Mo Damane: Shining in her own right
Sassy, loud and relentless in her pursuit are some of the words that come to mind when thinking of Mo Damane. Pristine had a chat with the demure, multi-talented DJ, presenter and now entrepreneur Mo Damane who is busy shaking up the entertainment scene in Lesotho.
The star is comfortable in her own skin and has never been the one to shy away from controversy and drama. This was evident in the reality show DIneo’s diary where she was then PA to Dineo and they used to have some brawl mugging fights on screen. In this interview we discuss reality shows, entrepreneurship and her future endeavours.
Of all the titles that you hold; radio DJ, entrepreneur, TV personality and student, which one would you say is the most significant one?
All of the titles are very important to me but currently I would say being a student is the MOST significant one. I have decided to put 110% in it, my journey to getting my honours degree is a year away and that is my main priority.
What would you highlight as your biggest achievement so far?
My biggest accomplishment so far has been starting my business in 2015; that Gal. It’s a cosmetics line that produces perfumes and lotions. It was started with little funds from my savings and has not been an easy journey to pursue but has been worth it. My other highlight would be being on season 2 of Dineo’s diary on Vuzu channel which was the most watched show during its airing season.
Being on the reality show definitely provided you with your biggest break. But reality shows come with so much controversy and drama (especially Dineo’s diary). What were some of the greatest perks of doing reality shows? What are the downfalls of being connected to such controversy?
I enjoyed working with Dineo and I still have a strong relationship with her. Shooting Dineo’s diary was my first reality TV show. It was not easy to have your daily moves captured. And feedback from the viewers was both positive and negative. One has to be emotionally strong to survive the criticism but I am still keen to do a lot of reality shows.
Having been involved in the media industry in both SA and Lesotho, what would you implement if you were the minister in charge of youth, sports and development affairs for a day?
A day as the minister would not be enough because there is a lot that needs to be implemented in the youth, sports and developmental affairs sphere. Above all, the sports field and the entertainment industry as whole need to be regarded as payable professional careers not merely viewed as hobbies. Take for example Nollywood in Nigeria, where the entertainment industry actually contributes a lot in terms of tax revenues to the government.
Venturing into a cosmetics business must have taken a lot of guts. What inspired you to venture into this journey? What are the major challenges you face in pursuit of the fragrance business?
I have always had a passion for business and my love for fragrances drove me to start That Gal fragrance. That Gal cosmetic started in 2015 with That Gal fragrance, and later transcended to the body lotions and That Guy fragrance later on. It’s been a very humbling journey with a lot of ups and downs but absolutely worth it. Losing my dad in 2006 at 18 years of age was also one of the most painful experiences of my life. He was the breadwinner at the time and the loss propelled me to use my mind to bring something to the table. The biggest challenge is that I currently do not have a location or shop hence I run the business from my car and online. It’s not easy but it’s do-able and I am hoping in the next couple of years I will have a store.
What do you consider to be the biggest struggle women face?
Women face a lot of challenges but one of the biggest is finding the balance between family life, career life, spiritual and social life.
This brings us to focus on the She Empowerment seminars which will be in its second instalLment this year. What drove you to create such a platform for women?
The motivation behind She empowerment seminars was that personally I wished I had had the pleasure of attending such sessions like this as a young woman where I would leave the session with information to equip me for the future. So I decided last year to launch the platform where women meet, interact and share ideas that move us forward. The main objective behind the seminars is to inspire women and change the lives of women for the better.
What can we expect from the second instalment of the She Empowerment seminar?
The second instalment will certainly be bigger and better. We have 6 powerful speakers in the line-up and also this year we are going to have a meet and greet session from 2pm where the ladies will be able to network.
A little highlight on each of the guest speakers at the seminar?
The guest speaker is Dineo Ranaka; metro FM DJ, TV personality and entrepreneur from SA, Mathabo Ramokhoa; an entrepreneur born and raised in Lesotho, but currently residing in SA and making big waves in SA as the founder and managing director of Tebello Investments. Thirdly we have tsebo Moketa, who we had last year who is the founder of the Royale Spelling bee, Natasha Motolo is an entrepreneur and graphic designer and lastly Thato Mochone who is a former radio DJ, YALI alumni, MINDS alumni and a social activist who is also a communication specialist at Vodacom Lesotho. The sixth lady is of course me, myself and I.
What can we expect from Mo Damane in future, anything on the radar?
There is a lot of things in the pipeline unfortunately I cannot disclose yet but be on the lookout
Quick last Q&A
What is your daily mantra? – Get up and go! Nobody said the road would be easy
I can’t live without…– God
I feel sexiest when…– I have my fragrance on
Biggest regret in life is…–None ‘yet’
My role model in life is…-Dj Sbu
The best decision I have made in my life is…-To start a business
Any last word to the Pristinemag readers…– Follow your dreams no matter what the cost
By: Mantsebeng Maepe