Nandi Mngoma recently wed her “best friend” and South African celebrity-musician Zakes Bantwini (Zakhele Madida). This followed speculation about her pregnancy and a classic reveal when, dressed in a figure-hugging white dress, she showed off her baby bump on the ramp at the opening of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Johannesburg. The songstress and presenter also wowed United States’ fashion critics at the 2016 BET Awards in a monochrome mermaid dress from her own fashion line, Colour. E! News even wrote: “Work that dress.”
Mngoma, who also has a new song, Fly Away, with DJ Kent, reveals more to FORBES WOMAN AFRICA:
1As an entrepreneur, why fashion?
Mainly because I feel like even from ancient African times, we as a continent have always been creating and inspiring the rest of the world and I want to continue this and share my creativity. It’s a challenging industry but one that I feel we as Africans need to own and be more business-orientated with. As a business, it’s not one in which huge amounts of money can be made but one with which you can potentially make a significant impact, which is why I started Colour.
2What’s your most treasured piece of clothing and why? My mother gave me a Zulu beaded necklace which means the world to me. I travel with it and it’s always received with interest.
3Who are your favorite designers, and why? Carolina Herrera – she’s in her 70s and still believes in feeling good as a woman and making other woman feel beautiful. I’m inspired by her and how she embraces the aging processes and how she makes females feel beautiful, no matter their age or size.
Victoria Beckham – as she is also a media personality. I admire her transition from Spice Girl to respected designer. I have studied her and have been impressed with how willing she has been to listen and learn and be a student and that’s exactly what I have done.
Chanel – in terms of being daring and taking risks. Coco Chanel was very daring – she took a tweed jacket which was traditionally for men and made it something women could wear.
And lastly, the late Oscar de la Renta – simply because his designs were just beautiful!
4If you were to design an outfit for one person in the world, who would that be?
Rihanna – I would love to put her in a jump suit that we have designed, possibly for one of her music videos. I think that it would look great on her!
5Your proudest achievement so far…? Just being able to inspire people through what I do, expecting a baby, being a wife and family person and still continuing with my career. Also being at a point where I can embrace who I am. I believe that you can be career-orientated and a great mother. I watched my own mother do this and I want to do the same.
6You are in entertainment; what qualities have you had to adapt to be a fashion entrepreneur?
The entertainment industry prepares you for a lot and there are many qualities and skills which I have used in my fashion career. I have found the fashion industry to be much more detailed and organized compared to the entertainment industry.