Being a celebrity already implies that you are no ordinary nine-to-fiver like the rest of us, but there’s something about Nomzamo Mbatha that makes her just a bit more special. Nomzamo applies purpose to her fame in a manner that surpasses even her own personal expectations.
I’m all about empowering people and putting bread on the table for people who are putting bread on my table.
Speaking to this multi-brand ambassador, Marie Claire found out that uNomzamo is a relatable Zulu girl who still gets nervous before gracing local and international stages, despite the fact that she is a successful 28-year-old woman whose accolades and captivating beauty are what the kids caption ‘goals’.
Here are just five things (and quotes from Nomzamo) that perfectly sum up the above:
1. Nomzamo navigates adulting just like the rest of us
As millennials/Gen-Z’ers have become more socially consciousness, celebrities have also started using their platforms for activism. You’re one such millennial celebrity who continuously uses her position for a good cause, but do you ever just feel like being a carefree youth sometimes, focusing only on what Nomzamo wants?
‘I do, but I realise that not everyone will receive me that way. As much as I’m socially responsible, I also love to be the bubbly person who brings light, effervescence, joy, laugh about things, and then get back into the serious things. Some days I’m that girl posting quirky videos on Instagram, but on other days I have to hold back and protect that side of me, so I’ll give a little bit, but I’ll hold back. My fun time is next to the fire with my uncle, my aunt and my brother, talking and having a glass of wine, and that’s it. Or I’ll see my friends and we’ll chill. If I want to go to the club, I’ll do it, but I’ll have my assistant there right next to me, dance a little bit and then I’ll go home.’
2. Nomzamo uses her platform to create access for others
‘At my upcoming graduation dinner, I’m inviting 20 girls and boys from around the country who didn’t have a chance to have a graduation dinner of their own, where my mentors [widely admired industry veterans] will be there to create that access for them.’ She adds that she will encourage these graduates to ‘go and tell them [their] dreams, fears, and strengths.’
3. Nomzamo keeps it real on every continent
As someone who’s now no stranger to international stages, what’s your experience of local versus international gigs?
‘You know, it’s pretty awesome to understand the two and to be exposed to both. The exposure that came from last year’s BET experience solidified the potential of what the present could mean, moving forward. I gained so many relationships with international media and I’m lucky to have Krystal Thorpe [Mbatha’s manager], who is fantastic at keeping contact with people and letting them know what I’m up to.’
With regards to remaining authentic for both audiences based on their differing expectations, she adds:
‘More importantly, it’s about self. We live in a time where people buy clothes for Instagram, people pay so much money to be liked on Instagram, hoping to trend for people who would never care to ask about the smaller, more important details. People are very quick to criticise, and I think it has a lot to do with social media culture. So I’m all about empowering people and putting bread on the table for people who are putting bread on my table. This is where the international audience differs, they don’t look at fashion faux pas and completely write you off, but you come to South African Sunday Twitter and it’s just [chaos]. International media will give constructive criticism – it’s not about trashing.’
4. Nomzamo has been gracefully patient with her red-carpet style evolution
I remember you telling me earlier this year that you once wore a dress on the red carpet that you didn’t like. Were you not able to change that?
‘I wasn’t able to change anything about it, because back then I was still in the beginning of my career, so it’s not like I had stylists begging to style me or designers sending me dresses. But now I’ve made such good friends with so many designers and I’ve proven myself to be someone who takes herself seriously, yet also has fun with the dress/outfit. That’s clearly proven to work for me when it comes to designers.’
5. Nomzamo continues to inspire women’s stories
‘Do You’ has been a vehicle of female empowerment for the past two years and Nomzamo joined other PUMA ambassadors including professional basketball player Skylar Diggins-Smith and New York City Ballet principal dancer and choreographer Lauren Lovette, in announcing their #DoYou Passion Projects earlier this year.
‘Every young woman deserves to have someone on her side, who is going to believe in her and blow the wind beneath her wings just a little harder. I am grateful to be in a position where I can provide them with a platform to share their incredible stories,’ says Mbatha.
Watch this inspiring anthem video, which is a culmination of a project launched on International Women’s Day 2018, when Nomzamo took to Instagram to invite young women to share their #DoYou stories via social media, to stand a chance of becoming part of a global PUMA platform to inspire young women to become confident, motivated, and uncompromising in every aspect of their lives.
To read more about Nomzamo Mbatha’s red-carpet style, why she thinks women need to support one another, and how she’ll never forget where she comes from, pick up a copy of Marie Claire’s September issue, on shelf now, where you can also marvel at our New Naked campaign.