Probably one of Zimbabwe’s all time favourite beauty queens, Lorraine Maphala-Phiri has seen a lot of growth in her life post her Miss Zimbabwe reign. Now an award-winning entrepreneur, an alumni of the highly prestigious Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, and a mother, the founder and owner of Real Hair by Lorraine Studio has come a long way from her days in the ‘dusty suburb of Nketa’. In our “sit down” with her, we got to unpack some of what makes this gorgeous mama of three tick, and how her modeling, entrepreneurial and motherhood journeys all culminated in the remarkable woman she is today…
Lorraine is a 37 year old woman born and raised in Bulawayo. I am a former beauty queen turned entrepreneur, a wife and a mom of three.
My modeling career started in 2003 when I entered Miss Bulawayo. My intention was to find a platform which would earn me the right to be heard and to also create some social capital. At the time modeling seemed to be just that. Representing Zimbabwe at Miss World and being a successful business woman had always been my dream since I was in high school. I wanted to inspire young girls like me who came from the dusty surburbs like Nketa; I wanted to prove that where we come from does not determine our destinies.
Yes, it has always been on my to do list. Besides wanting to be financially independent, I also wanted to be the first in my family to run a business and manage my own time as well as work on my own terms.
My greatest influence has been fear of remaining the same person I was yesterday and fear of not being able to provide for my babies should my husband be taken away from us (in any way). My inspiration are women who thrive in their businesses and still make time for family.
My children are my greatest inspiration. Raising them in a world that forces me to constantly evolve and have something to offer them pushes me to be a better person everyday. Doing what I do knowing that they are watching and will at some point draw inspiration from me inspirers me to the best that I can be.
It has taught me the importance of financial literacy. It reminded me of the importance of working smart rather than harder as well as the importance of having a team that fully understands the vision or the dream for the business.
Ticking all the boxes on my to do list as I was growing up. Having to set goals and achieving those goals-that has been my greatest achievement!
* Know your worth
* Invest in yourself
* Know your WHY. In everything you do be intentional
* Do at least one thing with your end in mind everyday….
By: Sithandekile Nyoni