Mzansi queens making waves in entertainment and pop culture

Sade Simons runs a Public Relations company that works with some of the country’s top artist such as Shane Eagle. Picture: Supplied

Sade Simons runs a Public Relations company that works with some of the country’s top artist such as Shane Eagle. Picture: Supplied

Published Aug 19, 2023


When it comes to the entertainment industry, there are several ways to make it, and not all of them include being famous. Sometimes you can be working behind the scenes, making things happen.

In the spirit of Women's Month, we are highlighting women who are paving their own way within the industry.

Sadé Simons, founded SS Public Relations company, allows her to live out her dream of offering both national and international PR & marketing services.

Her PR agency that has worked with various artists such as Burna Boy, Kizz Daniel, Grammy award won I h songwriter & producer Kel-P, Shane Eagle, YOUNGSTACPT, Frank Casino, DJ Zinhle, MÖRDA, Xolly Mncwango and Brenden Praise, to name a few.

The digital revolution has allowed businesses like Simons’ to rise and achieve success. “Social media is now used as the most effective advertising platform that allows brands to get exposure, engagement and influence,” Simons explained.

“This is self promotion and awareness that allows brands / people to have their careers at the tip of their fingers, being in full control of what they want and how they want to be perceived.”

The power of the internet has also allowed for artists to have more control over their work, which in Simon's lane of work is essential.

Simons adds that it is important to educate the youth about the industry, as knowledge is power.

“Mentorship is important because we should be empowering and educating our fellow women and girls, allowing them to continue with our legacy.

“There’s more than enough for everyone.Collaboration is key. More ideas, strengths and sharing of weaknesses can ensure optimum success of the project or campaign.”

Cape Town-based marketing strategist within the music industry, known mostly for her massive TikTok following, Zethu Gqola is also making notable waves, so much that she has scored a nomination in the ‘Knowledge Sharing Award’ category at the DStv Content Creators Awards.

Gqola got into the knowledge sharing space online by “accident” after a video she made went viral on TikTok a year and a half ago.

@zethugqola He is for sure a top contender for a Grammy in the global category! #tiktoknews #davido #musiciansoftiktok #musicwithzethu ♬ original sound - Zethu

Since then she has gained 200,000 followers gravitating towards her authentic commentary and personable delivery on topics and stories that she personally finds interesting in the pop culture and socio-political space, balancing her content with vlogs of her day/events/life on occasion.

Switching from live event marketing to marketing the music itself, has been Gqola’s biggest career switch up. “To play a small part in the creation of a song or album that could completely change someone’s life is more fulfilling.”

Throughout her career Gqola has always preferred to work with women: mentor women, get women interns, find women colleagues to join her team. “I’m in an industry that used to be incredibly male dominated when I started out.

“Thank God there were enough women who wanted to see change that many of us did something, inspired others and now you have (more) women everywhere on the business side of music, and girls are bossing their way to the top - it’s incredible.”

Gqola explained that she wishes she had someone guiding her when she started out in her career to help her navigate things.

“Mentorship helps you realise your worth and gives you the ability to realise sooner rather than later what it is you want and the right way to go after it.

“It can be empowering to know when to stand up for yourself, and often times we don’t because we think horrific treatment in the workplace is a norm, and it’s not.”

The content creator encourages women to join the amazing support systems that exist for women in the industry like SheSaidSo or Women In Music.

“Those communities are consistently finding ways to create more opportunities for women, get women heard, spotlight the women making a difference and offering support and guidance for women looking to enter various spaces.”