The Sunday News
Rumbidzai Mhlanga, Sunday Life Reporter
BEAUTY with brains is the term used to describe beautiful and successful women.
The same can be said about former Zimbabwean beauty queens, as they have used both their beauty and brains to make their lives a success.
Facial and physical beauty fades with age but investments and business are a legacy to children and generations to come.
Two successful former Zimbabwean beauty queens, Lorraine Maphala (35) and Brita Masalethulini (in her 40s) spoke to Sunday Life about their experiences during and after their modelling careers.
Maphala, now married to prominent Bulawayo businessman, Sonny Phiri, believes she was born to be a model.
“I started modelling in 2002 and my first show was Miss Bulawayo. The same year I went for Miss Teen Queen, where I was crowned second princess. Thereafter, I went for Miss Summer Strides in 2003 and was crowned Miss Summer Strides. Thereafter, I participated in Miss Super Face and Miss Super Legs. I contested for Miss Malaika the same year and I was also crowned Miss Malaika Bulawayo but did not make it for the national crown but that was not the end of the road for me,” she said.
In 2005 Maphala was crowned Miss Bulawayo second princess. The same year she was ultimately crowned Miss Zimbabwe.
“I represented Zimbabwe at Miss Tourism World in Tanzania and was crowned ‘Face of the Net’. The following year I went to Miss World in Poland, where I came third at the Talent competition,” she said.
Maphala is now a well-respected businesswoman who expends her energy in the cosmetics and beauty industry.
“I started my hair business, Real Hair by Lorraine (RHL) which eventually gave birth to the hair studio. Raw Beauty by Lorraine is the new baby I’m currently working on, I formulate and manufacture organic natural hair care products. I’m also excited by the fact that these products are 100 percent Zimbabwean. I started RHL in 2007 but I opened the hair studio in 2016,” said Maphala.
Maphala, a mother of two, said she was a proud mother and always made time to be with her family.
“Trying to balance being a mother of two and my work is a real challenge. I thank God for the support I have at home but sometimes the ‘African man’ in my husband comes out to play and it becomes a challenge. But as a woman I believe the gift to multi-task comes in very handy and playing every role with love always helps me. I love being a mum and totally love my work,” she said.
Masalethulini said she was still active in the modelling industry, as a consultant.
“I started modelling in 1998 at the age of 19. I am still involved in the industry on a consultancy basis. I have been in the industry for two decades and this is my 20th anniversary in the industry,” said Masalethulini.
She also established a detergent manufacturing business, which supplies many retail outlets across the country.
“I tried my luck in various businesses which led me to the manufacturing of detergents. However, the centre of my career right now is radio as I am a Capitalk radio weekend breakfast host,” she said.
Masalethulini also noted that what kept her going was her family.
“I am a mother of three daughters and like everyone else I generally go through problems people in business do and balancing family dynamics and to overcome that I take it a day at a time and I have set my priorities straight. In everything I do family comes first and I make sure my family is well taken care of,” Masalethulini said.