By Langalakhe Mabena
After failing her Ordinary Level studies at Eveline Girls High School in 1999, Lorraine Khumalo-Sibanda did not give up as she accepted her failure and opted for a second chance by repeating studies at Montrose Girls High School.
Her second O-Level journey, however, was not that easy as she thought it would be. She was to meet bullies who thrived on harassing their counterparts, worse off for her who was repeating studies.
Not minding them, the determined pupil who had a headstrong character passed her Ordinary Level examinations with flying colours attaining 8 Bs and an A in her favourite subject Fashion and Fabrics. She then proceeded to Foundation College where she did her Advanced Level studies.
While studying, the soft spoken Tshabalala-bred Lorraine was driven as she knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur. Little did she know that years later, she would be one of the most prominent public relations consultants entrusted with the careers of prominent South African celebrities.
“After completing my O and A Level studies in Bulawayo, I went to South Africa to pursue my tertiary education. With Fashion and Fabrics being my favourite subject, I ventured into fashion designing.
“However, as fate would have it, I ended up in the public relations field after having worked for MultiChoice where I acquired communication, project and event management skills.”
As a young woman with big dreams, Lorraine who knew she wanted to run her own business, gathered the guts and set up her own PR Company which she named MIChiko PR Consultants.
“My first client was Weza Solange, who was a Channel O presenter and former Big Brother Africa contestant who represented Nigeria,” she said.
MIChiko PR consultants has expanded and has seen Lorraine handling notable artistes’ careers including Vusi Nova, Ntando Bangani, Bulawayo’s Bekezela (all from Mutherland Entertainment), Thandy Matlaila who is an actress on Mzansi Magic’s Tshisa and The Queen, Bulawayo model and radio and TV personality Arthur Evans and SABC presenter Gabisile Tshabalala, to mention a few.
Celebrities are known to sell fans a dream as they mostly present themselves as living a lavish life on social media with some taking them for snobs, but Lorraine said they were very humble people who otherwise live normal lives like everyone.
“It’s always nice to work with them (celebrities) because they respect me and they don’t have that celebrity attitude. They respect me for my good work and so do I,” she said.
With veteran TV presenter and businesswoman Oprah Winfrey as her inspiration, Lorraine’s goal is to develop MIChiko PR so she can create employment for young women. She believes every girl child has a right to be independent with education being the only tool which can enable them to realise their full potential and dreams. The Chronicle