Posted July 6, 2007 – When it was all said and done, Mo'Nique made Saaphyri Windsor the winning pupil of VH1's "Charm School." Now the once-homeless sister is far from it, taking home $50,000 as her prize. What’s the Crenshaw-bred honey up to now? We caught up with her on Cloud 9 to find out:
You were the only Flavorette who didn’t get a nickname. What does your real name mean?
It comes from the Kabala. It means the past on the tree of life. Of course, my mom doctored it up some. Hahaha.
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What went through your head when you won?
When I was standing there with Leilene, I was praying to myself, "Just please let me win." Then I told myself to shut up and just enjoy the moment. I was so ecstatic. It was bananas. I went into it taking it one day at a time. Then I started to think I had a chance. Every day was a different adventure.
Did you buy a house with the money?
I bought a condo. I put a down payment on a condo. I'm happy when I put the key in the door and nobody's inside. No roommates! I was able to pay to get my stuff out of storage, too.
Did you have any kind of winning strategy on the show?
Probably to pray more than anyone else. Make sure God kept me on the top of my list. Everything was destiny.
Going into “Charm School,” what did you think you needed to improve most about yourself?
I'd gone through anger management classes. But I hadn't really tested it out. I learned that I am able to redirect my energy and fall back when I need to.
NEXT: What hair color is Saaphyri rockin' now?
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What else did you learn most about yourself?
That I could actually be a winner. I learned not to place value on possessions. We're more than our possessions. Now that I won the money, I don't want to run out and buy a $5,000 necklace like I thought I would. It's not that important now.
Who were you friends with most among the women?
Becky. She’s kinda crazy, but I still love her to death. I understand
her different personalities.
She was going to give you half the money if she won. What did you think about that?
I was thinking, "Is she serious?" Would she retract it? But I think she was sincere.
Did you get to keep the uniform?
Yeah, and I still have my pen. I'm not going to put it on e-bay, either!
What hair color are you rockin' today?
Today it's black. I'm rockin' the dark colors.
Do you still rock the boots Mo'Nique got back for you?
I still have them. They're sitting right here. They are my lucky boots. If you remember, I wore them during the first challenge when we were camping out. Those boots had me
warm. It was freezing. People put aside their differences to bundle up!
NEXT: Did Saaphyri really accept Shay's apology?
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After beefin' with Shay on the show, she apologized to you. Did you really forgive her?
I saw her at the finale party. We had a good time. We put it behind us.
How has this experience changed your life?
I can take on the light company and the gas company. Hahaha. Actually, it's made me more business-savvy. I have a product coming out called Lip Chap, which I introduced on Flavor of Love. I have a hair product called Saaphyri's Ultimate Indian Hair. I found the best hair! You can dip it, dry it and fry it. It will last up to one year if you take care of it.
What's next for you? More TV?
I was in a film called "Ricky and Melinda." I like TV. I like movies, too. I'm also working on making full-length wigs for people with alopecia. If someone's hair looks good, they feel better about themselves.
How much did you dig Mo'Nique?
I love Mo'Nique to death. She's very honest with her opinions. She was the best person to put on Charm School with us. She was there from her heart.
Will there be a “Charm School II?”
As popular as it was, there should be. Grandmas, dads, kids, moms – everybody was watching “Charm School.”