Early Life of Nafisa Joseph
Nafisa Joseph was born on March 28, 1978 in Bangalore, Karnataka, where she also spent her childhood. She was the younger of the 2 daughters born to Nirmal Joseph, a Keralite Syrian Christian and Usha Joseph, a Bengali who was a descendant of Rabindranath Tagore and first cousin of Sharmila Tagore. Nafisa attended Bishop Cotton School, where she was a school captain and later St. Joseph's College, both in Bangalore. She was raised a Catholic, but credited her Islamic first name to her paternal grandmother who was a Muslim.
Modelling Career of Nafisa Joseph
At the age of 12 years, Nafisa Joseph started her modelling career, when she was presented with an opportunity to model for a Wearhouse ad. Prasad Bidapa groomed her as a model and she eventually contested at the Miss India pageant in 1997. She was the youngest participant and went on to win the title. Nafisa later participated in the Miss Universe Pageant that year, held in Miami Beach, Florida and finished among the 10 semi-finalists.
Career of Nafisa Joseph
In 1999, Nafisa Joseph was one of the judges for the MTV India VJ Hunt, and also worked as a video jockey for the channel. Nafisa Joseph also presented the ‘MTV House Full’ show, which ran for almost 5 years. She has also acted in a television series called ‘C.A.T.S’, which was an Indian version of the American crime drama TV series ‘Charlie's Angels’ and aired on Sony Entertainment Television. She hosted a show ‘Style’ on Star World in 2004. She also launched a television programming unit, 2's Company, with the help of her fiancé Gautam Khanduja. Nafisa Jospeh was also the editor of a magazine called Gurlz, and appeared in a brief cameo in Subhash Ghai’s Bollywood musical romantic drama film ‘Taal’.
Other Ventures of Nafisa Joseph
Other than modelling and hosting, Nafisa Joseph was actively into animal welfare. Being an avid animal lover, she campaigned for animal welfare organisations like Welfare of Stray Dogs (WSD), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and People for Animals (PFA). She also wrote a weekly column called "Nafisa for Animals", in the Bangalore edition of the Times of India.
Personal Life of Nafisa Joseph
Nafisa Jospeh was first engaged to model Sameer Malhotra, just after she had won the Miss India contest. She eventually broke up with Sameer Malhotra and was next betrothed to model and actor Samir Soni, who was once married to model Rajyalaxmi Khanvilkar. Nafisa Jospeh and Soni were engaged for almost two years of their 3 year romance. Later in 2004, she was supposed to marry businessman Gautam Khanduja which got called off and she ended up hanging herself in her Versova flat on 29th July, 2004.