She is one of the South African Finest and very efficient in all her endeavours. The beautiful Mihlali welcomed us into her world of glamour and prolific lifestyle. Here are excerpts of the interview.
Question: For the benefit of our audience who may not know you very well can you tell us about yourself?
1. I am a student at LISOF (Leaders In the Science Of Fashion). It’s a private institution based in Johannesburg. I’m doing a BA in Marketing, Fashion Media and Fashion Merchandising. I’ve always been a girly girl. Makeup, fashion and all of that good stuff always were intriguing to me so I do feel I am heading in the right direction.
Question: I gather that you are a very successful model, how did that come to be?
- I am not a model. I did take a modelling course when I was 14 years old under Ice Models, had a photoshoot here and there, but that’s where it ended. I wanted to focus on school, and if I was still interested in modelling I’d pursue it when I’m older. Turns out I don’t meet the height requirements now. I did recently have a private shoot with Unam Ntantala, but that was because he asked to work with me and I happened to have the perfect dress for the shoot. (Miami Infinity dress from Bloomint Apparel).
Question: You are known as a very popular Model in South Africa correct me if am wrong, where do you get your inspiration to type?
- I get my inspiration from all successful women, women who hold themselves down. I was raised by a single parent, my aunts and gran played a huge role in my life. My family gave me all the keys to work towards being the greatness I am destined to be, but now it’s my responsibility to ensure I get there. I really do not see myself living a mediocre life, so I just keep on going.
Question: How has being a model changed your life?
- Having an influence on social media hasn’t changed my life in anyway mainly, because I’ve never been one who pays attention to how many likes one has and so forth. However it definitely does come with opportunities such as these. I never thought a UK magazine would be asking to interview me. I’m currently working with various fashion labels they send me goodies, I wear and post in their garments. But it’s about time I take advantage of the support I receive and possibly start my own business. We’ll see what 2016 has in store for me.
Question: what other opportunities have presented themselves from modelling?
- As I mentioned me promoting people’s clothing lines, also photographers asking to work with me. I also modelled for a new mobile network that’s being introduced in South Africa called Satel Mobile. This all helps grow myself as brand.
Question How do you handle the industry, It can be female orientated at times is that challenging?
- There definitely is ‘silent competition’ amongst females. I say silent, because nobody wants to be open about being bitter or envious about somebody else. I’ve had a few people come to me and tell me that some girl said this and some girl said that. 110% of the time it’s not true, because these people do not know me on a personal level. I’m not one who puts my personal life out there, and I have very few friends. Then again it doesn’t affect me much my focus is on the positive, because I really do appreciate those that are so supportive and loving towards me and everything I do.
Question: What do you do at your spare times?
- In my spare time I usually relax at my place with my girls, and exchange good laughs or we go to the mall. Now and again we check out the club scene and have a good time. I enjoy being with people I’m close to, I’m not always one for big crowds.
Question: Are you a Patriotic South African?
- I would say I am patriotic when it comes to music, I do support local artists more than I used to in the past. I appreciate our music more now, but with regards to fashion not really. I don’t go the extra mile of wearing only South African brands. However that does not change the fact that I am proudly South African.
Question: Give us an example of when you thought outside of the box relating to your career?
- My current studies I would say are out of the box. I was raised in a traditional home where it is believed that you will be financially successful if you study medicine or law. So it took a lot of convincing for my parents to allow me to study what I am today.
Question: Does your act only accommodate South African culture?
- Being that my main interests are beauty and fashion no. These are a global language, I am inspired by many women around the world when it comes to fashion so there are no limitations.
Question: What challenges do you have in combining your career and family life together?
- Right now there aren’t many challenges being that I am a student, and I plan on starting my own makeup business this year. I am a certified makeup artist too. I think the challenge I am yet to face is having to balance my studies, and my soon to be career. I know it will be demanding, but with good time management skills all will be well.
Question: Are you married or is there a significant other?
- There is a significant other. I’m not married yet, but I definitely want to get married one day.
Question: Are you a fashionista?
- Well I do love fashion, however I wouldn’t say I am a devoted follower because as I stated I wear what works for my body, but I always make sure to look good in whatever it is I’m wearing.
Question: A peep into your wardrobe will reveal what kinds of clothes?
