Lorraine Maphala Phiri has managed to make the transition from beauty queen to successful entrepreneur smoothly. We talked to her about her being mom-preneur and her passion to keep a girl child in school. Here’s what she had to say about it all.
Q: How would you best describe Lorraine Phiri in 2015?
A: I’m a woman that has been tried and tested, strong ,determined, persistent and proud wife and mom, fears absolutely nothing but God almighty.
Q: Was modelling something you loved as a kid or it was your way to achieving all of your other dreams?
A: As a young kid I always thought I would be on the world stage as great singer kkkk the idea of modelling came at a later stage when I was in high school when I was beginning to have a clear vision of what I wanted to be, always wanted to have a positive impact on young girls as well be a successful business woman. And modelling gave me that pedestal.
Q: How difficult was it making the transition from Miss Zimbabwe to female entrepreneur?
A: It was not difficult at all as I am doing what I love, however learning how to run a business and make a profit from it has been a process I had to learn and continue to learn, having a husband who has been in business for the past 19years has also helped me because I continue to feast on his knowledge.
Q: Beauty queens come and go and people forget their names, how have you managed to stay relevant after so many years?
A: I’m not sure about being still “relevant” lol but I just DO ME!!!! I love brand Lorraine and I take it seriously.
Q: Having held the title of Miss Zimbabwe, looking back are you proud of the work you did during your reign?
A: I remember going for both Miss Tourism World and Miss World, I was asked if I thought I would do well at both Pageants and my answer was: I know that I am representing Zimbabwe and I know I will not come back without my country being called at some point, I went to Tanzania for Miss Tourism World and I was crowned Face of the Net, at Miss World, Zimbabwe was called again as third runner up at Miss World Talent show in Poland….to answer your question yes I am very proud of the work I did.
Q: How is the Zim pageant industry today different from when you entered what would you change?
A: I’m not very much in touch with the industry now but I am very sure the people in charge are doing the best they can to continue to better the industry, which I feel has improved from the time we were a part of it, which shows that someone is working tirelessly to improve the industry.
Q: Would you ever consider being part of the Miss Zimbabwe Organization in the future?
A: At the present moment I have a lot on my plate but I would love to be part of the judges panel sometime because I feel my experience at the world stages exposed me to a lot and would love to see Zimbabwe get to the standards of Miss World in terms of the quality of the models.
Q: What advice would you give a 16 year old who dreams of being a beauty queen in Zimbabwe?
A: My advise would be they must not do it for the fame because being Miss Zimbabwe does not mean the World owes you anything it’s a job on its own that needs to be taken seriously by the winner,her job is to serve therefore one has to be ready…they also need to know themselves and use their crown wisely, pageants are not a shortcut to success but only gives you a better position to be heard its up to you how you use the crown.
Q: Tell us some of your business ventures you have explored and how difficult is it being a female entrepreneur?
A: Soon after my reign I started a business selling human hair, through the grace of God and persistence it has grown and now is a well known brand, I believe so much in the power of branding and so we have custom packaged and branded the hair. Bearing in mind that being a married woman and mother comes with a lot of responsibilities balancing time between that and my business has been one of the greatest challenges.
Q: Your charity, keeping a girl child in school by providing sanitary wear, why this cause and how can people get involved?
A: Education is a birth right for everyone in Zimbabwe Boy or Girl, with an education girls can be very powerful in the country and contribute in building a better Zimbabwe.I chose to do this charity because I felt I had to give back because for me to be were I am today a number of people sacrificed so I could succeed, I also believe you do not need to be wealthy to help…TOGETHER we can help put a smile on the next person less privileged than ourselves.
People can like my page Lorraine Maphala-Phiri Mentoring Programme for their donations or they could call us on+263-9-60930 for drop off or collection arrangements.
Q: With the situation in our country, what advice would you give young women to help sustain themselves?
A: If you are sitting idle and waiting for the ‘’situation’’ to improve you are a danger to your own self, my advice would be whatever you want to do start now wake up and work prepare yourself for a better you…Education will never be out of fashion go to school and upgrade your self Do not budget your success on someone’s hard work……
Q: What’s your advice to the general youth of Zimbabwe?
A: Lets know our purpose in life!!Most people say Zimbabwe has no opportunities my advice is lets create opportunities for ourselves, let us not wait to be spoon fed while we do nothing to better our lives……
Q: What would Lorraine want to be remembered for?
A: I would want to be remembered as a true testimony of Gods faithfulness, I want to be remembered as someone who had a positive impact on other people.
Q: What’s your take on fame?
A: It can bury you when you take it to your head and feed it, when you think you are better than the next person and you think the worlds owes you.
Q: How do you juggle being a successful entrepreneur, mom, wife and everything in between?
A: Its a skill I’m still trying to perfect,I thank God for the caring husband who made sure I had the help that I have at home and support…However I still make sure my priorities are straight and my family comes first.
Q: When you’re not busy being a superwoman, what do you do to relax?
A: Once in a while I enjoy spa treatments and staying at home watching television.
Q: Where can your fans reach you?
A: They can like my page Lorraine Maphala-Phiri mentoring program on Facebook and follow me on INSTAGRAM @tsoanelomaphalaphiri