The humble Eswatini born former beauty pageant board member and model Ms. Ncedisa Sihlongnyane opens up to share some of her experiences as a model. She also emphasized the importance of acquiring education as part of the personal growth strategy. Served as a board member for the Miss Eswatini Beauty Pageant and now invested in community development. Her love for authenticity is seen in the way she fearlessly wears her natural hair and even going bold; a trend that has been embraced by many African models and beauty queens.
- Tell us how you entered the modeling industry.
I had gone to support a relative who was a contestant in Miss Teen Eswatini, so during the launch I was recruited by Catrien Potgieter who is the Chairperson of Miss Eswatini board.
- How long have you been a model for?
I can’t say how long exactly as I have been in and out, I have featured in magazines and runways in Eswatini and South Africa about a couple of years ago, that was before I even joined Catrien Potgieters Agency Model Manifest. I am no longer under an agency now though.
- What drives you as an individual?
I am one Person who is self-motivated, but I sometimes learn and get motivated by other People’s experiences. Whenever I feel discouraged my belief in God sustains me.
- As a board member of a beauty pageant, you obviously subscribed to the beauty industry. How was that experience for you?
I would say I got to embrace and appreciate that beauty comes from within, but it is not only about glitz and glam it has also awakened the reality and importance of remaining humble.
- What life lessons have you learnt from this industry?
I have learnt that as a model you have to know yourself as you get exposed and meet a lot of people, it helps to be principled, have a very thick skin and strong character.
- Does your country offer opportunities for growth in the industry in your view?
My country is not there yet but I am hoping for the best as time goes by.
- Compared to other fashion cities or countries, what do you think still needs to be improved in Eswatini to match the international standard?
I wish that modeling/art space can be taken more seriously such that one can make a living out of it. We could have local corporates/companies patronizing local models on their adverts, billboard, commercial ads etc.
- Do you have a health and fitness routine you keep to maintain your beautiful asset (your body), if so, can you share with us?
I jog two to three times a week, when I wake up, I drink hot or warm water with lemon followed by a juice or smoothie, which boost alkalinity (your body’s best natural pH balance for cells to thrive, give you energy with raw living vitamins and minerals, and will hydrate you and prepare you for the day ahead. Also, to keep hydrated and flush out toxins ,it is very important to drink water throughout the day.
- Apart from your modeling career, do you have other professions you are invested in and if so, how do you get the balance for production?
Yes, I am a Counselor, Founding Director of Care for lives Organization which deals with mentoring Young Girls and Women and supporting them with dignitary/sanitary towels. Our goal is to provide health education on sexual reproductive health to combat teenage pregnancy.
- Who are your inspirations locally and internationally?
My inspiration is Oprah Winfrey I love what she does for Girls.
- What advice would you have for any upcoming models?
Upcoming models must brace themselves that they are doing modeling just for the love of it not money, take it as a hobby that they do during their leisure time, invest in having a solid back up like education.
- Models like Naomi Campbell have been in the industry for decades. Do you visualize yourself being indispensable like she has been?
At some point I would like to settle down and have Children, my body shape might change… but who knows I can also model my pregnancy given a chance.