

Three people that Tyrone admires, with a laugh, Tyrone says “my mom, brother and sister”. I was abit confused and then Tyrone explained that whatever has happened in the past stays in the past! (Take that Facebook stalkers!), After moving to Durban, Tyrone had begun to patch things up with his mother who is now one of his greatest supporters. Tyrone says “my mom had worked two shifts a day just to put me through school, feed me and clothe me and to me, that is the greatest thing a mother can do for her kids, she’s my motivation”. Family is a very important thing to Tyrone, he cherishes every moment spent with his brother and sister and hopes that they create a legacy which can be admired.

On a lighter note, a favourite place to relax and unwind would be his couch accompanied with nicseries and his partner Nic During (sorry again ladies). I could sense Tyrone was blushing when he told me about Nic, he went onto saying “Nic is such an understanding person, he brings out the best in me”. When they are not on the couch, Tyrone and Nic are out and about on a date at either of their favourite places, Kloof Street House or Café XtraBlatt. Tyrone tells us about a very recent funny and weird fan encounter at a club, Tyrone was in the confined space bathroom doing his thing when a stunned fan walked up to him and exclaimed “I am standing next to Tyrone Nell in a toilet! I have been following you for so many years and here I am standing next to you in a toilet” and all Tyrone could say at that time was “Thank you very much”, well duh, did this fan expect a Fan of the Nation address? On this same note, Tyrone does not consider himself to be a celebrity or an esteemed personality but rather just appreciates how people treat him.

On the other hand, Tyrone shares a few of his personal goals, he aims to work for himself and hopefully establish an empire of a clothing line. Tyrone believes that every opportunity should be grabbed with both hands and no regrets! He goes onto offering advice for future models and entertainers, Tyrone says “do research, study what is trending, listen to agencies and build networks around them and lastly, you have to volunteer”. For Tyrone, no one thought him any of this, he put himself on this path and made his way to the top.

Tyrone would like to be remembered as someone who was always loving, caring, smiling, inspiring others, hardworking and self-driven. One thing that really astonished me when asking Tyrone if there is a specific profound quote that he lives by or complies with was his answer to it. Tyrone says “I do not live by any quote because I believe that all you need is to be yourself and everything is going to be fine”. I have literally experienced people telling me to hold one while they search for a quote that they live by!

tn2On a personal level, Tyrone has exceeded all my expectations, for a celebrity who has voluntarily shared so much about themselves on so many levels. I consider Tyrone Nell, with two “L’s” to be phenomenal, inspirational, influential, motivational and most of all humble! Tyrone has made it to the top not by knowing people who know people but rather by being true to himself! I wonder if anyone can come forward if they have met a celebrity for the first time who has actually told you so much about themselves especially since you have no connection whatsoever with them or maybe the fact that he communicates with you as if you are a long-time friend, I could go on talking about Tyrone Nell but that would just be putting some celebrities to shame! Tyrone Nell portrays what a true model, celebrity and also an average being should be and how they should carry out themselves in any possible situation. Lastly, I admire the way Tyrone Nell is true to himself, had faced one of the greatest challenges of life and the way he stresses and emphasises on the importance of being yourself, that no matter what happens…always be true to yourself and embrace yourself as yourself!

Lastly, a confession to Tyrone Nell, I had delayed this write up because I knew someone would nominate you for the 20 Facts on Instagram and that is exactly where I would get your full name! Ha!

From the GoTrendSA team, we wish Tyrone Nell everything of the best for the future!

Random Facts about Tyrone Nell:

Phobias: Snakes

Favourite Colour: Lumo and Natural Colours

Favourite Sport: Horse-riding

Favourite City: Prague

Favourite Food : Pasta

Essential item : Hairspray

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