Claire Mawisa | Model, Media Personality & Businesswoman

Claire Mawisa

After signing with Topco Models, Claire won Cosmopolitan Model of the Year 1994 at the age of 15, and became the youngest and the second black South African beauty to be featured on the cover of the local Cosmopolitan magazine. She has since gone on to work at various magazine publications, and host numerous television and radio shows.

Claire Mawisa_P3My Definition Of Success | Has definitely changed over the years. When I was younger, I adopted society’s version of success, and didn’t question it. As I got older and acquired things that were supposed to make me happy, and represented success, I found that I still felt unhappy and unfulfilled. That is when I realized that having your own version and definition of success is important. From the outside, many people feel that having a successful partner/luxury vehicle/travelling the world/having children/living in a big house represents success. This of course is not true. Those things will bring happiness, but success is not just about what you own, and what you can do, for it is also about how many lives I have impacted for the better. My definition of success is my own, and doesn’t make sense to others.

The Highlight Of My Life | Is having my mother be proud of me and my achievements. When somebody has sacrificed as much as she has for me to have certain opportunities, to know that you have lived up to and exceeded their expectations is a wonderful feeling. I think deep down we all just want to make our parents proud.

The Highlight Of My Career | Is being able to reinvent myself, yet still do everything I have wanted to do. I have modeled, been a TV presenter, a radio presenter and have had magazine experience. Now I am behind the scenes and feel like this is my path and that this is where I can effect the most change. Being able to move from the spotlight into the boardroom isn’t an easy move, and I am proud that I have done the necessary work to be an influential voice in my space.

Claire Mawisa_P1The One Strength I Have Had |
Throughout my career, is being able to put my pride aside, to do the necessary work to get me to where I want to be. Many times I have felt overqualified for a job, or that it may be seen as being beneath me but I did the work anyway, because I knew it would take me closer to my goal. Many people reject work that they think is below them. This is a big mistake as there is a lesson to be learnt in everything that you do. It is important to humble yourself, and understand that what you are doing right now is not who you are. Your hard work, dedication, knowledge and skill will eventually be rewarded and acknowledged. Do not do things to please people. Those people will not always understand the choices that you are making, nor will they always support you in those choices. Mind your business, focus on you, and leave your pride at home.

The Characteristics, Habits And Behaviors | That have helped me achieve what I have is always being professional. Professionalism is becoming so rare nowadays that it is appreciated when demonstrated. This includes dressing conservatively at all times, arriving early for every meeting and appointment, always using formal yet simple language when communicating both verbally and via email, thanking everyone that is involved in a project, mastering a positive attitude and delivering on promises and commitments that you have made. These simple habits will make people want to work with you, even if you’re not the most qualified for the job! Being a pleasure to work with is a huge factor in determining how people get selected. This applies to both work situations but also when out socializing.

An Essential Skill | In achieving whatever you want to achieve is mastering a positive attitude. This is basically thinking positive thoughts about what you’re doing and your ability to achieve what you want in your life. Once you are optimistic, it is easier to be grateful for any situation you find yourself in, even the negative situations! It opens you up to learning the lessons life is trying to teach you. Being optimistic also gives you the confidence you need in your own abilities to perform a task, to lead a team, to master a new skill. Stay positive. The universe is here to support you, but you need to believe in yourself to achieve it. Everything starts with you, and your belief in yourself.

Lessons I Have Learnt | Some of the important lessons I have learnt include not taking things personally, and that nothing has been a waste of time if the lesson has been learnt. If we took everything that happened to us personally, we would be too broken and defeated to continue living! Sometimes it has nothing to do with you, even though it is directed at you, or affects your life directly. Don’t take things to heart, especially if it is work related. Understand that a situation would probably play itself out exactly the same way, had it been someone else and not you. Also don’t feel that your time has been wasted if a situation did not work out the way you had wanted it to. This could be a career move, or even a romantic relationship that has ended. If you have learnt something about yourself, something that you will now do differently because of this situation, then you have not wasted your time. Life is a class, and we’re always being taught lessons. Lessons in the form of people that come into our lives, and situations we find ourselves in. Don’t take it personally, and look for the lesson that you need to learn.

Claire Mawisa_P2Resources I Use To Stay Inspired | I believe that life is a class and that our teachers are everywhere. The resources I use to keep growing are the people I surround myself with, mentors I have chosen for myself and books. The people you surround yourself with need to add value to your life, they need to energize you and not drain you, they need to support you and believe in you when you sometimes have lost belief in yourself. Some of the mentors I have chosen for myself are famous people that don’t even know my name, are people I work with everyday, and people who I may have only had a brief encounter with but their impact on me has stayed with me forever. Choose many mentors, they have walked the path before you and can make your journey easier. My favorite resource is books. Read as many as you can. Use them as a reference, and read the books your mentors have read. Reading anything is better than reading nothing. Read.

The Meaning Of Life | I don’t think life is meant to be easy. This is a consoling thought when it gets rough. But it is for us to learn lessons, to show love, to understand that we are all connected, and that what we send out in the universe comes back to us. To try to make the world around us better. It could be random acts of kindness, it could be in how we influence those around us. The bigger your cycle of influence, maybe the greater the responsibility. I think the ultimate goal is for us to awaken, for us to understand and accept our full potential, that the most powerful source lies within us. God is not separate from us. Together we are all God.

The Legacy I Would Like To Leave | The legacy I would like to leave is one that associates my name with integrity. My legacy should let people know that they can lead a life they want, without having to compromise their values and their principles to get it.


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