The Sunday News
WHEN one mentions the name Brita Masalethulini, a vivid yet warm, nostalgic picture of one of Zimbabwe’s rare beauties comes to mind.
After winning the Miss Zimbabwe title in 2001 and Miss Malaika crown three years later, many wondered what would become of her. Today approximately a decade since she graced the ramp she reveals her plans.
She spoke to Sunday Leisure Correspondent, Bekezela Tshuma (BT), in an exclusive interview, where the soft-spoken former beauty queen spoke about her life, past and present.
BT: What has Brita been up to lately?
BM: Brita has been very busy working. I am an image consultant for models and individuals. I groom both men and women on personal image. In layman’s terms I advise people on how to dress up for different occasions, social skills, good conduct and how to relate with people . . . oh and business skills.
BT: Besides grooming, what else have you been doing?
BM: I am now into producing chemical detergents such as dishwashers and toiletries such as shampoos. Basically I have been doing a whole of chemical work. I did not train for all this by the way, a friend taught me and because it is a simple skill which requires a lot of caution, I was able to grasp it well and quickly. So I can say grooming and chemical work has been my mainstay and I am able to juggle both.
BT: I once ran into some article which stated that you had ventured into mining, how far have you gone with this project?
BM: Yes, I did have an interest in mining but as you know the industry requires a lot of capital. So for now I can say I am not doing any mining. I will venture into that project once I have enough capital to support the project.
BT: Since you have so many dreams, which you are pursuing, does this mean that you have cast modelling aside?
BM: No not all. I have been involved in the industry for the past 15 years, so modelling will always be a part of me. It is in my bloodstream and I will never leave it for anything. I recently ventured into runway fashion.
BT: What else do you have lined up to solidify the fact that you have not abandoned the glitz and glamour industry?
BM: I will be visiting other parts of the country soon. This will give people the opportunity to get in touch with me during the tour, as I will hold a number of workshops. The workshops will basically be about grooming people on their appearance and etiquette.
BT: So do you still have a knack for modelling? What can you say about the modelling industry in Zimbabwe?
BM: The modelling industry in Zimbabwe is big and very promising but I see that the challenge is within the modelling agencies. Modelling agencies have to adhere to grooming their models, train them well to produce good results. Modelling agencies should understand the value of the model. Also it is not enough to pick a model from the streets and expect him or her to do well, they need good training. Agencies need to also make use of advertising agencies to uplift their models.
BT: What can you say about the recently held Miss Zimbabwe contest?
BM: Miss Zimbabwe was wonderful. Mrs Chiwenga did a great job. The calibre was exceptional. It was high grade especially when we look at the security office being part of it. It gave it the weight it deserves because Miss Zimbabwe is a woman who is an Ambassador for Zimbabwe so she needs all the support from such noble people. It was very good.
BT: It was good indeed but we have Bongani Dhlakama who felt she was not treated fairly, from not being asked to help the models during bootcamp. She wasn’t even invited to the event, let alone being given the opportunity to crown her successor. What is your take on Dhlakama’s disappointment?
BM: Unfortunately I do not know the reasons why she was treated like that. But we hope we will see her do her last lap of honour. However, since Miss Zimbabwe had a whole new board, maybe they had their reservations on why she was not given a grand send off as Miss Zimbabwe. What I can also say is if they have any hostile issues among themselves, they should resolve them. They need to mend their relationship because Bongani served the country very well as an ambassador, we all served and that should not be taken for granted.
BT: Of all the models in Zimbabwe, who has a lot of potential and can be as successful as you in the industry?
BM: I believe everyone is good in their own special way and anyone has potential to make it big. It depends on the judges of the pageant on what they look for in their queen but I have worked with Malaika Mushandu who came 9th in the Miss World pageant a few years ago.
BT: Tell us about motherhood.
BM: Being called a mother is the best title any woman would want. I love my girls very much. One is seven and the other is five. They are the best thing that has ever happened to me.
BT: You gained a lot of weight in the past years? Was it because of being pregnant?
BM: I gained a lot of weight when I had my children, I mean I was very big, really big and I did not like it. I have been exercising a lot and I am pleased with the outcome, I have lost so much weight.
BT: How many kilogrammes were you then and how many are you now?
BM: I do not like checking my weight. I just measure using my clothes. Most of my dresses are flabby. I am maintaining a good diet because I believe weight gain can lead to unnecessary health problems.
BT: We are aware that you have two children and they have been spotted with you but we have never heard about your marriage. Are you married and who is the lucky man?
BM: No I am not married, I am a single mother. I just realised that certain things just don’t always work out. I have learnt not to worry myself a lot about relationships that seem not to be working. My priority right now is my kids. I try not to entertain anything negative which causes one to regret. I let go of such things and focus on the positive which are my kids and of course, my work.
BT: Okay, seeing as things didn’t work out for you back then. Are you seeing anyone now?
BM: Yes, I am seeing someone right now. What we share is special. The relationship is promising but like I said, my priority and focus is on my kids. He is a very good friend of mine and we get along very well.