By Avuzwa Japhta
Avuzwa Japhta, a 2nd year Journalism student, was tasked with tracking down a few of UCKAR’s campus-based self-proclaimed fashion moguls, giving each individual an opportunity to showcase themselves, their eclectic styles and their unique outlooks, inspiring self-confidence and the importance of embracing and enforcing one’s brand. This Q & A is proof that anybody with something to say, given the right platform, while exercising commitment and passion, can have an impact within the world of fashion.
Meet your moguls!
Avuzwa: What inspired you to start a blog?
Evanny: Fashion affordability. I’ve had friends and strangers comment on my fashion sense, asking how they could also look good without breaking the bank. And I’ve always felt that you don’t need to be a designer to create a stylish look. The key is to look neat, fashionable, elegant and most importantly to be confident.
A: How has blogging influenced your personal style?
E: Blogging has given me more knowledge and awareness because the more I try to give fashion advice and tips, the more I learn. I also have to research in order to come up with a blend of current trends along with my personal style. Blogging has allowed me a platform to exercise my voice, even though my blog is still a work in process.
A: How do you juggle school and keeping up with posting?
E: I wish I had a set method. Trust me when I say it gets hectic trying to juggle academics with blogging. Studying and blogging both require my full attention. I struggling trying to manage my time and resources more appropriately to feed both entities and be outstanding.
A: What are your current everyday fashion favourites?
E: My current fashion favourites are sneakers and any footwear from Foschini, jean pants from Zara, jean jackets from MrP and winter faux fur jackets from Truworths (depending on the Makhanda weather). These are the items that I can easily jump into and get on with my day.
BA: Politics and Law Major 2018
Creator of kidz_of_biko
Facebook: Kidz of Biko
Avuzwa: What is kidz of biko? And why was it created?
Khanyisile: It started as a platform for people to have discussions inspired by my primary school and high school experiences. I went to predominately white schools, so I felt as though the black narrative was constantly excluded and we did not have any black representation from the school authorities. There was no space for black students to go to comfortably voice their concerns.
However, right now, kidz of biko, is about giving the voiceless a voice and most importantly validating their voices.
A: What message/s are you hoping people could receive from kidz of biko?
K: The fundamental is just to say that black is beautiful. There is a lot encompassed in that message alone because it extends to women’s trials and tribulations, those that women, especially black women, experience from our culture and the patriarchal systems that exist within our culture. We explore classist systems, and particularly the notions of black privilege. Basically, we want to address all the various black people struggles which exist that nobody talks about.
A: What does it mean to you to be young, black & female?
K: I want to say that it is empowering and all those positive things, but the truth is that it is scary. More so because now we are speaking about these issues and we are not hidden from reality. We are seen and we are making ourselves and our presence valuable and valid.
A: What does fashion mean to you, and where do you base your source of inspiration?
K: Fashion means me. How I dress definitely resembles my mood. When I wake up in the morning I do have a very specific way in which I want to present myself. My main source of expression is my hair and I switch up my hair style on a regular basis. The Somalia culture has become my most favourite source of expression.
Hairstylist - specializing in braids
Facebook: Kensani Melony Msindwana
Avuzwa: When and why did you start doing hair for money?
Kensani: I started doing hair for money in 2017, however it was not meant to be as profitable has it has become because I was only doing hair for my friends at res. I started charging real money because I wanted to purchase a new phone. It was only this year that it became an official business because I was saving up to purchase a laptop. I could no longer manage my school work without my own computer.
A: How do you balance school demands with finding time to do hair?
KE: It gets quite hectic trying to balance school and doing hair. It has meant a lot of sleepless nights. I’ve developed a system where I do school work during the day and then do a client’s hair at night, but of course this means that I only get two to three hours of sleep. Weekends are when I’m busiest. I’ve done five clients in one weekend, which I have tried to limit because it is a hindrance on my school work. My academics are and will always come first.
These three individuals, while utilising their very different and unique sense of style, skills and capabilities, have one thing in common: their ability to empower and enable others through their own sense of self. When we talk about “fashion moguls”, we do not necessarily mean charismatic designers or stylists. To us, a fashion mogul is a young woman with a knack for understanding the cost of looking good and finding a frugal alternative to share with her readers. A fashion mogul is a young founder - and inevitable CEO - of an initiative aimed at empowering women around her while she represents her most authentic self. A fashion mogul is a struggling student who discovered her talent while trying to make ends meet, and is now finding herself high in demand but still manages to take her academics seriously.
UCKAR hosts some of the most inspirational, entrepreneurial and powerful young people in South Africa.
Let Activate Online know who they are!