Spotlight On Nandi Dlepu This International Women’s Day

Spotlight On Nandi Dlepu This International Women’s Day

If you have scrolled through Instagram recently you might have seen some incredible accounts pop up such as, Mamakashaka & Friends, Pantone Sundays, Feel Good Series, Lamp Post Luminaries and Bloom. But did you know they all are part of the entrepreneur Nandi Dlepu’s creative portfolio?

In celebration of International Women’s Day we are honoured to have had the opportunity to interview Nandi. Get a glimpse into her daily rituals, the influence of motherhood on her creative process, and her unwavering commitment to self-improvement. As she candidly shares her experiences and inspirations, it becomes evident that Nandi's creative expression knows no bounds.


With several successful businesses, how do you avoid creative burnout and create daily rituals?

My daily morning ritual is one of my favorite things about my life. As soon as I wake up I reach for my phone and go straight to Headspace for a quick breathing exercise and a guided meditation. This is followed by a 20 minute workout to something motivational, either Stoic, business and/or leadership inspired. My routine concludes with my reading from my daily motivationals and journaling and this last bit I do with my son who reads from his own motivational and uses The Five Minute Journal for his daily scribbles.



What influence has motherhood had on you as a person and in your work?

I enjoy taking care of and nurturing my son but in order to be good to and for him, I recognise I have to be good to and for myself. In a lot of ways motherhood has inspired and been part motivator in my wanting to be the best possible version of myself.


How do you strike a balance between being a mother and a creative professional with multiple brands and events?

Ha, I aint striking nothing! But seriously, I set annual goals in the ways I want to show up for my son, professionally and in other ways. Part of the daily journaling includes reviewing all my goals for the year and this almost daily practice keeps them top of my mind.


You’ve stated that: “I find that when I’m hurting specifically, I like to create. I found out that even when I’m happy, I like to create.” How does your emotional state, whether it's happiness or heartbreak, influence your creative process, and how do you navigate that energy?

Woooow, reading that brought tears to my eyes because I am going through such a hard time right now but here I am simultaneously creating and imagining a better reality. I love exercising my creativity and it has been especially helpful during periods of great anxiety, sadness and heartbreak. It’s all energy at the end of the day and we have so much say in how its converted and used. 


Your style extends far beyond fashion to art and interior, can you tell us a bit more about what influences you and who your greatest mentors were?

Alot of my style is influenced by early 90’s hip hop and neo soul muso’s like The Roots, Erykah Badu, The Fugees, Outkast etc. If I play back some of my favorite music videos from the time and from these artists I see influences from how I’ve decorated my house, think Erykah Badu’s Other Side of The Game, how I like to dress, think Lauryn Hill’s tomboy aesthetic while she was with The Fugees etc. I’d say I am greatly influenced by this moment in hip hop culture.



When you think of South Africa, what aspect of our creative scene do you wish more people would pay attention to?

I’d say local fashion. Despite having amazing brands we still import and exalt international brands. I’d love to see more of our local brands in store as well as in their own stores.


A home decor piece you are currently obsessed with?

Something I own, I am obsessed with my couch. It’s made up of 6 pieces of their Cubist sofa element to create one awesomely large couch. Something I dont own … yet, I am obsessed with Pedersen & Lennards Umpire Collection.


If you could take your Dyad bag with you to travel anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

I see myself taking long touristy walks, somewhere in Morocco. 



Advice for young creatives on wearing different hats and finding a sense of flexibility in work and life.

True to the cliche, “The greatest project, you’ll ever work on is yourself” I believe you owe it to yourself to explore and take full advantage of your apprenticeship phase or phases. Don’t be in a rush to settle on a single discipline. Odds are that exploration will make you better when you do settle on whatever your calling is. In addition never stop learning this is with or without purpose. Learn something useful or don’t learn something useful, just dont stop learning.


Can you share with us if there are any new projects you're excited to explore in your future, or perhaps aspects of current projects you're keen to further develop?

I’ve recently launched our new home and programmed venue called Mamakashaka & Friends. Home to our own brands, Pantone Sundays, Feel Good Series and Bloom as well as my intention to create with others across various creative disciplines. A playground for creative collaboration if you will. I’m looking forward to rolling out a program that goes beyond food, drink & music but one that embraces art, literature & wellness as well.


Do you remember the first handbag you ever owned and loved deeply? Please tell us more about it.

When I was a teenager I bought a rattan basket with woven straps, very much like the kind used by Balinese fisherman. I loved this bag, in fact where is that bag?!?


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