While it takes years and even decades of hardwork for one to become a celebrity, Felicia Susan Ngoma needed less than half a year to become one. By passing the test to represent Malawi at the M-Net’s Big Brother Africa (BBA) Amplified 2011 reality show in South Africa, she got the ticket to stardom.
But going to BBA and earning a celebrity status is one thing while sustaining the grade is another. Unlike other former Malawi representatives at the reality show, Felicia continues to draw attention of organisations that utilise their status to reach out to the people. Felicia is mostly engaged by organisations as a role model to inspire youths.
She does this through her Felicia Dream Youth Empowerment and Self-Reliance project. She goes into communities, talk and encourage youths to be independent. She has also founded a new project which identifies less-privileged girls and support their return to school.
Felicia dreams big and says she wants to sell herself beyond what BBA did. She could be on the right track if what her third biggest project—Nyasa Brands—is anything to go by.
Born on August 28 1987, Felicia opened Nyasa Brands in 2013 and has a shop in Area 18B Complex, next to Area 18 Lodge where she sells her clothes. Felicia was among fashion designers who recently showcased their brands at the inaugural Malawi Fashion Week in Lilongwe.
“I make clothes for a living and the sky is the limit. I have a natural love for fashion. My mum used to own a clothing shop. Every time she brought new stock, she would ask me to wear the clothes for customers to appreciate. Then she started travelling with me on her business trips abroad to buy clothes. Little by little, my sense of fashion started to become visible,” she says.
Felicia sells clothes for both men and women. She chose an identity—her products are made from common African print (Chitenje), wax, java and batik, among others. If you are a fan of traditional attires such as national wear, chilundu, then try her brands.
The former BBA representative also produces outfits using imported fabrics such as satin, lace, Indian sareen and has employed two tailors at her shop.
Beyond being an entrepreneur and volunteer, Felicia, a mother of one, is an independent woman. She is single, but says she is not searching.
The former Malawi National Lottery employee is a born-again Christian and a pastor at Ambassadors of Christ Ministries in Lilongwe.
Felicia carries various personalities—one time she wears a face an entrepreneur; that of a parent; an outgoing character and that of a pastor. But she says these do not change the character she has grown up with—being an easy going, humble and respectful. You can add a smile on her face if you treat her to hot strong coffee and pop corn or fried groundnuts. Her best dish is local chicken served with rice.
But Felicia, a lastborn in a family of four, hates people who are quick to judge others based on their past.
Her sister, Chifundo, says Felicia is a blessed woman who is ambitious, courageous, strong, generous and result-oriented. She adds that Felicia has gentle words of wisdom that complement her pastoral mission and is leading many women to God.
“Sometimes she does not take herself seriously, but when conversing with her, she does so without sacrificing righteousness and truth,” says Chifundo.
Felicia comes from Chinombo Village, Traditional Authority (/A) Mzikubola in Mzimba.