Career Profiles: Nandipha Sekeleni

Finally, Nanzyee! Yes, I’m going to admit I’ve been planning on sitting down with this lady for a while and we finally got to meet. We were meant to meet up when she visited Dubai last year for the Festive Season but our schedules clashed.
You should know that I’m quite excited that this project is finally happening so without keeping you in suspense, let’s get acquainted with Nandipha popularly known as Nanzyee on Instagram and other Social Media links. A doctor by profession, a girl in love with fashion and paving the way in the high streets, a career focused woman who refuses to get restrained by social standards. One would say, the influencer of her own life….. With all this said, a caring mother and loving wife.

Style Influencer Nanzyee
Style Influencer Nanzyee

Let’s walk around a little bit in Melrose Arch while getting acquainted with each other;

L:First thing I wanna know, why Fashion?

N: I’ve always loved fashion, I love dressing up and styling myself. It’s always good to define your style, in a way when you know yourself then everything falls into place and this is why at times I design my outfit. I love the freedom of creating my own pieces and actually wearing what I love, something that suits me best.

L: How do you find the balance between being a Doctor and your love for fashion, I mean you save people’s lives daily and I have great respect for your job but one would find it challenging and demanding to be in your shoes.

N: I’m firstly a Doctor, I love being a Doctor and as much as it’s demanding I’m also a girl. I enjoy the pleasures of being a woman and I get to do this in the Fashion Industry.
I remember when we were still in university, most of my friends were really focused on just completing the school tasks and as much as we all had the ambition to complete our studies, I found peace in having my magazines around while studying for my Profession.

L: This must make you a very brilliant person, I admire how you found the balance to succeed in your career and also remain true to your creative passion.
Can you tell me more about the Fashion Industry in South Africa? The pros and cons

N: There’s a lot of creativity in South Africa but we still have a long way to go. In a way being an influencer in South Africa still requires me to put more time and effort into my work: making sure to register with certain Bodies in order to attend Fashion Weeks and other events. The invitations aren’t always thrown on your lap, you have to go out and look for work projects and connect with the right people but you also have to define what want and what you’re willing to work with.

L: I think it’s very important for us to build relationships with brands, at the end of the day we can’t all sit around and wait for contracts to come to us: Do you think it’s advisable to accept any offer from brands or work with any brand?

N: It’s very important remain true to yourself, sometimes you’ll have to turn down some offers because they may impact negatively on your brand. Being an influencer or a blogger means you’re running your own brand. It’s a business on its own and it happens to be in the toughest industry, Fashion. If you align yourself with certain brands mainly for the money, you may end up losing the other brands you’ve had all along that you can build concrete relationships with. There are strategists that work for these brands and they pay attention to all the details, whether you’ve bought your followers and what you do for popularity, they are people and they can see everything. The same thing applies to how you interact with your followers, followers are people and just because they like your pictures or write comments it doesn’t mean you can mistreat them. You have to keep in mind that you’re dealing with people, be polite and respectful to others and this will take you far.

‘The invitations aren’t always thrown on your lap, you have to go out and look for work projects.”

L: I’m a firm believer of Forward Movement, do you share the same sentiments?
N: I believe in growing and evolving. These days women build each other up, we find inspiration in one another. I follow people I don’t know but they inspire me in their own way and I hope I do the same for my followers.
When I got featured on Forbes Magazine, I knew how important it would be for me to work harder, it was about tackling two different worlds, being a doctor and creating forward movement in the fashion industry. My peers at work would not believe that ‘Sekeleni’ is somehow an influencer in fashion.

Nanzyee
Nanzyee

L: A lot of people look up to you, so it can’t be easy having to keep up with all the social media trends. How important is social media in the fashion industry and what can you say to those that wish to get in the industry?
N: It’s very important to be active on social media as it creates a platform for you to interact with people globally, especially your followers and brands. I make time to respond to people’s emails and comments as most people ask for advice and some have an insight that helps me look at things differently.
It’s good to love what you do and be passionate about your work, we find inspiration through each other on social media and our community continues to evolve.

L: What I’ve always admired about you is how you manage to put on a bikini and still remain so flawless and elegant. Being a woman sometimes comes with a price tag, you have to look a certain way, dress in a particular way, speak in a certain, basically the way we carry ourselves exposes us to be judged by social standards:
N: That’s the thing about social standards, sometimes they can be quite daunting and honestly it’s not fair for women not to be themselves in the fear of being ridiculed. I believe in being true to myself and I don’t think wearing a bikini or doing a photoshoot in one suddenly changes who I am.

L: What’s your take on the aesthetics; beauty?
N: Beauty has lately been a tricky business and I’m not too sure if it’s because of the competition in the industry but I honestly would still love to recognise my face even when I have makeup on.

Captured by Lima Brown
Captured by Lima Brown

L: There’s a flair about you, somewhat humbled. I honestly believe this is one of your strongest aspects. It cant’s be easy having two demanding careers that have put all the spotlights on you yet you are absolutely down to earth, and genuinely happy. Your energy makes you absolutely beautiful and yes still with makeup on, we can still recognise your features.
Did I tell you how much I want your hair, see why I was skeptical on doing this interview because I knew I’d confess my crush in public!

N: ‘chuckles’ those are kind kind words Maki,…….
” I love how innocently Nandipha blushes at a compliment” Did I mentioned she continuously threw compliments at me? Then again it’s not always about me so I’ll just say I believe there’s more to come from this force. She says she loves street fashion because it’s fun and she’s fully aware how sometimes people think bloggers are crazy but she’s adjusted to all the public stares during her photoshoots.
“You just have to get the job done, it’s fun”
“I would love to continuously grow as Doctor, I’m passionate about my career but I also love fashion so I’m required to tackle both industries.”

You can check Nandipha’s other profiles on:
Instagram: @nanzyee
Twitter: @nanzyee
Pintrest: Nanzyee

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