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Beauty, brains, hard work ethic, humility and a humanitarian spirit, these are just some of the words/principles that one can associate with the iconic, husky voiced Pretoria born media personality and business owner Phuti Khomo. Joburg Post Online took a moment to have a chat with the former Miss SA Teen winner and actress and this is how it went down…

What was your childhood Ambition?

You will probably laugh at me but I wanted to be a social worker. I really wanted to help people, then a Lawyer and finally a Miss SA. All these have something in common, they give you the opportunity to  help  people, which I believe is my purpose in life, and I’m kinda living it, cause I give opportunities to interns in my company and I organise talks, programmes and workshops to help people better themselves by bringing opportunities to them.

 Who influenced your life?

My Mother Veronica Hlongwane and sister Jacqueline Khomo Have played a huge part in who I am today. They have sacrificed so much and really put me first. I have never seen a young girl so selfless in my entire life and my mother gives me so much drive. But the woman who shaped my heart/morals and state of being was my grandmother Queeny Mabena she was my grandmother and really my second mother cause she raised me from when I was 6 months old.

Your educational background and life in tertiary?

The best school life was in High School, that’s where I uncovered all my talents. Teachers had so much faith in me, and pushed me to harness every part of me. I did 1 year at Midrand University now called MGI then I started working, so had to move to Unisa and do everything from home, I really don’t have the time so I take 1 or two subjects a year or whenever I’m not too busy. I’m still at it.

What was your first job?

My first paying job was after winning the Miss SA Teen 2002 title and I was just getting paid to appear at events! I loved that, I was just getting paid to Show Up!!! It was Awesome! Then I got a job at Franz Markx Films on Egoli on MNET, then the rest is history

 How do you keep fit?

You will think I’m lying, but I don’t exercise at all!!! I was just born thin and have a really great metabolism. I also played every sport you can think of at school so I think my body still remembers that so I would get a personal instructor for 3 month in 3 years and my body just goes into FIT mode in a second.

How religious are you?

I’m not religious at all, but more spiritual. I have a relationship with GOD not with any church, that’s why I can visit any church from ZCC to Catholic, as long as they worship GOD and believe in Jesus. My spirituality is part of me, it’s a way of life, not a habit.

What is your source of happiness?

Family, Love, and the fulfilment I get from helping others

What do you remember of that moment in 2002 when you were crowned Miss Teen SA?

I just remember my mother’s legs being in the air cause of excitement and me trying to tell her to behave. I didn’t even cry, because I was too concerned with my mother. It only hit me the next day when they came to fetch me.

Many who won the Miss SA Teen crown have fallen by the wayside. What has been your secret?

Pacing yourself in this industry is EVERYTHING. Once you understand that you will get far and remain timeless. Knowing that you can get everything, but not all at once. Know what you ultimately what to be, in other words know your bigger picture, that always helps in decision making, Learn to say No to opportunities that don’t go with your brand or the bigger picture of yourself. Over exposure can kill your brand because people get bored of seeing you all the time, even when you have something new to share with them.

What in today’s society is a cause of concern?

They aren’t enough Women wanting to help empower other women. Yes they say they want to in public but wouldn’t give you 2mins of their time if you approached them. These powerful Women of today are the first to complain about our youth and what direction our children are taking but honestly, they are not willing to take the time to empower, then they get surprised when I children find themselves in awkward situations where people are exploiting them because of their desperation, and end up looking for help in all the wrong places, cause WE, in our comfortable lives, all our contacts and our lovely offices didn’t give a DAMN. It’s a different form of oppression, WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING THIS NATION.

What is your ultimate driving force?

Waking up in the morning and knowing that there is someone out there ready and hungry to learn from me, and will take that knowledge to become GREAT, make me want to get up each morning and find such people.

After years of being an actor, which character you played has been your favourite?

I loved Carol from Muvhango, she is so sassy and spicy, and I had the freedom to mould her however I wanted. Creative freedom always brings out the best in artist

What can you not do without in a day?

I can’t do without my phone. I talk to my family every day!!! I would die

What are your biggest achievements?

After winning the Miss SA Teen 2002 title, it would have to be opening a business “Twadio Show” that gives young people a taste of the media industry, paying for school fees for 8 girls from my home Town Pretoria, creating projects with my family that benefit our community, like Christmas presents at hospitals and shacks every year, and creating a name for myself that helps open doors when I need support for great initiatives.

 What is Phuti Khomo up to currently? Are there any projects in the pipeline?

I’m working on a modelling project that will be the biggest this country has ever seen, and possibly the world. Deadline early next year.

What advice would you give to models who look up to you?

Models need to learn that they are a business and that their shelf life is not for long, so saving and investing money is super important, but if they conduct themselves properly, other opportunities can come from your modelling career so be careful what you become known for in your industry

If you were not thrust into the art and entertainment space, which career would you be in?

I think I’d be working for an NGO or something that has to do with public speaking because I can sell anything. Marketing, PR, Lawyer, POLITICS

What could you have done better in life?

I think i would not have allowed myself to be so busy, and make time for my family and relatives. That’s really important, life is so short, and you really don’t see what you have in people until you lose them. I want to be there for people who matter to me and who contributed or are still contributing to who and what I am today.

Top 5 things to do before you retire?

Have my own talk show, Network, beauty product, creating Quality Brown People,