Fear you have no place in my life

I have been asking myself this question for some time “Why do I have so much fear that people around me even notice how it has affected me.

I have sleepless nights, my entire face has reacted badly with pimples and my body feels as if someone has been beating it with a Sjambok. I overeat for someone who shouldn’t be but apparently, my twin sister who by the way is very observant thinks that I have lost a few kilos and she has seen that every time she massages me.

A part of me feels as if I have underestimated how the thought of going for a Post Ventral Hernia Repair had an effect on both mental and physical spirit. Having to deal with it now was the hardest thing most especially because it has always been on my mind ever since and also, there has been a lot of changes in my life and I needed to adjust in so many areas of it.  so much happened in a few months, getting baptised at Olive Tree Church on Florida, getting a new job at Gorilla Creative Media, shooting of my documentary by a well-known TV Media based in London called Barcroft.TV and preparing for my operation just to mention a few.

I believe none of you was aware of this but I have postponed the surgery dates twice and both times was due to fear. Not so much fear of physical pain but of body transformation and learning to accept my body again. Not only had I find comfort and satisfaction in my current body transformation but I had promised myself that I will do anything to avoid hospital stay even if it means I drag my surgery date. Everything about that place takes me back into the world I would rather forget. I can’t bear the memories I have of both ICU and High Care Unit not to mention the horrendous experience at 4Fward unit. Believe me, I can write series of stories about what nurses do to patients at 4F Ward Unit and how vital it is for the Minister of Health to interfere and look into it with in-depth lenses.

It is clear that the unconsciousness from the nurses goes a long way and that, there is more to it than just the statement “They mean and abusive to patients”. Had the Minister looked to ways to better their days at the workplace through counselling sessions? searching for a purpose and calling, and maybe they will find it again. Reminding them that there is more to their job than just an every month paycheck. They nurse and save lives.

We had a serious emotional chat with my brother in law – Zolani Masemola and his lovely wife Sinethemba Masemola about the staff nurses and what had gone wrong with their conscious, Zolani suggested that counselling could help, he continued to state that “nurses bear too much daily” how he had stated it awakened me to see beyond what I have concluded about their behaviour towards patients.

I have a tendency not to stick to the original story, enough about the nurses for now and back to the OS…

When I told my Doctor’s that I am going back to work, they did not seem to approve of it, I could see it in their faces and their response as I engage with some of them on WhatsApp but they never said I should not go back. I believe they did not want to make decisions for me but they kept telling me to take a good care of myself. They would say, “Be gentle Neli, you need to rest, rest”.  little did I know that all along, they feared for my health, both physical and emotional.

A few weeks after I went back to work, I would disappear now and then and go to the ladies room where I used to cry my lungs out, then come out after I have outdone my facial. and that wasn’t because of Nkonzo’s passing and had nothing to do with my struggle to adjust to my new life with a colostomy bag at work or that my back was in pain due to using the public transport but it was something small as the sound of a printing machine. Every time it would beep Ti…Ti…Ti, something awakens memories of deep pain.

At first, I thought it would stop and that I will get over it. I would say ” I will take it like a strong black lady and not show that it has an effect in me”  but until this day I am still in fear that the machine will make a sound and I would react with a bucket of tears out of nowhere.  “What if people think I was hallucinating or that I had PTSD”.  It is never my intention to frighten or drag anyone into my world of fear with me but the sound of a printing machine takes me straight to the first time I woke up in ICU after three weeks. The sound of ICU equipment was the first thing I could hear and apparently “I started panicking, I began to pull out all the plugs and pipes that were in my mouth and my nose”. I remember waking up and both my arms were attached to the hospital bed that I was lying on. It was the first time I felt like a prison 🙂

Maybe I am losing it but that sound, that noise, no matter how far it is. It leaves me fearing for my life, freezing and drowning in my own thoughts, thoughts that I wish no one can ever experience. hopeless and dead thoughts.

With all that fear, at first, I thought to myself “What damage would it make if I do not go for the post ventral hernia surgery and just keep my stomach the way it is – I mean, “I have already found comfort in it, people are aware of it and seem to be comfortable with it”.


Sometimes, I honestly feel like I was born this way, with a skin graft stomach.  I have grown to fall in love with how my intestines dance inside of me and make a funny noise when they are hungry, grumpy or happily full after feasting. There is no part of me that wish any better than what I am right now besides my spinal back operation. I look good, feel good and I do good for myself. Why should I go for this surgery” – I would asking myself.

But I guess my questions were all not thoughts well off. firstly, I have no muscles in my stomach, meaning that I cannot control my intestines. The more I eat, the more they expand. I have been battling to go on dates with guys because I would fear that if I eat a lot, I would look totally unsexy and totally different in my outfit. I know you might be thinking, then you should try to eat less when you go on dates. I am sorry hun, but when they smell food, there is no compromising for “THEM”. It is all about “THEM”. and worse of it all, they can smell good food from the distance and begin to jive on my stomach like a baby kicking on its mummies stomach. I could feel and see every move they make and I can tell when they react out of hunger and not gladly full.

Also, they dislike when I less feed them, they will humiliate me with a loud noise and that means “We are still hungry, feed us more”. They behave the same as when I had a colostomy bag.

Secondly, having a stomach like mine means that you are always at risk. It would not be wise decision to get pregnant while still have a patch because HELLO, I have no control over it, remember it keeps expanding. I can imagine what would happen, KABOOM :).

