From rural SA to major influencing on social media

By Liz Clarke Time of article published Jan 13, 2019

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INTERNATIONAL - If there is one thing that KZN business entrepreneur Noxolo Zondi does very well it is discovering those subtle niches in the market place that have space and the potential to grow.

This week this get-up-and-go 28-year old chatted to me about her next venture which she calls “brand influencing” and the use of a vibrant mixture of social platforms to spread messages and monitor trends in the public sector.

“That is the thing about living in an IT era” she says. “You need to be one jump ahead and always strategizing about how you can take your talents and interest just that bit further. I thought to myself if  I can attract followers then I would be useful to brands who want to get their products better known.”

A creative innovator in every sense, Zondi has never allowed hurdles to get in the way of what she wants to achieve and where she want to go.

“I suppose that goes back to my childhood living in a small rural area, miles away from anywhere. I had very little, but I always knew in my heart that one day I would be a princess and that I would be surrounded by beautiful things and beautiful people. I always keep that image in my head. It’s about positive thinking. It really does work.”

Taking a brand to social media.
Part of those early dreams was to work with make up, look like Marilyn Munroe, and learn all there is to know about the beauty world, get her drivers’ license – and a car.

“Coming from the middle of nowhere and being in a city was quite scary, but I did manage to land a job with a Durban department store at the beauty counter, which was great experience.”

Oh yes and she did get her license and a car – a jaunty pale blue mini, which has already clocked up sizeable mileage transporting her make-up collection from event to event.

But her big breakthrough was establishing herself as a beauty and fashion leader on Instagram and facebook.

“It wasn’t a random thing at all. I worked out the best ways to promote, not only my skills as a makeup artist for weddings and celebrations, but to mentor young people leaving school, who wanted to follow my path.”

At 28, Noxolo Zondi is loving her creative and artistic adventure.
Her strategy has definitely worked. To date she has more than 30 000 followers. The exposure has helped her to establish a fashion innovation and make-up school and has led to her participation in a number of high powered events that required a creative and artistic touch, whether it be fashion or make up.

“The way it works” she says. “Is that I agree to promote certain brands on social media sites in a way that I think will do the products justice. Brand influencing is quite a new thing in South Africa, but it is evolving and rewarding. I love it.”

Most recent of these internet linked promotions was a three-day shoot done for footwear leaders, Froggi on the Camp Orchards estate near Hillcrest.

“It was brilliant. I got to do all the make up for the models, which was quite tricky. You are working in a big field surrounding by cattle and you have to make the models look as natural and countrified as possible and yet bring drama to the look.”

Elegant, vivacious, a great believer in letting the universe mould and shape her life, Zondi says that one of her priorities is to empower other young women to enter the world of beauty care and make up.

“For me sharing what I have learnt along the way makes me feel really happy. Like people at a market fair, there is room for everybody. It really is a big world out there and if you put your mind to it, and use your imagination, you can make a success of what you do. If I can get lots of media followers so can others. Being one big colourful and artistic family is what it is all about. Partnerships work. I believe that.”

In that vein the ever-inventive Zondi is planning at least two fashion and beauty events this year to showcase the work and talents of local make up and fashion trend setters.
“People say to me how can you do that? It requires a lot of money. It certainly does but that is when partnerships become so important. What’s more when the concept and business plan is sound, you find that companies are interested on coming on board.”

She is also planning to open her own studio later this year to accommodate not only the students she continues mentors, but to create a greater interest in make-up and beauty. 
“It would be my way of giving back to the community. Of course I have plenty of other dreams but there’s plenty of time for those.”

To follow Zondi, her travels and make up experiences, you need to visit her facebook and Instagram site. 


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