- Loads of denim, grey, white and black. I stick to neutrals mostly because it is easy to repair them with other pieces, but I have been experimenting with colour and prints lately with a few of my pieces. I’m currently in love with olives, rusty oranges, baby pinks and tan colours.
Question: what do you say to those who call your work controversial and inaccurate?
- That’s their opinion they are entitled to one IF it is well informed. It does not affect me and it will not stop me from doing what I do.
Question: what are your hobbies, how do you unwind from your daily activities?
- I love watching movies and listening to music. Music plays a huge role in my life, because it takes me to a different place. Every artist I listen to sets a different mood and I love it. I also enjoy being in the kitchen, when I’m in the mood. Whipping up a good meal for my man always makes me happy. Gym is also a form of therapy for me, especially when I’m overwhelmed, upset or angry it helps me feel sexy and better about myself.
Question: If you are going out on a date with someone for the first time what would be your expectations?
- That they have a whole load of questions lined up, because I am not talkative especially when I’m not comfortable around the person yet . Also that he covers the bill, because he asked me out. *giggles*
Question: There is one thing I will like you to do for me in this interview, and that is to enlighten us about your role as a style icon in the society?
- I hope I inspire women to dress in a manner that does not portray them any less of who they are. You do not have to be naked to be sexy. Being elegant and classy is very attractive. No man wants what every man has seen or has had. Very often women speak about men respecting them, but they forget that you need to give him something to respect that’s how society works. I wouldn’t say I play a specific role however I do receive positive feedback about people loving my sense on style. So I hope I do inspire young ladies to take pride in their appearance. As Tom Ford once said “Dressing well is a form of good manners”.
Question: What has been your motivation, your intrinsic values that have made you stick to modeling rather than any other industry.
- I’m motivated by all the people that believe in me and the opportunities that are available to the youth. Also my family, my mother and boyfriend are my biggest supporters. It feels so good to know that there are people who believe that you are capable to do anything you put your mind to. It’s all about hard work and trusting In God to reveal what I am destined to do, and my purpose in life.
Question: Tell us about some of your shortcomings?
- My shortcoming would be when I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I felt very demotivated, and confused mainly due to the pressure I felt coming from many angles. People telling me what I should be made me lose sight of what I truly wanted.
Question: Who has the greatest influence in your life?
- My grandmother is the greatest influence, she has the final say. Mainly because she has been alive for 83 years so I trust her wisdom, I also built a very strong relationship with her being that she raised me in my early years so I never want to disappoint her. With whatever I do I always bare her in mind.
Question: Who is the most important person in your life?
- I cannot say one person, a lot of people played a role in my life that helped mould me into the lady I am today. I am so grateful to my mother, aunt and gran for instilling good morals and values in me. Also teaching me that my relationship with God comes before everything.
Question: Lastly, In MyTrinity Magazine.com fashion, can you tell us a quote or phrase you hold on to?
- Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. The only direction one should aim to head in life is up, always aim to be better than you were yesterday.
2nd half of interview.
Question: As a student how is college life?
- University is challenging, but in a good way. Your maturity is tested, your determination is tested. At the end of the day it all depends on your discipline, and it’s about constantly reminding yourself why you’re here and what you’re working towards.
Question: What is your greatest life ambition?
- I aspire to be happy and successful in everything I do. I desire to end up in a position where I am able to help and benefit the lives of others. I am very passionate about giving back, once I get to that point where I am able to help others, because of who I am and what I have achieved in life, I will then know my purpose has been fulfilled.
Question: How can you define beauty in a woman?
- Beauty in a woman for me is definitely the manner in which she carries herself, the respect she has for herself and others regardless of their social status. Also your heart if you uplift other people, and inspire them to do better I feel you have a beautiful soul, because you possess a positive character.
Question: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
- In 5 years I would have graduated. I want to have started my first business by then, be a brand manager for a successful company such as MAC or Apple, also still be with my partner and continue growing our relationship. If it is in Gods plan for me I would love to be working on my fashion line.
Question: If you have a wish what would it be?
- Any wish at all? I would eliminate poverty. I know it sounds crazy, but very often people are born in circumstances that aren’t favourable. This then leaves them with the mentality that they cannot achieve any better, so continues a negative cycle that very few people can make it out.
Question: If you are going on a date at a beach what are the five things you would carry along?
- 1. Sunscreen
- Sun hat
- My lip colour for the day.
By: Sunday Olorunshola