The 2022 Biogen Face of Fitness cover model search attracted nearly 200 entries as aspiring fitness models looked to turn their dream into reality and, in the end, it was 27-year-old Usisipho ‘Usi’ Nteyi from Cape Town who earned the coveted title.
Every entrant had their eye on the grand prize – a coveted place in #TEAMRED as a Biogen brand ambassador, her photo on the cover of fitness magazine and a platform to launch a career in the industry as a model and influencer!
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The path to stardom
Following multiple rounds of public voting and an interview process with the competition judging panel, Usi joined five other deserving finalists at the final three-day photo shoot experience, which took place in Johannesburg from 9-11 November.
Usi emerged as the eventual 2022 Biogen Face of Fitness cover model search winner based on the strength of her photos on the day.
The judges also considered her ability to share content via her social media channels and engage with her online community in authentic and meaningful ways by showing the good, the bad and the funny on their journey while also motivating her followers with her words and actions, not just her photos.
As the 2022 Biogen Face of Fitness cover model search winner, Usi walked away with a R150,000 prize package that includes a 12-month team Biogen brand ambassador contract, a R30,000 product and apparel sponsorship, and a cash prize of R20,000, as well as an Advanced Personal Trainer Diploma.
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The recipe for success
“Being a cover model and Biogen brand ambassador is more than than just looking the part, it’s also about putting what you preach into action every day,” explains fitness magazine publisher, Tanja Schmitz.
“When selecting our winner, we consider factors like how a contestant conducts herself in the public eye and whether her values and passions align with the brands she will represent.”
The judges also wanted to select a group of inspirational ladies who embody Biogen’s brand values – constantly striving to #BEYOURBEST by living fit and healthy every day.
“We are delighted that the competition once again attracted a diverse group of ladies who represent South Africa’s different cultures and offer contrasting approaches that all walks of life can use as motivation to live a healthy, fitness-focused lifestyle,” comments General Manager at Biogen, Brandon Fairweather.
“Ultimately, we selected someone who makes fitness a central part of their life and inspires and fuels their actions.”
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All about Usi
It was in high school when Usi decided she was interested in health and fitness industry. “I realised that my fitness would be the tool that propels my career, but my health would be the tool that sustains it.”
Finding balance in her life means creating a state of equilibrium. “It is the act of making decisions that lead one to experience harmony or evenness. Balance is not just found.”
- Age: 27
- Occupation: Professional stunt performer
- IG: @usimoves.alot
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Fitness for holistic health
Fitness doesn’t merely fit into Usi’s lifestyle – it is the only way she knows how to fully live and embrace life.
She believes that physical, mental, emotional and biophysical fitness is vital for survival. As such, fitness goes beyond physical aesthetics for Usi – at its core, it is about acceptance of change and willingness to adapt for her.
Through her experience with training, Usi has come to learn that the quote “survival of the fittest” is not merely about the physical approach to fitness.
“It also encompasses your biochemical structures – your hormones, mind, and organs need to be just as fit as the muscular structures for optimal performance and fitness. That is why I follow a holistic approach to wellness.”
In addition to her dance classes and rehearsals, Usi’s holistic approach to daily movement includes regular yoga, including Hatha, Power Yoga, Vinyasa, and Yin Yoga.
After experiencing the mind, body and spiritual benefits of yoga in her own life, Usi earned her teacher training certification in 2019 at Earth Yoga in Johannesburg, and she continues to deepen her practice and understanding of the human body with additional qualifications.
Food for thought
When it comes to eating, Usi does not put a label on her diet.
“My South African culture and Xhosa traditions express their creativity and love through food, so there are seasons when I follow a vegetarian diet and others when I take a vegan or pescatarian.
More importantly, Usi has learnt that trying to stick to fad diets or training routines never works.
“While these approaches may deliver rapid results, it is never sustainable or productive for holistic health. I now know to do my research and with my studies towards my fitness diploma, it has become very clear that simplicity in diet and eating is the key to effective and long-lasting results.”
Her favourite Biogen supplement? Biogen RAGE Rampage pre-workout
“It can take what seems like forever for my body to get warm during exercise, especially in winter. This potent pre-workout supplement contains L-arginine, which assists with blood flow,” says Usi.