For more than a decade, the annual USN Face of Fitness cover model search has provided a platform to uncover new talent, outside of conventional industry showcases like Bikini competitions and sporting events.

Every year, the competition is inundated with entries from aspiring fitness models, hopeful fitness enthusiasts and athletes. Competition is fierce as every entrant embodies a healthy and fit lifestyle, and wants to use the platform provided to launch their career.

Finding fresh faces in the fitness industry

Over 200 entries were submitted for the 2019 competition, but in the end, only one deserving finalist can earn the coveted USN Face of Fitness title.

Following an online public voting process, in-person interviews and deliberation from a judging panel, Busisiwe Mmotla, a qualified teacher from Soweto, was ultimately selected as the next fresh face to drive the fitness industry forward in 2020 and beyond.

Busi’s look is not only unique and vibrant, but she also has a compelling story to share. Overcoming the challenges she faced through her disadvantaged upbringing, Busi has created numerous opportunities to build her profile and advance her career.

From winning the Miss Soweto crown in 2017 to taking a gamble and putting herself out there by entering the USN Face of Fitness a mere five months after entering a gym, she is proof positive that the right mindset and dogged determination can overcome any obstacle.

Igniting her burning ambition

As the youngest of seven siblings in a family raised by a single unemployed mother, Busi battled through life.

Living in a shack with an unemployed mother meant I couldn’t achieve everything I wanted, which crushed my confidence. I also had to learn to be responsible at a young age, but this also taught me the value of working hard to achieve what you want, which has served me well throughout my life.”

After matric, Busi struggled to get funding for university, but she never gave up and after two years of doggedly chasing her ambitions, she finally secured some financial support.

My mom worked hard to make ends meet and get me through varsity because my loan only covered costs like groceries in the fourth year.”

And it is this sacrifice that has inspired Busi’s dream to one day buy her mother a house as a token of her appreciation for all the support.

This dream motivates me and drives me on those days when I want to give up. It forces me to explore every opportunity presented to me and to work hard. I want to become a beacon of hope and prove that your circumstances are not your final destination.”

Busi’s fitness journey

Busi first turned to fitness as a means to manage her anxiety. “Having endured two abusive relationships, a stressful Miss Soweto reign and being unemployed, I needed something that would help me feel beautiful and worth it again.”

She found the gym to be a healing space. “It offered me a release for pent-up emotions. It also made me fall in love with the process while learning to appreciate my flaws and to love myself more. It has been less than a year since I started my fitness journey, but it’s the longest time I’ve been at peace. Fitness has become my therapy.”

Busi’s training split:

  • 3 weight training sessions a week
  • 1 full-body HIIT session a week

Busi is also a big fan of outdoor activities. “I hike and do fun runs and walks with friends because I find it refreshing. Being around nature relieves stress, you forget about everything and feel like you are a new person, ready to overcome any challenge.”

Busi got her nutrition on point to achieve her goals

Busi says she learned everything she knows about nutrition through her trainer, the internet, and following fitness influencers and engaging brands on social media like USN and Trifocus Fitness Academy.

I take the information I gather and mould it according to my fitness goals. I still fall off the wagon but I’ve learned to be patient with myself. Sticking to my goal of eating healthily is the key to my success.”

Busi’s nutritional approach entails a diet with a 30:30:40 protein:fat:carb macronutrient ratio. “I feel this is the most balanced nutritional approach.

Busi’s supplement stack:

Unlocking endless possibilities

Since winning the USN Face of Fitness title, Busi hopes to use the opportunities her sponsorships and role as a brand ambassador creates to empower others and further her career.

I want to share my health and fitness knowledge with my community in and around Soweto through wellness panel discussions, with a focus on reaching young women who don’t really understand the power of fitness and health.”

To have the greatest impact, Busi plans to complete a nutrition course to teach people about the importance of healthful eating.

Busi also wants to remove the stigma that weight training means ‘bodybuilding’. “I plan to start my own aerobics sessions and regular runs for my community to get them active, especially senior citizens.”

Ultimately, she wants to show more people that the greatest gift you can give yourself is taking care of your health and your body.

That’s what fitness is about. By taking this decision, you can avoid many illnesses and add more years to your life to take care of the people you love.”

Busi also plans to leverage the fitness qualification she will earn from Trifocus Fitness Academy to launch the next phase in her career, with the hopes of supporting her family through her new-found success.

About Busi

  • Age: 26
  • Lives: Emdeni, Soweto
  • Occupation: Qualified Teacher