Malebogo Marumoagae is highly educated, very smart,with an unforgettable smile, warm,beautiful inside and out, and gracious. She is Miss Botswana 2007, has a Degree in Economics and Populations Studies, obtained her MBA from the University of Botswana and finally established Belle Larissa in 2009. She is everything you want to be at her age. Her dedication to her craft is inspiring, I hope her story inspires you as much as she inspired me years ago, she continues to be an inspiration to many!
Stylist: Nollie Ngwira
Photography: kMoe Foto
Makeup Artist: Bojelo Marari
Art Direction: T A N L U M E
1.Please tell us about yourself.
I am Malebogo Marumoagae. I was born and bred in Tonota by one of the most strongest women I know, Diteko Marumoagae. My mother has taught me how to be confident in my own skin, to respect others and myself and most importantly to know that I am nothing without God. I am a lover of life, a yoga and zumba enthusiast (I know that sounds like water and oil!). I love trying new things but half the time I don’t get to because the people I live with think I might just die. I mean a little skydiving-nyana or something like that! I believe in the law of attraction. That whatever you think, eventually becomes your reality. Even the Bible says in book of Proverbs ‘above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life”. I love reading, infact I have learnt so much from the books I read. They have literally contributing in molding the woman I have become.
- Tell us in detail about the services provided by Belle Larissa.
Belle Larissa is a BQA registered and accredited institution providing training on personal branding, professional image and etiquette. Our main aim to assist individuals, young and old to be the best that they can possibly be especially in today’s world where there is competition in almost every opportunity that arises. For organizations, we assist their employees to align their personal brands with their corporate brand.
- Growing up was there any indication you’d be doing what you do now?
I have always wanted to be a lawyer but when I applied I did not make the cut. That changed my plans altogether. I ended up reading for a degree in Economics and Population Studies and for the four years that I was at the University of Botswana I knew that I would end up working for government. I was ok with that until I won Miss Botswana in 2006 and got exposed to a different life altogether. In fact, Belle Larissa was formed after I got back from Miss World solely to assist other aspiring beauty queens to perform better in international pageants. This was because I knew that had I been exposed to certain things, I would have performed better or atleast enjoyed my journey. Having started Belle Larissa for beauty queens in, I later realized that there is actually a huge gap for the same services in the corporate world. So I eventually shifted my focus to corporates and children. Seven years later, I feel like I have made the best choice. I also know that I have created a job for someone whose job would have been mine, over and above the people I work with.
- What has been some of the challenges and triumphs along the way.
Being in business is not a bed of roses. Some days are better than others but what keeps me going is the knowledge that I am doing something that fulfills my heart. We have seen many good days, we have won awards (2nd Prize in the Business Services Category at the 2014 Boccim Northern Trade Fair and 1st Prize in the Business Services Category at the 2014 Women’s Expo). This was proof that Batswana recognize the work that we do and that was a huge motivating factor. We have faced challenges head on and emerged victorious and we believe the best is yet to come. One of the challenges we faced was convincing our clients that we are not beauty pageant trainers. This was made worse by my beauty pageantry background. This forced me to bring other people with a different background on board. We are not there but eventually, we will arrive.
- What inspires you?
I am inspired by my mother, who against all odds has managed to single handedly raise 5 children without complaining or feeling sorry for herself. I am inspired by people who have started from nothing and made something out of themselves and others.
- Other than work, what else do you enjoy doing?
I love yoga, zumba, reading and some tv. But not as much as I enjoy spending time with my friends at I Am Special Education Society, a center for children with learning and or physical disabilities in Tlokweng. They are very special to me. I also enjoy speaking in woman and youth fora. There is something fulfilling about awakening someone’s awareness and starting them on a new path of self discovery.
Love is…..a beautiful thing as perfectly articulated in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.