blog humans of coffee

Humans of coffee: Shashi Naidoo

Who is Shashi Naidoo?

I love life, and with me, what you see is what you get. I’m a straightforward person and as open as a book. I live my life positively and love hard. However, I vigorously stand up for what I believe in and defend the ones I love. I’m a quirky social butterfly and a driven entrepreneur at the same time.

I’m a  self-confessed shoe addict and fashion lover. I pride myself in, what I believe, is  a fabulous collection from all over the world – an investment piece here and a bargain find there, so to speak. I consider myself to be so blessed to have a job that allows me to travel and see the world. One of my greatest passions is interior decorating and if I wasn’t doing what I do now I would be following in the footsteps of my design icon, Kelly Hoppen. I actually did the interiors of my own home and its my pride and joy!

When you’re my friend, you’re also my family. I try my very best to take care of those I love in every way I can.

I’m not naturally petite and I absolutely love my food, so I have to work hard to keep my figure in shape. But don’t be fooled, every now and then you will find me whipping up a gourmet meal but I still love a junk food fest once in a while. I am a strong advocate of a balanced lifestyle, live with passion, but put in the maintenance.

I think that one of my defining traits is how passionate I am about my country, friends, family and business. I am proudly South African and detest any form of prejudice or discrimination. We are all equal and I feel we shold endeavour to create environments where all can share in the best that life has to offer.

What is your best childhood memory?

When you’re young, your whole world is your parents. Both my parents worked very hard so I didn’t get too spend as much time with them as I would have liked. A family holiday where we went camping in the Transkei really stands out in my memory. I remember fishing, swimming in the ocean and just spending lots of time with my family. It is also where I got the scar in my right eyebrow from diving into a rock.

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If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?

I spent six years of my life studying chiropractic and two years doing community service and because of my decision to go full into the entertainment industry, I did not get to practice. Whilst I have absolutely no regrets about that decision or my decision to study such a long degree, sometimes I wish I had the guts to study something related to this industry that I am so passionate about.  All my knowledge of acting and presenting has had to be learnt through experience along the way.

What do you feel most proud of?

When I started as a young model it was almost impossible to find an agency that would represent me. At that time, model agencies in South Africa were very strict about only taking girls over 1.73cm and a size 0. After having gained experience in the industry, I really began to feel that this was a dated concept of what a model should be and decided to open up my own agency to represent a broader scope of models, called Alushi. That was six years ago with just 5 models to start with. We know represent over 400 models, and I am very proud of the fact that we were a groundbreaker in changing that stereotype of what a model should be. Most agencies now too represent a diversity of people and I feel in my own little way I have contributed to that growth in beauty standards in this country.

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If you could only keep three possessions, what would they be and why?

Im afraid I’m going to have to be materialistic on this one… my house, my car, my cellphone.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Adoring wife, doting mother… she lived a life abundant with love.

What is Cotlands?

I have been the brand ambassador for Cotlands for the last three years. My relationship started when I did a voluntary MC gig for them and I was in such awe of the work they did in so many communities that I made it my mission to get in involved and take on a bigger role. One of the biggest projects that i initiated was the “Donate your birthday to Cotland” campaign, whereby people instead of requesting gifts for their birthday, can rather have their guests go online and donate any amount of money to the organisation. The project has done amazingly well and a lot better than any of us thought it would. I think it just goes to show that most people are inherently good and do want to give but are just not sure how to go about it.So in an nutshell, to do more there – to see more children loved and taken care of.

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What’s your favorite kind of coffee?

I really can’t handle caffeine, I think I must be too high on life already 🙂 I only drink a skinny piping hot red cappuccino.

In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?

Tasha’s or JB’s Corner, but that is purely because of the sheer convenience in proximity to my home.

What does a perfect day look like?

As much as I do love my job, a perfect day for me would still be one where I was on holiday, lying on the beach next to my boyfriend sipping a drink, obviously with an umbrella in it.

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