MASERU — Masello Jafeta won her first major beauty title last week — the 2009 Face of Rajoc — to cap a remarkable year for the unassuming but stunning 18-year-old girl from Ts’enola.
In July she was crowned second princess in the Miss Vodacom-PC FM contest, arguably the biggest beauty pageant in the country.
Masello, who remains modest despite her growing repertoire in the modelling community, said her fairytale rise continued to amaze her.
She insisted the Face of Rajoc title came as a “complete surprise”.
“I never gave myself a chance,” she told Xpress People.
“In fact, I thought of running away when we started practising.
“I felt so intimidated. The others looked so hot.”
Masello, who was the youngest among the contestants, said she only stayed on after a lot of encouragement from peers.
“They urged me to stay, saying I should never look down on myself . . . that I was just as beautiful,” she said.
“Still, I wanted to give up and go home.”
Little did Masello know big things awaited her — her first major beauty title.
“That is why I broke down and cried after winning the title,” she said.
“It was unbelievable. I had gone through a lot emotionally and finally I had won the pageant.”
“I still cannot believe it,” she added.
Yet claiming one of the country’s coveted beauty titles should not have come as such a surprise for Masello, who has not looked back since winning her first pageant — the 1999 Miss CJB — as a mere eight-year-old.
She took Xpress People down memory lane — three days after her “shock” win at the Manthabiseng Convention Centre on December 5.
“I started modelling at a very young age,” Masello said.
“I remember winning what I could call my first beauty title, the Miss CJB, when I was eight years of age.
“In 2004, I was crowned Miss Cenez High School and early this year I was second princess in the Miss Vodacom-PC FM.
“Winning the 2009 Face of Rajoc came as a complete surprise.
“I was the youngest competitor in the group and still I won the pageant.”
Masello said she grew up a “very reserved person” but had since become an extrovert thanks to modelling.
“I used to be a very shy person, but modelling has helped build my confidence and how I relate to people,” she said.
“It has turned me into a person who talks openly and relates easily to other people.”
Masello, the youngest of four children, said she had her family to thank for her achievements.
“My family has always been supportive since I started showing an interest in modelling,” she said.
“They have always encouraged me.”
But her parents believe education should be her priority, she said.
“They want me to take a break from modelling so I can focus on my schoolwork,” she said.
“I have just graduated with an ICBL certificate (computer studies) from CBS College.
“But my goal is to specialise in nursing and that is what I would want to be focusing on now.”