Get out of the kitchen and be funky

Luzuko Pongoma

Luzuko Pongoma

Phumi Mashigo says she is out to crush all stereotypes about married women and beauty pageants.

This entrepreneur is one of the 23 finalists in the Mrs South Africa pageant to be held at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park on March 21.

"As young black women, we get married and tend to think we stop being funky, vivacious and appealing.

"We start being like our mothers, and I am going to change that," Mashigo says.

Mashigo, 29, says: "I want to challenge the stereotypes that to be beautiful you have to be of fair skin, or of a certain height and be a size 20."

The Soweto-born talent manager lives in Northcliff, Johannesburg, with her husband of five years and their two children.

In the Miss Soweto finals in 1998, Mashigo, who was the shortest of all the contestants, said women needed to know that if they were good at something they were successful.

"If you are a great housewife you are a successful woman. Every contribution we make as women is important," she said.

Mashigo said her stars were aligned so that she could win the pageant and was ready to be an ambassador for married women internationally.

She said that after winning the pageant she planned to promote awareness on breast cancer among black women.

"I will not open a new place but would raise more awareness and funds for the projects that are already available to help women with cancer.

"I am also going to help Sis Muntu, who goes around Soweto collecting bras for women who have had a mastectomy," she added.

On the day of the pageant Mashigo will be up against beauties such as fellow finalist Jessie Jele-Molalugi.

Jele-Molalugi is also a career woman with a passion for helping disadvantaged children to obtain bursaries to further their studies.

Jele-Molalugi said she wanted to host her own talk show one day.

Mashigo has created an SMS line as part of the Mrs South Africa fight against cancer.

To donate R5 to the South African Cancer Association you can SMS Phumi to 36844.