Fire and Ice Hotel? Well, that’s exactly the sensation I experienced when I got to the venue to meet up with one of South Africa’s hottest models. She was total fire when she walked down the staircase, smiling and greeting everyone who walked passed her, god-damn! I froze when she looked at me and asked, “Hey, are you Mpho? Live Magazine?.”
In my head my response was “In the flesh honey!!” but I composed myself, and with sheer humility replied, “Yes ma’am, that’s me.” Now that was a Fire and Ice experience without me having to book an expensive hotel room.
Shashi Naidoo is a business owning, Range Rover driving, Jimmy Choo wearing, gorgeous model, TV presenter and actress, born and bred in Port Elizabeth, she later moved to Johannesburg to study Chiropractic Medicine. Beauty with brains huh? But how did she end up in entertainment and not in chiropractics?
“At the end of my period of studying Chiropractic, I realised that it wasn’t for me”, she giggled.
Oh? Okay, so how did modelling come into the equation I ask, “During that time I also got into modelling and acting, so it kinda got stuck onto me and I decided to fulfill that on a more full time basis.”
That’s when you started seeing Shashi on popular soap opera’s like Backstage, Generations and Society. She also started presenting, co-presenting shows like EMS Volume 1 and 20 Something, with ten years of experience in the modelling business, we’ve seen her grace the covers of magazines such as FHM and Cosmopolitan, to having features in People Magazine, Oprah’s O Magazine and Times Live, I mean the list is endless!
That’s not all though, Shashi Naidoo also has a very successful modelling agency called Alushi Models which she started in 2008 and has about 300 models from all over the country on its books. Alushi is the fastest growing agency in Johannesburg right now, and Shashi has even bigger plans for it, “We doing very well in the local and national scale, but obviously there is room for growth that’s why we looking at expanding into a more international scale.”
Being part of Alushi Models has become an aspiration for many young women, with Shashi getting a lot of requests from eager joiners, she’s had to refine her intake process over time, “We are very strict when it comes to our criteria, in the beginning we were more lenient than now but also with more experience I have seen what works well.”
Unlike other agencies their criteria is not specific, all they want is “Someone with that X factor, who is gonna work on set and impress clients.”
Entertainment is not all she does though, she is also the brand ambassador for Cotlands, a non-profit organisation that helps orphaned children and those affected by HIV/AIDS, she’s been with them for 2 years now and states that, “I think it’s very important for young kids who are doing well to give back to the community, we forget that often we doing well because we get caught up in what we doing but I think it is quite important to give back.”
With Alushi, Cotlands and her own career, seems like Shashi is a very busy woman, but has confessed she would prefer to stay at home in her pyjamas all day, “The biggest misconception about me is that I’m a party animal, which I’m not. It’s just that the job I do is out there in the media, but I am just a normal person like everyone else, I enjoy being alone and also being with friends.”
Speaking about staying at home, Shashi has a cute King Charles Cavalier Spaniel (dog) which she always takes for a walks first thing in the morning. A pet she has, yes, but who keeps her warm at night after a long day of hard work? “Well!!…. Actually I’m single”, smiled the beauty.
“Ncooooh sheem” my photographer and I uttered with humour.
Shashi laughed out loud and looked back to a corner where her friends were seated and shared the joke, “If you knew her ex-boyfriend you wouldn’t have that reaction”, laughed one of her friends, sarcastically.
“Yes, he was a jerk hey but anyway, I’m single. Another thing is I don’t date anyone who is in the media business, a lot of the guys who do approach me are in media and I just don’t want that kind of attention in my life.”
When you’re a powerful media mogul like Shashi, I think you would also prefer keeping your private life private, that’s actually the recipe of success when you in the line of work that she’s in.
With Alushi looking at going international and Shashi still topping the FHM 100 Most Sexiest Women list, it’s a clear indication that her work in the media is far from over.