IN society, there are people who do not easily give up and let opportunities slip through their fingers.
These people would rather go down fighting for what is rightfully is theirs, especially if it is a life-changing adventure.
In today’s edition of your favourite column From The Horse’s Mouth, a Gokwe born modelling instructor, fashionista and businesswoman shares her story with old and new readers.
She has defied her poor upbringing, braved poverty and even fought many life battles to be where she is today. Read on…
- BRIEF PROFILE
My name is Gaundencia Velani-Dhlamini, the Miss Rural licence holder for Mashonaland Central and Manicaland provinces.
Many people in my circles prefer calling me Gau, a name I have embraced.
Besides my passion for pageantry and fashion, I’m also a fashion designer by profession.
I grew up singing in church with the praise and worship team at ZAOGA FIF where I honed my talent as a songbird.
To date, I have a single album titled Tawananyasha, which was expertly done in all departments – songwriting, mixing and mastering.
Last year, I featured Reverent TT Chivaviro on my single titled Wakandisimudza, which has been embraced by many people as a triumph.
As a multitasking businesswoman, I do supply PPEs, corporate wear, industrial and personal clothing.
I’m also into cosmetics business.
Currently, I’m an Inuka distributor, which is one of the biggest cosmetics company in the region.
I was born in a family of 10 on the 12th of March 1983, being the last born.
In our family there are five boys and five girls.
My father Amos Dhlamini died when I was one-year-old while my mother Susan Dhlamini is still alive.
I was raised by a single parent with the help of my elder siblings following the death of my father in the year 1984.
For my primary education, I was schooled in Gweru and Hwange respectively.
I completed my secondary education at Dzivaresekwa 2 High School where I sat for my Ordinary Levels in the year 1999.
Afterwards, I pursued my clothing business, modelling and later enrolled for Fashion Design at Speciss College in the capital.
I’m a mother of two.
- ROLE MODELS
Business wise, Zari Hassan is my role along with Mitchelle Obama.
In modelling, I used to look up to the late pageant guru Kirk Divaries who played big role in this industry.
Musically, I looked up to Fungisai Zvakavapano and Deborrah Fraser.
As a fashionista, my dream is to grow my fashion business and established a big name in this industry.
Currently, I’m running a shop at Eastgate Shopping Mall called Fashion Factory, which supplies mainly ladies’ wear, fancy shoes and fancy hand bags.
As a modelling instructor by calling and I would like to open my own modelling agency and promote the girl-child.
I would like to create exposure for young girls in modelling which they are lacking through Miss Rural Zimbabwe which has returned after a long hiatus.
- MISS RURAL JOURNEY
I have always known and respect Miss Rural Zimbabwe, a unique pageant in the sub-region.
My love for this contest started when I encouraged and mentored my niece Nyasha Phiri who is the reigning Miss Rural Zimbabwe.
It was quite a beautiful experience mentoring Nyasha who hails from Gokwe where I come from.
After noticing my exploits, Miss Rural Zimbabwe founder Sipho Mazibuko engaged me as the licence holder for two provinces – Manicaland and Mash Central respectively.
As a licence holder, I would like to empower rural girls and make them realise that background does not matter if they want to pursue their dreams.
Rural girls deserve equal opportunities, as is the case with their urban counterparts.
Through this initiative, we want to mobilise funds, hold empowerment training workshops and programmes so that our contestants remain independent even after their reign.
In line with our theme, which promotes empowerment and indigenisation, we want to change their standards of living the rural homes.
As a woman in business, we are not spared by the fluctuation of the exchange rates.
However, we have managed to afloat despite this challenge.
In modelling, lack of sponsorship has been our biggest letdown
- COVID-19 EFFECTS
Like any other sector, we were greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Besides loss of business, the pandemic also claimed the lives of our relatives and friends.
We had to embrace digital platforms to link up with old and new clients.
With the cases declining, business is slowly picking up.
- LOVE LIFE
When it comes to the matters of the heart, I can safely say I am just single and still weighing options.
I am not in a rush to commit myself to someone but I will do so when the right person comes.
A lot happened in my life but I am beginning to pick up my pieces.
- HAPPIEST MOMENT
Like any other mother, nothing beats the joy of seeing your children succeed in life.
My happiest moment came when my son scored 14 points at A Level.
I was happy because I knew I had created a future for him.
- EMBARRASSING MOMENT
I was once humiliated at my son’s school when I fell off the chair during a prize giving ceremony.
It happened so fast that people felt sorry for me. I managed to pick up myself but it was just embarrassing.
- SPECIAL THANKS
On parting shot, I would like to thank my clients who have been there for me from day one, my children who always support me to push harder and business partner (name withheld).
Lastly, I would like to thank Sipho Mazibuko for coming up with this pageant, which seeks to empower marginalised girls.
NB: Celebrities or celebrities’ managers intending to contribute to this column and share their stories, contact our Entertainment Desk on 0774119633 (calls/sms) or WhatsApp (0719119633) or email [email protected] .co.zw