Rolling Out

Malaysia Pargo on reality TV fame, family and co-parenting

It’s hard to believe we met Malaysia Pargo on VH1’s “Basketball Wives L.A.” almost five years ago. Although a lot has changed over the course of this time, Malaysia continues to rely on her faith and remain loyal to those most important to her. Malaysia has endured some of the most difficult times in her life in the past year. She’s suffered the death of one of her twin brothers, allegedly killed at the hands of law enforcement. She survived a divorce from her mate of over 10 years. Through it all, Malaysia has managed to hold her family together by co-parenting for the sake of her children. She has not lost touch with who she is, and she knows what she wants.

In this interview, she makes it clear that she has a lot to offer due to her experiences and outlook on life’s journey.

How is motherhood?
Motherhood is great. It’s the best and greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. My kids are amazing. They all just had birthdays. My twins just turned 5. Then, my son Little J just had his 9th birthday. We’re celebrating birthdays. I’m stumbling over toys at this point. We’re all great!

After divorce, it’s not about you. It’s about the kids. For me, I just learn to make sure my kids are whole.

With everything that’s going on in your life, your recent separation and divorce, why is co-parenting important?
Co-parenting is the most important thing because, first off, you broke a home, and kids realize it, especially when they’re of age. Like my kids, say for my 9-year-old, all he remembers is mom and dad together. Then once you get into school, you see other kids and they have their mom and their dad. You want to make sure they don’t feel like they’re missing anything. As of right now, my ex is actually here with us now.

We co-parent well. We can stay in the same household. He makes sure that when he has a break that he comes in and helps me out with the things I normally do on my own and it’s great! My kids are soaking it up, and they love it! He takes Little J to soccer when he can so that his friends, not to say “show and tell,” but his friends can see that he has a father, as well. It’s great for my kids. It feels good to me that my kids are smiling and they’re happy and they get to see us both in the same environment. We get to go out to eat together. We can do birthday parties together and stuff like that.

After divorce, it’s not about you. It’s about the kids. For me, I just learn to make sure my kids are whole.

I’m not going to say it was just like, “Boom! Let’s be friends,” because it was not. It’s been a long time coming. We had to work at getting to this point to realize it’s not about us anymore but about the three lives we bought into this world. We have to suck it up, forget whatever our feelings are and be adults and talk about it and work it out for the greater good of our kids.

Any advice to young women dating athletes or celebrities?
It’s going to sound very weird when you read this: “Keep in contact with yourself,” but you got to make a daily plan to keep in contact with yourself to find out who you are, what you are, where you want to be. Keep contact with your dreams. Keep God first so that he can keep you good on your journey. Because in the lifestyle that they lead, they meet different people. You get different energies. You’re moving so fast. You have so much money. You kind of forget what you are when you’re cleaved into a marriage or just a couple. You become one. You take on a lot of things that he wants to do, his dreams, his aspirations, and his goals. You kind of leave yourself behind. I would say my best advice is to keep in contact with where you want to go and whom you want to be so that you won’t forget.

How has your life changed since “Basketball Wives L.A.” first aired?
Just the facial recognition: it kind of changed me as far as like when I really am having a bad day I just kind of stay inside. I’m already a homebody as it is, but now I feel like I’m more of a homebody. Other than that, I feel like maybe just the opportunity to tell my story and just to reach out to people I wouldn’t normally reach out to [around] the world. It’s great for me. God said that if you can at least tell one person your testimony and they can learn from it and help then you’re helping me. I feel like that’s a sense of greatness for me. It’s therapeutic to share it as far as healing. But, at least someone else can see that I’m going through this stressful time and I’m making it out. Hopefully, they can have the strength to make it out, as well.

I’m not full of myself. I will talk to anybody as long as you talk to me and have some sense.

What has being on reality TV taught you about fame?
Being on reality TV sometimes actually I forget that I’m on TV. So when I walk into a room and people are starring at me, I’m like, “What the hell are they looking at?” [giggles]

I really do because I find myself very much a down-to-earth person, very humble. I’m not full of myself. I will talk to anybody as long as you talk to me and have some sense. It really taught me that you can still be the same person whether on Monday night, Tuesday night, or Wednesday night. You don’t have to be an ass to get respect. I feel like I talk to everyone. I’m still the same person. I’m still the same person to my friends and my family. People that I don’t talk to, haven’t talked to in years, but if they see me on the street I’ll definitely hold a conversation like we’re back in Compton a long time ago. It really hasn’t changed me at all. I don’t plan for there to be any change in me.

Is there any loyalty between friends when it comes to reality TV?
In my case, yes. Like I said, I’ve been on reality TV with two of my really great friends. We make sure that we stay loyal to each other to a fault. No matter what it is, we have each other’s backs. We love each other and we will do everything that we do outside the TV on the TV. We don’t play it up for you guys. We make sure that we’re 100 with each other. So, therefore, if we like keep it how we would keep it off the camera, it will be completely authentic. We don’t have to lie or answer questions later on for something . . . It’s just completely authentic. For me, I think loyalty is everything.

You can dream something but then if you don’t work at it to do it and it’s just a dream and it doesn’t manifest, it’s a blown dream.

Tell us a little bit about your business ventures, your bedding collection with Hedgecock Creed, anything you’re doing in the community, stuff that you have going on.
Well, I have my bedding collection and it’s therapeutic for me to start something new. It’s not a lot of African American women out doing bedding. I think we all love fashion and all want to show our creations in fashion. I love fashion, too, but decided to go another route and do the bedding line. I’m looking at one of my sets on my bed right now and it’s just amazing to actually see it all come to fruition. You can dream something but then if you don’t work at it to do it and it’s just a dream and it doesn’t manifest, it’s a blown dream. The fact that I can actually sit here, I can sleep in it and know that it’s good quality and it’s something that I created, it’s just amazing to me, and it makes me proud of myself. I’m coming out with a product line with Virgin Hair Dynasty. It’s basically for the maintenance of your hair both natural and weave hair. It’s everything that has to do with maintenance.

In closing, Malaysia adds,
“Keep tuning in to ‘Basketball Wives.’ Thank you for watching. All of my supporters, I want to say thank you so much for all your kind words and always reminding me when I slip. I love constructive criticism. I’m human so sometimes I walk in the flesh. Every now and then you’ll get me saying something out of line. Thank you guys for whipping me back in shape and letting me know like, girl, stay together. I read all the comments and I get it. Thank you.”


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