Last weekend, the social media was trending with posts about the loss of a former beauty queen, Faith Chibale. While some took the time to eulogise her life and achievements, others insulted her with fallacious “belief in a just-world” where they assume bad things happen to bad people. With all the tears and ill-talk, Society realises there should be something special about this fallen beauty queen for her to generate so much talk. Reporter MAYAMIKO SEYANI digs deeper on her life.
Out of all of 10 siblings born before her, Faith, who was born at Balaka Hospital on April 30 1989, was the first to kiss the earth goodbye on Friday March 14 2014.
The dark-toned oval face, with a charming smile and a laidback demeanour, beckoned a lot of votes in Malawi News Model of The Year pageantry in 2009, resulting in a victory that set her on a modeling career.
In 2010, Faith contested in the Miss Malawi pageantry, winning the crown with such a resounding approval that soon turned her into a household name.
Aside her humility, Chibale’s remarkable nature was her passion for charity which earned her the title ‘Queen of Charity’.
In an industry that is dominated by light-skinned beauties, Chibale brought a different dimension to the catwalk when she was voted Malawi News Model of the Year in 2009, bringing with her short hair and a different manner to the crown. With an infectious and ready smile, an affable demeanour and a welcoming disposition, Chibale is celebrated for living her life for the common good.
According to Faith’s older sister Charity, the fallen queen showed a lot of interest in fashion and modelling at a tender age.
“She started when she was in Form Two, she was concerned with details in her dressing, she loved short hair and she was very fashion conscious and it was not surprising when she went into modelling,” the bereaved sister told Society.
Faith attended primary school at Ebenezor Primary School in Bangwe, Blantyre and Mponda Primary in Balaka before proceeding to Balaka Secondary School and St Michael’s Girls’ Secondary School in Mangochi where she sat her Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE).
Then she went on to pursue a diploma in community development but quit after obtaining her second diploma to pursue a computer programming course at the Malawi Polytechnic.
Besides her bewitching smile and her beautiful stature, her humility made her as one of the most popular Miss Malawi pageants.
During her reign as Malawi News Model of the Year and Miss Malawi, Faith brought in a new dimension to the modelling industry. She believed that a model should serve the common good, so she established Queens of Charity with the aim of giving back to community.
In 2012, Faith was elected Africa Youth Movement Ambassador at an event in Mozambique. From 2009 she launched the Miss Elections contests with the aim of encouraging young people to vote.
The beauty queen was recognised beyond borders after her cameo acting stint in The Gentleman, a feature movie whose leading man was Munyaradzi, who represented Zimbabwe at Big Brother Africa in 2010.
Faith was struck by meningitis last year, but after she had recovered, she fought with gastric ulcers.
At the beginning of this year, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis which claimed her life on that Friday noon last week.
During her hospitalisation at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, rumours of her death went viral on social media, but with the little life left in her the beauty queen hit back at the people behind the rumours in a final post that read: “Eti anthu akuti ndamwalira, Ndinganwalire osatsanzika?”
That should have been a goodbye because as she breathed her last two days after.
It was hard for friends, family and fans who adored her to believe she was gone as they thought it was one of “those Facebook hoaxes” which have become irritatingly fashionable.
Faith was buried at her home village in Manjawira in Ntcheu last Sunday.
The nature of the mourners at Manjawira enhanced Chibale’s reputation as more than just a beauty queen as politicians, business captains and some of the leading figures in the entertainment industry came together to send her on her last mile.
In response to the social media frenzy that went viral, posting all ills on the demise of her sister, Charity said God is the best judge.
“Those that were talking ill of my sister await their own judgement, but I would also like to thank those that were there for us from the time she was in hospital to the time she passed away. We can’t thank them enough,” said Charity.
Faith’s friend and fellow model Tina Kentricks, who succeeded her as Miss Malawi, was tearful in her eulogy: “I have lost a friend and a sister. She was someone who took modelling to a whole new level. I can say she was the most successful model there has ever been.”