For Faith Chibale, being crowned Miss Malawi was a dream come true. Ã¢â‚¬Å“In my mind I have been Miss Malawi 2010 one hundred times over. To others, this was a serious office which calls for massive preparation. To me this was my office which only needed my presence for official crowning.Ã¢â‚¬Â Determination and courage made her win the crown. In this interview Mwereti Kanjo, she tells more about who she is.
Who is Faith Chibale?
I was born on 30 April 1989 in a family of 10 children, seven girls and three boys with me being the last born. I did my primary school at Mwalandilidwa Primary School at Chemusa in Blantyre. From there, I was selected to Balaka Secondary School where I did form 1 and 2. Then I went to St MichaelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s GirlÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Secondary School where I completed secondary education. I proceeded to Bakhita College in Balaka where I started studying community development, Diploma 1&2 but I finished at Blantyre Institute of Management. It was a scholarship after I won Miss Malawi News model of the year.
What was it like growing up in a big family?
Basically I grew up like any other child. My father died when I was six years old and four years later my mother followed. I went to live with my second born sister who has brought me up then later on I moved in with my sixth born sister. I have been raised by my siblings. As a child I loved to watch movies. Being the lastborn in my family, my mother rarely let me go out to play with children from the neighbourhood. She always wanted me close by. So it was always me, my mother and movies.
How did you get into modelling?
In 2008, my sister was travelling to Uganda and I escorted her to the airport. There I met Blantyre Newspaper photographers who tried to convince me to pose for model of the week in their paper. I told them I would think about it but they continued to pester my sister. After a month, she managed to talk me into posing for the paper. With time, I forgot all about it and even started to grow my hair. Towards the end of the year, it was announced that I made it into top 12 models to catwalk and I came out queenÃ¢â‚¬â€Miss Malawi News. I never thought I would win because all the girls there were pretty, they had a modelling background but I did. It was unbelievable.
I handed over the crown to Tina in 2009. When Miss Malawi came up, my sister encouraged me to take part and so I did. Here I am, Miss Malawi 2010.
How did it feel?
It was an amazing feeling, it felt great. It was like a dream come true.
What do you think made you win?
My confidence and background. Having won the Miss Malawi News, it carried a lot of weight. But first and foremost I must say it was GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s will, he saw me through it. I am a proud member of Assemblies of God Church.
As Miss Malawi, what do you hope to contribute to the country?
When I was Miss Malawi News, I was very much involved with charity work. I hope to continue where I stopped. The country should expect a lot more charity work from me. My work includes painting Zomba Mental Hospital, I visited a disabled man in Chileka [and] orphans in Ntcheu.
I would also like to help teen mothers go back to school and encourage school going girls not to drop-out of school. There is so much that I have planned as soon as I settle down, things will start moving.
We have heard a lot of promises from previous Queens but very little has been seen on the ground, what makes you different?
I have a passion for it. I feel I was born to help others. I am not just doing it because I am Miss Malawi. I know am going to do it. My previous work should bear testimony to how dedicated I can be.
People now know you as Miss Malawi but how would you define Faith Chibale?
I would say she is a simple girl who likes to chat with people, so open and outgoing. I love to smile, which some people would consider a bad habit because sometimes I find myself smiling in situations where I am not expected to smile. I love to listen to Malawian urban music. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just about it.
Now that you are Miss Malawi, how has life changed?
Now itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have time for my family and friends. I am mostly out doing interviews like right now but I am not complaining. I am quite happy and proud of my achievement. On the lower side, some old friends that did not care are now trying to show interest in my life.
How would you describe your hair style?
I would have to say bold. I started cutting my hair when I was in secondary school. You know how hair is not allowed in certain schools. I sort of got used to it over the years. But right now, it is mainly because of Kaone, from Bostwana. She was once the Face of Africa. I admire her a lot.
So does Faith Chibale have a boyfriend?
Laughs. I choose to keep my private life to myself. It is definitely not for the media.
How do you keep your body in check?
I watch what I eat. I try not to take a lot of fats, drink a lot of water but I surely do treat myself to a good meal once in a while
You are the first Miss Malawi to have won a car, how do you feel?
It was great and I thank the organisers for keeping their word. As I speak, the car is in Lilongwe with a relative but by the time the article comes out IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure it will be here with me. I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t drive so I will have someone take me to places until I learn how to drive.
Do you think women must be given positions on the basis of gender?
Yes. If most influential positions were taken up by women we would have a better nation. Women think with their hearts, they are passionate and full of love which is a good thing.
What or who inspires you, locally and internationally?
Well, I am my own role model because to me every day is an opportunity to do better than yesterday.
What are the challenges facing the modelling industry in the country?
The perception that people have, people think that because you are a model, you are a prostitute. Maybe itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s because as a country we are still developing. Then there is the issue of organisations and prominent individuals wanting something in return just to assist you. I have faced this problem twice. I approached one honourable for sponsorship. At the end of the day, he started inviting me to hotels. Thank God that I am a strong woman, I have values.
What is your definition of a beautiful woman?
A woman must always be smart not just beautiful on the outside but too on the inside. A woman must be one with brains, educated and full of patience. The beauty about an educated woman is that most of the time she will be able to stand up for herself. A beautiful woman is Miss Independent.
After your tenure, what next?
Immediately after handing over my crown last year to Tina last year I formed a trust. It has me, Miss Blantyre, Miss Pamma and Tina the current Miss Malawi News. I will dedicate most of my time to running that because I am the director. We are very much involved in charity work.
How would you like to be remembered?
As the queen of charity
What is your advice to women and girls in the country?
There is nothing that women cannot do. What men can do women can do it better.