Mariechan reflects on being called an 'ugly duckling' her younger days
"'I wasn't light enough, they called me ugly duckling'," said ex Jamali member Mariechan.
As a young girl, former Jamali member, Mariechan didn't always believe in herself or that she was beautiful and it's been a journey of self-discovery for her.
Mariechan's confidence was battered as a child after she was bullied and made to doubt her beauty.
"I always knew that i was talented and that maybe I was beautiful despite being told otherwise but people will only believe you as much as you believe yourself. And... I didn't believe it until much later in my life," she told TshisaLIVE.
Mariechan, who is about to launch her solo career added that re-defining herself has been a journey.
"As woman, you go through a whole lot of things in your life, mostly meant to break you. You have to find it in you to allow it to bend you but never to break you. Sometimes it takes long because it's a journey, so this album is a story of how I found my blossom. It's to say, I've gone through it but here I am."
The songstress, popularly known for being part of the Coca Cola Pop Stars' manufactured girl band, came out with her solo single recently and announced her upcoming EP.
She told TshisaLIVE that the EP, called Cherry Blossom, was inspired by the cherry blossom tree in her grandmother's backyard.
"The story of Cherry Blossom is one that dates back to some moments in my grandmother's backyard. Where I come from straight sleek hair and being light skinned meant you were beautiful, and everything in between was almost there but never quite got there.
"My granny never used to let me put anything in my hair and I wasn't as light enough, they called me ugly duckling. There tree was blossoming and one day I said to my gran, 'I wish I was as pretty as these flowers.' She said, 'but baby, you are already beautiful and one day when you grow up and see it for yourself then you will blossom just like the that cherry blossom tree."
Mariechan said women's confidence was broken when they were still little girls and they had to work hard to built it up themselves as they grow.
"It's a confidence thing really... and the more you grow and learn about yourself the more you realise that it boils down to you believing in yourself first.