Once rated the most beautiful face in Africa, Nombulelo Mazibuko is now apparently down and out.
After winning the Face of Africa crown in 2000, Mazibuko's life has crumbled like the competition that first brought her fame.
The beautiful Mazibuko is apparently penniless, unemployed and living at her parents' home in Guguletu.
Yesterday she was reluctant to answer questions and in fact put down the phone when Sowetan wanted to find out how she was coping.
She was dismissed last year by Cape Town modelling agency Shine Models after working with them as a booking agent since 2004.
"She has been looking for a job but nothing has come up. I'm just praying that she turns her life around," said our source.
"She is not earning a living. Life is tough for her," said the sympathetic source.
An employee at Shine Models confirmed that Mazibuko was fired last year.
"I don't know where she is or what she is doing. She was fired last year for not coming to work for almost a month. We have lost all contact with her," said Mazibuko's former colleague, who refused to identify herself.
Mazibuko's woes started in 2001 when, together with Lerato Moloi, the 1999 winner of Face of Africa, she had to return home after their New York-based agency advised them that they were not skinny enough to model.
She left New York where she had featured in French magazines which included Madame Figaro and Divas.
She also made the front page covers of South African publications such as Y, GQ and Fair Lady.