Name: Mangalisile Makhaye

Age: 31

Life quote: “You possess all of the tools that you need to excel in life” – Mangalisile

What does it mean to be a woman (in this day and age) and what is the most important thing to you as a woman? Being a woman, in this day and age, means owning – or being in pursuit of – one’s most authentically unapologetic voice. The time to express feminism in all that we do couldn’t be any better than it is now. Women have made strides in reclaiming equality in various spheres of the human experience, and I am committed to enforcing every single radical notion that feminism has introduced to the world to date. What’s important to me, as a woman, is to proceed through life without giving my unique voice away – for any reason. Society has a gazillion double standards, and ridiculous expectations are placed on women –
in particular – so self-expression will remain important to me until my last day.

What is self-hate to you? And have you been a victim of it? Self-hate, to me, is the inability to find contentment within the unique elements that make me who I am – not just who I am by name, but the very core of my being. Yes, I have definitely been a victim thereof (self-hate). I’ve had to grab the bull by the horns, in recent years, and navigate my way through hurtful commentary on my body image (as seen by others and myself), experiencing the inadequacies of my township background, the double-sworded edge of my private school education, confusion in my cultural identity (the bi-lingual nature of it all has, apparently, given others permission to advice on whom I need to identify myself as), my simultaneous, yet different, career choice(s). All of this unsolicited commentary played on my mind, and affected my self-esteem negatively.”

Do you still have issues with self-esteem? And what helps you snap out of it? I absolutely still have self-esteem issues. I have major daddy, body image, and career choice issues – which (sometimes) all make me question if I’ve made any progress at all in the last decade, regarding owning my own thoughts and feelings about myself versus owning thoughts and feelings about me, as perceived by others. What helps me snap out of it, is the knowledge that my journey on earth is not meant to be approved by anyone other than God Himself, and that nothing I experience is set in stone or prescriptive for my future self. It is a journey, after all, and change is inevitable. If I’m not happy about something; I can always change it, so that it makes sense to me and fits my journey better.

When did you learn to start loving the woman you are? I started embracing my imperfections, and gradually learning to love myself, as recently as 2010. I am who I am, and not a single soul outside of that fact can embody my essence.

What do you think has influenced your confidence? The fact that my identity is not based on a name, cultural background, or even race. My confidence is rooted in my spiritual wokeness.

What are your passions and inspirations? My passions include writing, crafting tangible and intangible works, as well as fostering meaningful relationships with those who matter to my soul. My inspirations are business moguls, who’ve managed to incorporate culture and entrepreneurship.”

Do you have any fashion/beauty icons, if so who are they? My fashion & beauty icons include Thandiswa Mazwai, Nhlanhla Nciza, Solange, Marc Jacobs, YSL, Tamera Mowry-Housley, Coco Chanel, and the late Jenny Andrew. A very diverse list, this – I know.

If you could meet your younger self, what would you say to her? Don’t compromise your fearlessness, just because other people tell you that you might get hurt – fearlessness is the tool that you will need to become a conqueror in every conceivable sphere of your life.

If you had to tell one thing to every little girl in the world, what would it be?  Your instinct is your most trusted guide through life.

Where can we find you on social media?

Mangalisile_ on Instagram

Mangalisile Fela on Facebook

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