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Exclusive interview with Sphiwe Mutale Benasho, former Miss Independence Zambia

Becoming a mother is one of the best things that have ever happened to Sphiwe Mutale Benasho, former Miss Independence Zambia. “The day my daughter, Je’taime Zoe Nozipho Mhlanga was born, I felt like I had been reborn as well. The feeling is unexplainable; I couldn’t stop looking at her. She’s my best friend. I love my baby girl to bits,” she says proudly.

Sphiwe is an adaptive, energetic, intelligent, responsive, and caffeinated model. “I am curvy, a hard worker, open minded, care about the earth and preserving it. I am passionate, creative, love easily, forgiving, great dancer, have crazy strong intuition and strong faith in God,” she says.

Here’s an exclusive interview she granted The AfroNews.

Sphiwe, what’s your favourite movie, book and music?

I have so many favourite movies; I watch all new movies as much as I can. I am an “Addict Viewer”.  Some of my favourites are; Eurotrip; American Pie 1 and 2 and The Wedding; 50 First Dates; Matrix; Cast Away; Spiderman 1 and 2; A beautiful mind; the list is endless.

John C. Maxwell is definitely worth the time it takes to read. I have read too many of his books and currently reading “How Successful People Think”. I honestly believe that, at all times we have to be in tune with ourselves before making any kind of choices. Our decisions have to promote life, growth of ourselves and what surrounds us.

I really love to listen to classical music, from Baroque and earlier, to twentieth century orchestral music like Mahlers. I listen to it for at least an hour per day. My favourite composer is Ludwig van Beethoven, who has countless beautiful pieces. Besides being beautiful, relaxing, the best thing about classical music is that I can listen to the same piece over and over, enjoying it more instead of getting tired of it.

What’s your favourite food?

One of my favourite foods is chicken. Since I was a child, my mother cooked different chicken meals for me. I like chicken because it’s one of the healthiest foods in the market. I eat it in different ways; fried, grilled or in soup. I cook chicken at least three times a week. I don’t get bored of chicken.

What are your future ambitions?

My ambitions are to have my professional qualification in Management Accounting and to reach a good position and successful career life. I want to have my dream house, dream family and dream car.  Be able to choose my friends and be a millionaire so that I can help people in need.

What are your special talents?

I have a few talents that I am quite happy with. One of them is gardening; I beautifully landscaped my previous residence with rock gardens, flower beds and water features to give it that added beauty. I also have a talent to make homemade wine and to cook. I do this a couple of times a year and do this mostly for my friends and family. I’m also a good communicator.

Please tell us something about your home country, Zambia.

From the tranquil shores of Lake Tanganyika to the rushing waters of the Victoria Falls, Zambia is home to an amazing array of beautiful cultures. It is packed full with smiling, friendly people, breathtaking scenery and genuinely wild national parks. Until recently, Zambia was overlooked by tourists, but not anymore. Zambia now has a reputation of being one of the greatest destinations to go to for a unique experience.

Why did you become a model?

I have great passion for fashion and beauty. I have a lovely personality, beautiful flawless skin, great body, and I have the energy. I am unique, confident and fearless. I have a great mind for business and good knowledge of the modelling industry. I love the camera and the limelight, but most of all, I wanted to use being a model as a platform for me to address some of the many issues that affect the lives of so many people.

For how long have you been modelling?   

I have been modelling for the past 10 years. I started with beauty pageants at the age of 12. I won a lot of the beauty competitions as I have a combination of beauty and brains. My breakthrough came at the age of 16 when I won a national title – “Miss Independence Zambia” in 2004.  This was a huge competition as we were celebrating Zambia’s 40th Independence Anniversary.

From there, I was discovered and taken abroad to take the fashion and modelling industry in Europe, Asia and South Africa. I enjoyed it very much and worked with people like England’s Royal Designer, Marion Thomas, in addition to many other great designers and photographers.

I also diligently participated in Miss Zambia UK Beauty Pageant in London and represented Zambia at major International pageants like the Miss Commonwealth International in London in 2007; Princess of the World in the Czech Republic in 2007 and Miss Earth International in the Philippines where I came in the top 10 as Miss Talent. I also participated in the Miss African Ambience in South Africa and won the title; and also in the 101 Most Sexy Models competition in South Africa, where I was placed in the top 6.

How does it feel to be a model?
I come from a conservative family, so the first time they saw me on the front page of the national newspaper in a tiny bikini it was a huge issue. I certainly love taking pictures and I have a sultry look that sells a lot. Being a model is great because so many people look unto you as a role model.

I get to wine and dine with the rich and famous, and get paid to attend parties! I love travelling to different parts of the world. I love product promotions and events. However, people expect you to be in heels and make-up all the time. I have my days when I just want to relax in a simple outfit and pumps without wearing any make-up, just to be myself and to look after my baby daughter, and people tend to judge you for that. However, I am very comfortable in my own skin.

What are the qualities of your ideal man?

Generous, hardworking, kind, passionate, humble, honest, respectful, faithful, reliable, peacemaker, handsome, romantic, able to control his temper if he has one, but above all fears God and is obedient to his Word. Wonder if he exists!

Any advice to those aspiring to become models?

One does not just wake up and become a model. You can have the height and beauty but if you don’t have a great personality, no one will want to work with you.  Firstly, make sure that you complete your education, keep time and have excellent communication skills.

Have your portfolio which is your passport in the modelling world and be ready to work with different people from all walks of life.  You need to be comfortable in your own skin as there will be a lot of models and different people and characters that you will have to work with. Develop a strong personality, respect others and do your best in all that you do. I thank God for the gift of life and I enjoy life to the fullest by making use of each opportunity that I come across.

Any other comment?

It is well known that supermodels always have to be in great shape for the runway shows and all the fashion campaigns they take part in. Even so, at one point, just like many other women models also want to get married and start a family. But unlike other women, they have to be fit if they want to keep their model contracts. Easy to say, harder to achieve, but not impossible. Models like Gisele Bundchen, Adriana Lima, Miranda Kerr, Karolina Kurkova, Doutzen Kroes and Heidi Samuel Klum have paved the way for us. They are supermodels and yet at the same time they are supper mommies!

Full name:  Sphiwe Mutale Benasho
Age: 24
Place of Birth: Kitwe (Zambia)
Height: 1.75
Dress Size: 8
Hair colour: Black
Status: Single mother
Qualifications: Professional model and pursuing professional qualification in Chartered Management Accounting.
Contacts: E-mail: [email protected]

By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a

Are you an emerging or a successful model? Would you like to share with our readers your story and experience? Please drop an email to the Editor at [email protected]


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