‘I Was Walking Dead’

Published 9 years ago

Roxy Marosa is a true example of success through relentless reinvention. And she has been an ardent proponent of that, traveling the world as a motivational speaker, telling people of all ages and statuses that basically, life is what you make it.

The statement sounds easy and effortless when you are blessed with the kind of looks like Marosa’s, but charmed as it might seem, her life has been no fairytale.

Born Rosalia Maletsatsi in Kimberly, the diamond town of South Africa’s Northern Cape, 45 years ago, she was only 10 when she first started entering – and winning – beauty pageants.


At a glance, her life seems to have come full circle. Marosa runs an eponymous beauty studio in Cape Town and has a successful personalized skincare range. It almost seems a given for a former beauty queen to work in a sector affiliated to beauty. But there is more to this soft-spoken beauty with the direct yet friendly gaze.

More than once, her dreams were shattered. First, when she fell pregnant with her son Tumi a mere two years after matriculating. The pageants and modeling assignments had to come to an end.

Marosa then joined retail major Edgars as an accounts clerk and was later transferred to Cape Town, where she moved in with her partner. For a while, life in the city was ideal.


“I quit my job to study full-time, while my partner took care of our son,” says Marosa. The couple wed in 1998, when Tumi was eight.

The world of glamor beckoned again, when she had taken Tumi for an audition for a commercial, and she was offered a role as well. It was a godsend really, says Marosa, who realized “the man above” was listening to her hopes and dreams.

But her journey was destined for another detour when, in 2000, she was diagnosed with HIV after contracting it from her husband. The couple separated, divorcing seven years later, and Marosa threw herself into facilitating HIV programs and roadshows for corporate giants, and was even sent by the United Nations to do the same in places as disparate as Cape Town and Korea.

“When I returned from a World Aids Conference, my work as a speaker escalated,” says Marosa, who was an ideal candidate to discuss HIV.


“It was a road I had traveled, from fear and negativity, to living positively.”

Marosa turned the hurdles into springboards.

“When I was diagnosed with HIV, I was walking dead. Seven months later, the virus was undetectable. ‘You defy nature,’ my doctor told me before he died.”

She conquered the disease with medication and by practising what she preached as a motivational speaker with international organization Landmark.


“I developed an interest in ontology (the philosophical study of the nature of being) and how people respond to what life brings them,” she says of her four-year stint with the organization.

“I started taking responsibility for the choices I had made. That was the beginning of something really important in my life. I also saw a whole lot of people who were broken by their past – people of different calibres, nationalities and all ages. The outcomes were phenomenal, I knew I was on the right track. I got to be grounded and I realized it doesn’t matter what I did, whether I was on TV or not, I was the same. Because we are all dealt the same stuff.”


She also developed an interest in chemical products versus natural, organic products. In 2010, Marosa realized a longtime dream when she released her eponymous skincare brand, available online and from her Beauty Studio in Wynberg, Cape Town. Her passion for holistic natural healing led to her meeting Japanese chiropractor Yukari Abe, a keynote speaker at the International Women’s Club, who taught her the Japanese massage technique she now offers clients.


“I develop myself, my business and the people around me on an ongoing basis,” says Marosa, who employs sales consultants countrywide.

Her next goal is to grow her beauty salon brand countrywide. Luckily for her now, time is on he