Former Miss Malaika Brita Masalethulini says her weight ballooned when she gave birth to her two children. Masalethulini means one which remains in dust but former Miss Malaika, Brita, has defied the nomenclature to set herself on a successful business path. Tall, shapely and exquisite, Masalethulini wowed crowds at pageants back in 1999 and became a household name.
Back then she was a student of art at Harare Polytechnic when she decided to take part in numerous beauty pageants.She was Miss Harare Polytechnic, Second Princess Top Model Zimbabwe, Miss Harare, Miss Lucky 7 and the big one Miss Zimbabwe in 1999. Masalethulini said her joy was when she was crowned Miss Malaika. She however, decided to call it quits from modelling after Miss Malaika in 2002.
Since then she has become a mother and businesswoman. “I stopped modelling in 2002 after Miss Malaika and I got into grooming and deportment and image consultancy. I have been working with different individuals and companies.“I recently worked with Malaika Mushandu, imparting on her knowledge on grooming and deportment as well as how to present herself on the world stage,” the soft-spoken former beauty queen told the Daily News on Sunday.
Mushandu is the current national queen taking part in the Miss World Pageant in November. Masalethulini believes that Zimbabwe can make it in the Miss World and Mushandu can be our best candidate. “I have been helping her to prepare for the competition because I have been there. It always helps to learn from somebody who has been there.” Masalethulini is a single mother of two daughters and stays in the leafy suburb of Borrowdale in Harare. She was not at liberty to divulge the name of her children’s father insisting that it is personal.
“My daughters are my pride and joy,” said Masalethulini. Her sights are now set on improving her chemical business. She manufactures the chemicals at home in a small laboratory. “I am hands-on so if you come to my house you find me in a work suit and my hair tucked under a cap. I want to test my chemicals quality before delivering them to customers.” She employs three casual workers at her laboratory. “I believe in starting small then expanding.”
Her business life has not been easy. “I have made countless mistakes but I try to learn from them and move on. I emulate people that have made it, taking a leaf from their successful lives.” Masalethulini has gained some weight and attributed this to the babies. She has however, not lost her sparkle.
I believe her beauty is in her eyes and she has not changed a bit. Her skin is flawless and she said she achieves this through drinking lots of water and religiously taking care of her skin. The mother of two said she loves hanging out- doors. “I love swimming, I am a water baby. I thoroughly enjoy the outdoors, climbing rocks and getting some fresh air. I enjoy very long walks and I also have a group of close friends that I spend quality time with.”
She regards her former modelling life as a stepping stone to what she wishes. “I did everything I dreamt of. I wore nice clothes and I travelled and met different people something that any girl would dream of. Now I can use this platform to advance my business interests.” Her modelling career highlight was in 2002 when she visited the United States of America to promote the Miss Malaika pageant.
“Two hundred people attended a banquet which was held in my honour. It was held in Hollywood and I met Michael Jordan’s mother who was amazing. She gave me advice that I should stay focused and work very hard and enjoy my life and also not to allow small things to get in the way but always to aim high.”
Masalethulini bemoans the misconceptions of the modelling industry. “There is different understanding attached to the industry. Young ladies should not be starving themselves. They should be disciplined and taking good care of themselves. At the moment the world needs healthy models that can be good role models,” she said. The former model advised those intending to get into modelling to have an education and a career.
To allegations that models are often abused Masalethulini said, “A person can only be taken advantage of only if they give permission. A model should have her own values and principles and should be able to make solid decisions." “You can succeed on your own without looking for help. Of course the family and colleagues can help.” Masalethulini is currently involved in oil painting and said she studied art but painting is her hobby. (Dailynews)