Mandla Brandon Manzilankatha
Today I had the privilege of sitting down and talking to Mandla Brandon Manzilankatha, a fashion expert who is also a brand ambassador for Converse ZA. Find out more about the life of a brand ambassador and gain some fashion advice all at the same time!
So tell us Mandla, what experience do you have with using social media platforms for brand awareness? Which platforms do you use on a regular basis?
Mandla: Social media has indeed played a very big role in my life and has opened doors for me to explore the art of other creatives. It also has shaped me in becoming a better creative each and every day. All I can say is that Instagram helped me a lot, in terms of showing people how creative I am / was, it’s the first app I open as soon as I wake up and before I go to sleep.
In your opinion, why do brand ambassadors continue to be important, even as the world changes and consumerism shifts?
I believe brand ambassadors are important right now because for a certain product to reach a lot of people you definitely need someone to push it for you more so, brand ambassadors give light to products so that people may see the other side of the product that they didn’t know what to expect.
Apart from Converse who else would you like to work with?
If everything goes according to plan I would love to work with a certain number of creatives and brands, just to mention one, brand that is Jonathan D Africa which is also a brand that makes nice vintage shoes and the other is a surprise, I can not say.
We are looking forward to seeing your other callabos. So how’d you become the brand ambassador for converse ?
Honestly becoming the brand ambassador or creative for converse was just a shock of my life. But only 3 people made it possible for this to happen; Nathan Cheddar also known as Gorealr Photography helped me in a lot in fact he made the whole thing to be real before I was even part of Converse. Secondly, Gareth also known as “lifeofafreshprince” he has taught me and mentored me through the whole process and what I know he always believed in me whenever we were making art and being creative. Thirdly my brother who believed in me and provided me with resources that I needed, while it was my first time going to a Converse.
You seem to give off a retro and kasi fashion sense, what’s your inspiration?
I believe that sometimes you just have to stay real, and know where you really come from. Generally my fashion sense is influenced by a lot of 90’s Kwaito and Hip Hop at the same time. That’s why a lot of people do not seem to understand me. For instance when I won the BULAWAYO ARTS AWARDS 2019 BEST DRESSED a lot of people just didn’t get the whole idea of my outfit! But that didn’t bother me because I love being unique and different from anyone else in the room.
Always dare to be different! At what age did you discover your love for fashion?
At what age ? Hmm I think basically the way that I was bred, my brother always loved fashion, so it became a habit since I was still a kid that I had to put on clean clothes, with colours that are matching , get a clean haircut and a nice cologne. So it was just a matter of getting used to how my brother did his things but I started doing this whole thing seriously in 2014.
A fashion icon from day one we see! So give us some advice… what accessory is a must have?
I think a nice silver necklace and a ring, those definitely go in hand.
You can never go wrong with jewelery. How would you describe your fashion sense?
I would just say only a few would understand it.
If you know, you know. Tell us a fun fact about you.
I could spend a whole month planning an outfit.
Which celebrities do you draw your inspiration from?
I think my bro Gareth comes first then the celebs would have to be Riky Rick, Rich Mnisi, Lu Mxalisa.
What are your interests /hobbies?
I’m a bit of a poet and I like going to the thrift store a lot.
A man of many arts! Any fashion advice? Does or don’ts when it comes to wearing Converse?
Just be yourself, and keep them clean always , but have that one pair that is dirty and unwashed.
The dirty pair is always a must, can’t argue with that. Speaking of shoes, what’s your favourite pair?
Right now I think my red Converse chuck 70’s.
So give us the scoop, what’s the next move?
I can’t wait to meet up with my brother. Gareth and make something nice, art wise and creativity.
Lastly Mandla what’s the one thing you want our readers to know about you?
I thrift a lot, I can’t spend a week without going to thrift.
Well you heard it first ladies and gentlemen! Be sure to check out Mandla on his socials: