Susan Mtegha from the northern city of Mzuzu was on December 23 crowned Miss Malawi 2011/12. About three weeks after her crowning, Nyasa Times (NT) caught up with the 24-year-old, and in this interview she talks about her life and the road to the country’s top beauty office. She also talks about her plans as Miss Malawi and what she wants to achieve at the end of her one-year term.
NT: Once again, congratulations for winning Miss Malawi 2011/12
Susan: Thank you very much
NT: Tell us more about Susan Mtegha
Susan: I am very creative and my winning [the Miss Malawi title]means I can do so much to improve my life and the lives of those that most need help. Am dedicated to everything I do and very hardworking. Am the type of person who wants to see things happening and always feel good when I or those around me are achieving because one man’s success is another one’s pavement for hope.
NT: Your education background?
Susan: I did all my schooling in Botswana from nursery school to University. I did very well at school, I am not an A+ student but I strive hard to get good grades and I always do. I have an advance diploma in Business Information Systems and am striving hard to get a degree then a master’s degree in Information Technology. I was supposed to have started my degree this month but I have taken a break in order to fulfill my duties as Miss Malawi.
NT: What makes Susan going?
Susan: What keeps me going is God, prayers and very supportive family and friends. My passion to fulfill all my life’s ambitions and goals also keeps me going.
NT: Getting to modeling, what inspired you into modeling?
Susan: I have always been inspired by fashion, I love looking good and that brought a love for fashion designing and by that I started loving modeling because I knew if I wanted to build my fashion empire I would have to know more of modeling as well.
NT: Did you do any beauty pageant or modeling competition before Miss Malawi?
Susan: I modeled in a school beauty pageant before, this was in 2002. I was crowned first princess [and] that was the only beauty pageant I did. I started a modeling career but it only lasted for 3 months because I had school to focus on.
NT: Are you living your dream having won Miss Malawi?
Susan: Yes I am living my dream, but it is only the beginning of great things for me and when I won Miss Malawi I knew it would bring so many modeling opportunities for me.
NT: Did the crown come as a surprise?
Susan: Yes it did! There was tough competition. We all knew it would be hard because some had stronger points than others and we all took the competition very serious.
NT: Is Miss Malawi your ultimate dream in modeling?
Susan: No it’s not. I have bigger dreams; I want to win Miss World. I have come this far so I will not stop believing. And I want to model for big names out there like Louise Viton, Gucci etcetera; I want to be a brand ambassador for products like New York Maybelline, Yardley, the list is endless.
NT: Is modeling a paying career in Malawi?
Susan: It’s still a growing business. I would not [say] it’s paying or not because I have not explored that far. But I know in western countries people [are] make a living out of it, the likes of Tyra Banks, Iman and the like.
NT: What change would you love to see in Malawi’s modeling industry?
Susan: There just has to be improvement in the industry otherwise I think Malawians have what it takes. We need more pageants to promote Malawian beauty so [that] more girls have the opportunities and can go to different beauty pageants like, Face of Africa, Miss Universe, Miss Africa and the like.
NT: Did you get all the prizes you were promised for winning the crown, including the KK500,000?
Susan: I got most of it and I know I will get it all.
NT: What are you going to do with the money?
Susan: I am going to build myself a house and I have already started looking for a plot. I need to do something productive, life is about thinking ahead. That way I can make a difference in my life.
NT: During our interview soon after your crowning, you said you’d reward Malawians for choosing you Miss Malawi by doing lots of charity, where are you as regards that promise?
Susan: Things are still under way but they look promising. It’s just that Malawians need to take this seriously and start supporting in terms of donations in order to make my job easier. This office needs all the help it can get to be successful and I would appreciate Malawians’ help in order for me to carry out my charity work.
NT: How do you intend to implement your charity projects?
Susan: I will reveal once my schedule is finalized, I can’t say at the moment but a lot will be done.
NT: Do you still harbor plans of fighting deforestation in the country and how do you intend to make that a success?
Susan: I intend on planting as many trees as possible and getting people to help in the project. I urge all Malawians to take this seriously [because] if our beautiful county loses trees, it is us who will suffer because many Malawians depend on trees for firewood and charcoal every day, others make a living out of selling timber. My plea to Malawians is that once they cut trees, they should plant more.
NT: If you met the President of Malawi today, what would you ask him to do?
Susan: I can’t say what I would ask from the President, I guess I would think of what to ask from him during the meeting.
NT: What’s your Malawian dream destination and why?
Susan: Chizumulu Island or Likoma Island because I find it fascinating that our Lake [Malawi] has islands on it.
NT: Your dream destination outside Malawi and why?
Susan: It would have to be New York, the big apple busy place and the best place to get up tight fashion clothes and shoes I love.
NT: You mentioned you are also a fashion designer and dancer, tell us more:
Susan: Yes I have danced in different talent shows before, since primary to secondary [school]. I love dancing and music is a passion. I fashion-design as well because I always want to create something of my own when it comes to dressing…
NT: Any plans to foster those two?
Susan: I redesign most of my clothes making them my own [and] I will build my fashion empire soon [though] there is a lot I have to learn, but soon I will do it. As for dance, I dance as a passion but I have never thought of it as a serious thing to venture in, because that would mean changing career paths…
NT: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Susan: I’m full of surprises they should just watch the space.
NT: What are your pastime interests?
Susan: I fell in love with architecture; I love interior design as well. And when am not doing that, am always trying to learn something new, at the moment am practicing on my website designing skills; I want to create my personal website. Other interests would be singing and I compose my own lyrics or singing other artists’ songs.
NT: What’s your favourite meal?
Susan: I have none. I eat all meals as long as it tastes good and am not allergic to any food, although I do get picky with what I want to eat at times. I love pizza, chocolate and biltong, but those are not meals they are just foods I like.
NT: As a role model to Malawian youth, especially young women, what advice do you have for them?
Susan: Dream bigger, never stop believing yourself because if you do not go out there and do something or learn something no one is going to do it for you. Education comes first; let’s educate ourselves as women, make ourselves independent and help our fellow sisters.
NT: Who is your role model and why?
Susan: My mother is my role model because she has a fighting spirit, she never gives up even when things are tough. She is always encouraging for good things and it has made me the person I am today, a fighter, a dreamer [and] a believer.
NT: Is Susan single or hooked?
Susan: I have a boyfriend.
NT: And finally, who is your dream man?
Susan: My boyfriend is enough of a dream man for me.
NT: Thanks for taking your time to talk to Nyasa Times Susan, all the best.