Be A Corporate Diva

Mami, the Corporate Diva

Mami, the Corporate Diva

How often have you seen a person at the office dressed in the same bland two-piece suit and tired-looking black shoes? Then one day you bump into her over the weekend and you think ‘wow, she’s actually a diva!’ A lot of the time, especially in the corporate environment, we tend to fall into the pattern of wearing a ‘uniform’ and neglect to wear clothes that express our personalities.

Don’t get me wrong, the office is no place for a fashion parade but this does not mean you must be boring. Most of the executives I have come across in the corporate environment have welcome ‘personality dressers’. These so called ‘personality dressers’ are people who dress in a way that expresses their personality yet is also appropriate for the environment in which they work. What sense does it make to dress up in mini shorts and a boob tube top for a meeting with clients? Okay, maybe you may do a better job at getting the account but it would most likely be because of your gorging cleavage and slender legs rather than your qualifications, experience and capabilities to execute the job.

So do dress up but keep in within the regulations stipulated at your work place. The reason I’m writing this is primarily based on the fact that I have become those bland people who doesn’t even seem to care what they put on in the morning. Appearances, more especially in the workplace, do matter. And people love to see a colleague, employee, or client with some personality. And before they even talk to you, they see you and what you are wearing.

I came across a Corporate Diva by the name of Hlengiwe ‘Mami’ Ngoma. Currently job hunting, Mami’s personality comes across in the way she put together her corporate outfit. She can be competitive (the feline prowess communicated by her leopard print heels); she can be sensitive (feminine and soft lace detail on her leggings) and she can be fun (the leather leggings). Her hair, although straight and neat, has colour streaks – so not bland! And her make-up is minimal and suitable for the workplace. As much as this style may not be everyone’s cup of coffee, it says what it needs to about its wearer.

mami 5

mami 3


Mami’s fashion tip: “Don’t apply light coloured make-up doing the day; it looks horrible. And too much eyeliner during the day, because the weather is warmer now you will sweat and it will smudge.”

So go on and be a Corporate Diva!

Tons of Fashionable LoVe…
Amandla Kwinana


Ooh Mama: The Baby Bump

pic from

pic from

I’m pregnant! This statement took a couple of weeks, might have been months, for me to finally believe. Nah, it can’t be. I refused to go with what the home test said so off I went to the doctor’s and she confirmed that I was indeed pregnant.

Finding out that you’re pregnant when you are not where you want to be in life (for some its marriage, others independence, others after having travelled, etc.) can be quite daunting. But hey, there I was (after I had gotten over the shock), unmarried, no house, no car, no stamps on my passport and I was okay with it.

I was lucky enough to not experience the dreaded morning sickness period. But one thing which every woman cannot avoid is that of gaining weight. During my first visit to the doctor I found out that I weighed 46kg. Well, I was a size 26 so that came as no surprise. Now imagine how distraught I was (being weight conscious) at discovering that I weighed 54kg a few weeks ago. The fifth month, which is where I am, has been the most challenging to date. I have to learn to embrace these bigger thighs, love handles, and thicker arms. The boobs have been a much welcomed change, that I cannot deny.

Gaining weight while pregnant is a beautiful thing. We become so sensual and voluptuous. We look more like the women we should be and not the skinny girls we see in fashion magazine spreads. Funny thing happened today: my partner said something I was not expecting, especially since he too is weight conscious. “This is how you must look. Seeing you like this I now see that you were disgustingly thin before”. Wow! This statement made me feel so beautiful and made me appreciate this little miracle growing inside me.

A few weeks ago I had shed tears of sorrow inside a fitting room at YDE in Rosebank. All the clothes that I had picked out either did not fit me or looked hideous over my preggies figure. That experience took its toll on my self-esteem and although I tried to shrug it away, what my baby daddy said this morning succeed in snapping me back to reality. I am gorgeous with this baby bump. I have that unmistakable ‘glow’ and a constant reason to smile: that cute baby I’m waiting to pop. I realised too, that I can still look good in clothing, I just have to choose clothes that flatter this figure. And looking at the clothes my mom brought me this Christmas, I should be sorted. Which does not in any way mean that I won’t be shopping for more; I’m a woman for crying out loud.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this profound moment where I have accepted my new figure and embraced the changes that are taking place in my body. I will continue sharing: tips, fashion finds, awesome food and drinks and whatever else I encounter through my pregnancy. I hope that this will help other soon-to-be moms or those planning to be mamas this year. And for those who are already moms, do share your thoughts or advice. And if you’re expecting, your opinions matter too. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Ooh Mama Tip #1
As soon as I started telling family and friends that I was pregnant I was advised to start using Bio Oil and not wait until after baby’s birth. So I wasted no time and got on to it. I’m sure you’ll also find this handy because stretch marks, once they appear, are quite hard to get rid of.

bio oil

Ooh Mama Pic#1
At five months and there’s no hiding my baby bump. It’s time to show off!

