Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Pocket Money Icecream

She is from Maseru, Lesotho. She had a shy demeanour about her in the beginning when she joined our high school. We were about 13. By the typical behaviour of upper-class snobs, the ‘cool-crew’ would not talk to her, lest their social standing be compromised. Well, I enjoyed many conversations with her. We laughed over long walks with ice cream of our last pocket money, sharing personal secrets and laying our insecurities in one another, enjoying the company of another person whom we found comforting and unusually very understanding.

Mapolo Cheoane wore thick glasses that made her gorgeous eyes look bigger- though you’d still wish she’d take them off. We admired her sister, who studied in Cape Town and had many cosmopolitan experiences which Mapolo would repeat back to me, for the enjoyment of our ‘ooh’s and ‘aahs’. Mapolo rarely enjoys being the audience.

We shared a longing for freedom and beauty...

...The kind of beauty that makes your scrawny legs gorgeous because you honour them and believe they will take you to better places, so you love them to avoid disrespect. The kind of beauty that you are genuinely confident about, out of our own accord, not because your mother sang the “you’re special songs” when you came back with tearful stories of mean girls and stupid boys.

I watched Mapolo bloom.....and bloom. She whooped her long ethnic hair and dated the coolest boy in school- yep. “The uncool girl”, so they’d say, with poorly hidden envy. Another boy followed. He was a tall Swiss taste of Harry Potter gone gansta. Perhaps I shouldn’t say his name? She was honey for the exotic ones, from foreign lands. In my ‘you-go-girl’-s and ‘wow-wow-wow’-s I was careful not to ask what the zing was. Every woman deserves their own secrets, I believe. I am reminded of Maya Angelo who wrote, “Beautiful women wonder, where my secret lies...” – BIG High 5!

Fast-forward -Mapolo is absolutely gorgeous. She is comfortable in who she is. Our conversations now revolve under the fabulous life - fancy cars, shoes, cocktails and our perfect men- the entire typical girl stuff. Add lingerie, glamour, and knowing how to fix gourmet. The essence though is keeping it authentic, not being all nose-in-the-air once you think you’ve got it. Yes, she still is honey for the exotic ones.

When she talks, you watch her eyes more than you listen. You appreciate her skin and know without question, it is smooth from happiness. When she approaches, I need not look back from the sound of her sashay and effortless stiletto soprano. Her dreams of beauty and freedom have now come true and she has made something more tangible of them.

Mapolo now owns a Beauty Salon in Cape Town called Lopoma, which opened in March 2010. I am inspired. My friend is doing what she wants- in a big city. She is altering her career, and is planning her 23rd birthday.

Lapoma Beauty Salon

Traffic was slow for the salon in the beginning. Lopoma now has to become a mobile beauty spa that offers services in the comfort of the client’s own home or office area. Mapolo intends to handle this between her new job.

“I will be working as a half Receptionist/Therapist. I love the job because it will help me know more about admin work which will later on help me in my business. I need to know how to organise everything. I will learn better about the inside of a spa and how things are run compared to a small salon like mine. At a later stage when I am comfortable, I will reopen the doors at a retail location,” she says.


What do you do over weekends?
I just chill and enjoy my time alone or with friends. I do not go out anymore (say wha?).

Three words to describe you:
Ambitious, hard working and persuasive.

Can you reveal your best kept Beauty Secrets?
To be honest I do not have beauty secrets.

No beauty secrets? That's surprising! Do you have any staff members for Lopoma?
Nah I do not have any staff, me working with someone would mean I would have to pay them and right now Lopoma is not financially stable. I can still handle all the work by myself.

Three favourite things in your apartment?
My comfy bed, my couch and my flowers.

Vision for Lopoma?
I would like to see it competing with big Spa/Salon brands, to see it being well known in South Africa.

Thank you Mapolo, I really appreciate it.
Thanks babe will be waiting to hear from you.

Alright babe xxx


When you are true to yourself, you automatically develop an authentic PERSONAL BRAND that no one can copy, and that is bound to bring many opportunities. Be brave in that which you want to be, and go for it relentlessly.
Thank you for reading. I wish you good spirits, saunas and indulgent Lopoma treatments.

You can contact Mapolo on

1 comment:

  1. wow gal, I love it! and the Royalty Mantra "when ur true to yourself, you automaticalle develop an authentic personal brand that no one can copy.." you couldn't have said it better my friend!! BIG UP LOVIES

    Bokang M