Growing up in Durban, Langalethu Mngoma, 26, went to Danville Park Girls’ High School where she immersed herself in the arts by learning piano, taking drama and singing in school musicals. 

“I was a creative kid and always thought I’d pursue something in that industry. However my dad is a doctor so I think I got inspired to do medicine. I’ve always liked exploring different aspects of myself and medicine has been the most humbling experience of my life,” said Mngoma. 

After completing her MBChB degree at UCT in 2014 Mngoma began working in the public sector. “It’s a high pressured, low resourced, high patient load setting. Doctors have access to remarkable training due to the high burden of disease in the country. It can be draining at times due to the 24 sometimes 30 hour shifts we do. I find my job very rewarding as well. To be honest our healthcare system is in a crisis with regards to resources and shortages of doctors which impacts on the care of patients. That can be very frustrating at times,” she said. 

Younger sister to South African singer, actress and TV presenter Nandi Madida, Mngoma said it was her family who had influenced her interest in fashion and beauty. “My mother and my sister are very stylish so being the youngest in the family and growing up among very chic women, I was influenced by their style. They made it fun for me. My sister and I are close so she introduced me to blogs and stuff which really got me into the fashion and beauty industry.” 

Mngoma’s Instagram page, which has more than 27 000 followers, details the life of a stylish and cosmopolitan individual. Peppered with pictures of life as a young professional and her travels around Europe and Thailand, it was the page that saw Estée Lauder approach Mngoma. “They were looking for social media influencers who would represent their vision for the campaign.” When she moved to Joburg to start her year of community service, Mngoma said their approach had come as a surprise. “When I got the message I was really excited and inspired about the campaign. “I was honoured that they had chosen me as one of their ambassadors,” she said. The campaign is for a product called Daywear Matte. “It’s really incredible. Estée Lauder was an ambitious working woman. “The digital campaign pays homage to her by authentically portraying different types of working women who use this product to keep their skin matt.” Already in the works is another campaign which Mngoma said she was excited to be a part of. 

In an era where social media has an astounding impact on society, Mngoma has found herself in an unexpected position. “It’s quite interesting that we’re part of a new era where social media provides a major platform of impact. “To be honest, a lot of people got to know me via my sister who has a large following because of her position in the entertainment industry. “My goal would be to inspire young girls to enjoy their individuality and have fun with expressing their unique styles,” said Mngoma.