The Beautiful Face of Africa
This article was quite tricky to write… I had to write it in first person, without having met Kate – I only had her answers from an email interview I had with her! It was challenging to write as if I were Kate myself! Luckily, the beautiful lady loved the article. Phew! It appeared in SOUL Magazine.
KATE MENSON – The Beautiful Face of Africa!
Some people call a success story ‘from rags to riches’. But when I think about where I come from, I do not think of a place inferior. I will never forget my family and I will never forget beautiful Ghana.
My life in a nutshell
In 2008, I, Kate Menson, came one enormous jump closer to my dream of becoming a professional model. I was the new Face of Africa! And it was no daytime reverie. Overnight my world was transformed: as a youngster I used to spend long lazy days with my friends in Tesand, Ghana, riding like daredevils on our bicycles (disturbing the neighbourhood’s serenity), and moulding all sorts of weird and amazing things out of clay! Today I get to wear (and not make out of clay!) weird and amazing things. As Winner of the 2008 Face of Africa Competition, I was granted a modelling contract with O Model Africa. Today this Ghanaian sister lives in Cape Town and people actually recognise me on the street! It is so strange…
I can face my new exciting existence with all its challenges, thanks to the loving support I have received from my fabulous family. I come from a household of six: my mom and dad, two brothers and a sister are a sweet source of sustenance to me. My two older siblings, Gloria and Charles, are married, both working and living in Ghana. My other brother is still studying to be a systems administrator. My dear old dad is retired (keeping my mom busy!) and mum is trading. They all play such special roles in my life and I dearly love these dear ones. Home, for me, however, can be anywhere…home is a place where I feel comfortable and loved. Speaking of ‘lurve’, you are probably curious about Mr Right now! Let’s just say, there is a heart so close to mine…
My Greatest Challenges
Dear and near ones can unfortunately not always fight off tough and hurtful experiences. Where I come from, my biggest challenges were always financially related. There were so many things needed and wanted that could not be afforded. Another great challenge for me involved the first time I entered the Face of Africa competition. I didn’t even make it to the bikini section, due to my measurements. I had to exercise hard and I also had to watch what I ate precariously. When I won the competition two years later, I was naturally confronted with the following question: is success synonymous with being thin? I suddenly realised that I was in the ‘perfect industry’. Eventually I came to the conclusion that as a sportswoman has to stay fit for her race, so I have to look well-groomed and healthy for the international world of fashion. But I also know that I am not going to get my pretty red shoes out the door if I am too tired and sick!
Time with my Creator
Being beautiful on the outside, however, means being sparkling on the inside! And who else to put the glitter in your heart than the most creative, gracious Man of them all. I know that God is there, keeping a watchful eye over me (especially when I have to walk the walk in my high heels!). Sometimes it is just so hard to open the door when he knocks – my lifestyle can get so busy-busy-busy! With regard to this, my mum has really been a source of inspiration: she calls me often to check that I am getting my daily bread (Bible scriptures). She also makes sure I give thanks, praise and acknowledgement to the One who deserves it.
When I do eventually get some time off to myself, you will find this sister relaxing on the massage bed! Oh what a heavenly treat – bless those hands! The perfect day for me would end off with a glass of wine and a movie to help me unwind. While I am ‘couching’, you will probably find me lost in another reverie – dreaming about making it to the very top and becoming a marvellous model! Marvellous, but studious(!)…I would love to study for a degree.
No matter how far away my journey will take me – I will never forget my family and I will never forget Ghana. I have set up a little modelling agency there to help in my own little way. And in a few years time you won’t find me daydreaming alone on this couch. Oh no! I will be in the arms of my Prince Charming. And we will probably have to watch “Happy Feet” or “Barbie”…because there will definitely be little darlings dashing around!