Lotsa LoVe
Amandla Kwinana

i am a writer

Got my writer's face back on...

Got my writer’s face back on…

It’s funny how inspiration has become so hard for me to acquire. It should be the simplest thing, right? Yet it’s as if I’m mentally constipated. Actually, let’s rephrase what I’ve written into the past tense. Somehow something happened and as frustrated as I was over my past inability to create, I am excited by the fact that I am writing again. For what is a writer who does not write but hollow shell of a being?

Sunday Ramblings…

“The reality is that cultural promiscuity is in all of us – we’re all hipsters, all a bunch of instant-information junkies, drowning in a globalized culture of Mass. We can be anyone, at anytime, and then someone else tomorrow… we’re all whores of the system; some of us are just standing on different corners and showing more ass” – Sarah Claire Picton

(‘Long Live the Banter’, Migrate Magazine, issue 015)

Click Click Boom: the Volatile Xhosa Tongue

It has been a while since I laughed out loud (no, I won’t use the abuse abbreviation of LOL) while reading a newspaper article. Fred Khumalo really did it for me and I guess this can be largely attributed to the fact that I totally related to it. This is also one of the reasons that make me love my country, especially Joburg with its culmination of languages. Let me waste no time in sharing an extract from the article that almost cracked my ribs.

“Thing is, you can’t whisper in that language. I think that’s why the liberation fighters never used it while they were in their hideouts. That language is so volatile that it can light the fuse of dynamite; it can detonate a hand grenade; trigger a limpet mine. Before the guerilla fighter coulf finish saying: ‘Qabane, lixesha leziqhushumbiso (comrade, it’s time for explosives),’ the bomb would have long exploded, thanks to those clicks in my wife’s home language.’
– Fred Khumalo, Now that I’m back (ahem), Sunday Times Review, July 15 2012.

Being with a Tswana partner, I have had my fair share of teasing over the excessive use of clicks in my mother tongue: isiXhosa. The fact that we, particularly in Jozi, find ways of interacting, communicating and developing relationships regardless of the language (well, being able to speak English helps) has made this city ever exciting and intriguing. And it really is so beautiful to be in a taxi or coffee shop and hear an array of juicy local languages like SePedi, Tsonga, Venda, SeSwati, SeSotho, etc. So go on, my brothers and sisters, make use of your languages, don’t allow them to go extinct, for that would make for a very bland country and people indeed.

Amandla Kwinana

Happy People = Hot People

Nombu and Nkokhi… fresh to def

This past weekend I attended the Fete de la Musique in Melville and had a total blast! You can read the article on Kasi Times. Being surrounded by happy people does wonders for the soul and the body! People were not just feeling good but looking even better. Here are a few of the fashionably fabulous people I encountered.

The Bag Lady look

Kick ass boots to finish off the outfit

Nombu and Nkokhi showing us how to rock the latest trends with an African twist. Round frame shades, vintage leather sling bags, tribal prints and Doc Martins, yup, these ladies have it on lock.

Mqobi, cool afro-retro look going on

This denim jacket is so rad, dig the tribal print detail

Classic demin jacket with tribal prints… topped off with a cool neckpiece. Good one, Mqobi.


Bold and Beautiful… you can’t go wrong with bright colour on black

My eyes instantly went straight to Roxane’s feet: colour blocking still looks great when done right.

The ‘I don’t give a damn’ attitude works well for these dudes

Rust leather sneakers (left) paired with baggy distressed jeans, real nice and these African print pants (right) are too dope.

Add some Afro-chicness to your step

JoziChic LoVeS these shoes. The bright colours, the African material used and the ankle length make them an awesome alternative to boring leather ankle boots. Available at MSC Boutique.

Keeping it simple

I kept it simple with a punk shirt, blazer and jeggings. Melville decided to
accessorize me, thanks!

Amandla Kwinana