Boity is living her best life and wearing her favourite Sissy Boy collection to date.
Photographed by Rudi Geyser
You probably need to be a good friend of Boity Thulo’s to not be surprised when she declares her favourite account to follow on Instagram: “Pregnancy zone. So weird – don’t ask why. If you go through my feed it’s just children, children children children, lactating, giving birth, Keffy! [Kefilwe Mabote – unrelated to pregnancy at present, but Boity loves her style].” The actress/presenter/fitness ambassador admits to having been broody for about half a decade now, but the pregnancy fascination is more than that: “I enjoy seeing the authenticity of being a parent,” she self-analyses. “I feel like it’s something so phenomenal. Like the greatest thing on earth.”
Boity is quite possibly the sangoma with the largest following on social media: 2 million on Instagram and 2.3 million on Twitter. She answered her ancestral call in 2016, today crediting her spiritual growth as both the key to her success and her guiding force through the often cut-throat entertainment industry. “It’s my ground, it’s my foundation, it’s my roots,” she says, “it’s what guides me and keeps me going.”
Apart from all the aforementioned occupations, not to mention her Sissy Boy collaboration, one of the most refreshing things about Boity is the way she interacts with people in a room. If you didn’t know who she was, you’d probably never say she’s a celebrity, and yet you’d be drawn to her anyway. She has a calm air about her, paired with a sense of surety, and peppered with an unimposing mischief that makes you want to get to know her better.
“Acting has always been my first love,” says Boity. She’s the type of person who has a wide range of interests. She studied psychology and criminology briefly before moving into entertainment. “There was a point where I thought I would be an architect, and then I wanted to do interior designing. I also wanted to paint.”
No wonder the fast-paced constantly changing fashion world appeals to her. A collaboration with Sissy Boy made another one of Boity’s childhood dreams, of being a fashion designer, a reality. “I was seven years old and I just enjoyed drawing the garments I dreamt of wearing,” she says. At the time, fashion was “a dreamland kind of space. Drawing them would somehow attract them in some way.” Today, her range with Sissy Boy is about affirming and celebrating what is real: “I wanted to make sure that everything suits a curvy black woman.”
Getting the fit just right takes more than just choosing your favourites from a bunch of samples and putting your name on it. You best believe: Boity gets involved. She’s there from the initial meeting with the Sissy Boy team about trends, through the process of creating mood boards and altering samples, to the final stages where the clothes are fitted on her before getting absolute approval. “It has to be me. If it doesn’t suit my personality it doesn’t stay.”
Along with Boity’s spiritual maturity, there’s a boldness growing inside her, helping navigate a world where everyone wants a piece of her. Juggling so many gigs isn’t about balance – it’s about saying no. “We work very hard to be able to say no to things,” she says, adding “to have the balls to say no – it’s fun.” It’s a fairly recent personal development, one that’s been instrumental in making this Sissy Boy collection her favourite to date. “This is by far the most accurate in terms of embodying everything that I wanted in a collection. From the colours to the fit to the simplicity – I was blown away when I went to the offices to do the first fitting.”
Choosing a favourite piece, Boity confirms, is like being asked to choose a favourite child. “That’s hard. That’s very hard. All of them – honestly.” There’s such variety: from figure-hugging dresses to masculine sporty power trousers to feminine duster coats and athletic crop tops, the list goes on. There’s also the alluring contrast between the confidence exuded by the construction of each piece and the soothing colour palate. Boity is always in search of “clothes that accentuate and celebrate my curves. Because I love my curves and I celebrate them.”
Tying in wonderfully with her tastes in Insta accounts, Boity is currently obsessed with Westworld and The Handmaid’s Tale. She’ll spend her downtime catching up on series and sleeping. “I love sleeping – that’s like the best thing ever.” Not that there’s a lot of that going on in her life. The next exciting job is always around the corner, and Boity is the type of person who won’t fall into a rut. “My energy will go towards something that speaks to me at a certain time. I don’t limit myself,” she says of her love for variety. “If at a point I want to change and go into interior designing, I feel like it’s something I would do. I mean, I won’t drop everything, but I’m open enough to doing whatever speaks to me, you know? Because, literally, why not?”