And thirdly, I am easily open to danger. Let’s say that by any bad luck I engage in any misfortune fight and some ratchet person stab my stomach – deep in the bottom,  it would go straight to my intestines and they might burst and that would cost going back to having a colostomy bag and that is the last thing I would want to happen. not having a colostomy bag was a highlight of my LIFE.

This Wednesday, the 9th of May 2018, is the day I have been avoiding for months but it has finally arrived and yes, I still have fear and I am so damn tired of having to get used to my body transformation that comes with so much package;  discomfort, pains, bandage dressings every two days, visit at the nearest clinics, dealing with the staff nurse bull shark,  blood, infections, unhealthiness and feeling sick and not being able to do things for my self-sucks big time..

But, let me be real for a second and share wise words that I have received from a friend. “You have survived a lot of surgeries Neli, so this is nothing but a last stamp from God” – “Lungi Mthethwa”

How has fear been a liar in your life?

Recovering From Tragedy


A month ago I was approached by a lovely lady named Lisa Welsh if I would be interested in being featured on her website page.  I was asked to either do a selfie style video sharing my story or something important to me or any message and format that might be comfortable for me, so I chose a write up story.

Every Friday, Lisa use her website as a space for female expression. Through photography, sculpture, video, writing, dance, song… you name it.

This is what Lisa came up with from one of the stories I have published on my LinkedIn account.  “Neli was the victim of a horrific car accident, which claimed a close friend and left her fighting for her life. While she has recovered and is enjoying life once again, Neli has been left with scars, both physical and mental.

Miraculously, she has overcome her injuries and is recovering from the tragedy of that day. She found strength in faith and the people around her.

Today, you could almost forget that Neli has experienced such trauma. She is vivacious, colourful and full of light. She inspires many by sharing her story with the world through social media and her blog.

Neli intends to share the full story in a book (The Miracle Patient) and she has recently caught the attention of London based, Barcroft Media, who will be flying to South Africa to interview her soon.

Here is Neli’s Story

“In August 2016, I was involved in a tragic car accident which led to me losing a great friend and left me fighting for my life in an intensive high care unit for a two-month hospital stay.

My life has taken a drastic 360-degree change ever since that fateful night.

Mentally, spiritually, and physically I have a different outlook on life, people, and the world itself.

I have grown to understand that God exists and is alive and that is a non-negotiable because of my personal experience with him.

That I made it through the tragedy still shocks a lot of people. That I am alive, that I can walk and that I still smile through it all. Doctors rejoice every time they see me and some break into tears of joy.

Is my life ever going to be the same again? NOPE.

Should I pity myself for it? HELL NO!

We live most of our lives unaware that it’s the little things that are more important. How much of a big deal it is to have both your little toes working just perfect. It isn’t until a tragedy occurs that our eyes are opened to real big things. I would hear my granny complaining about her back pains and think to myself, “she’s just lazing” or “spoiling herself” but in all honesty, you do not mess around with your back.

Losing A Friend

Losing a friend was not easy. I still struggle to believe that he is gone. Not to mention the anger I have for negligence from the authorities. Sometimes, I wonder how things would have turned out for him if maybe, just maybe they paid a little bit more attention.

It was when I was told about his loss, that I began to take the incident very seriously. I felt really angry and I blamed so many people. I asked myself:

“Why me, I have been very acceptive of so many things in life and now this, I hate my body, it disgusts me.” 

The Lessons In Pain

The physical pain was overwhelming. But the mental pain was terrifying.

  • I had a colostomy bag for 10 months
  • There is constant severe pain in my back
  • I was afraid to be alone because I hated myself and was scared I might even end my life

God reminded me something.  “To be able to get your attention, some things in your life had to go wrong and some things had to change forever, but for the better.”

God has fixed my life in a way that no one else could.

I’ve started valuing life more. I taught myself to be gentle with myself and to accept my body transformation.

God has been tremendous in my life. He keeps exceeding my expectations and most importantly, he keeps exciting me.

You know why? Because he knows that he created a happy, bubbly and influential person and he will do anything to keep my face happy. 🙂

My Purpose

As a woman of prayer, I decided to fast for 5 full days. I told God my story and asked him to lead me where his spirit wanted me to be.

I have come to realize that everything I do revolves around me making a difference. Now I know that I want to touch other people’s lives through my story.

Without my faith, and the support of people across the Globe and especially my South African people, I wouldn’t have been able to put my life back together.  I have no words to thank you all for being there when I needed you the most.”

Stay up to date with me on Instagram , Facebook

Influencer Marketing Vs Celebrity Endorsement

It has been proven by many influencer marketing experts Influencer Marketing and Celebrity Endorsement are two very different options for brands to include in their marketing campaign and that the two do not operate or function the same and both options result in very different results.

“I’ve actually learned first-hand that brand advocates and micro – influencers have the potential to recruit long-term brand advocates into your brand, which (surprise-surprise) is much more powerful than generating a one-off sale” – Philip Brown (hyperlink to https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/theres-something-you-need-know-influencer-marketing-philip-brown-1), Head of Influencer Marketing & Brand Advocacy

But what’s the difference and how will your brand benefit the most from one or both?


Source: http://bit.ly/2ubYoru


Celebrity Influencers and endorsements

It is no surprise that celebrities have more followers than influencers but just because your favourite celebrity posted about the newest perfume you must be wearing or music festival that you just HAVE to attend, that it is credible or a genuine post from them.

Brands continue to throw money at them, most recently the failed Fyre Festival, where models and celebrities including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski, were paid $250 000 to endorse the event, while other high-profile Instagram users were paid $10 000 per post shared on the platform, failing to disclose to the public that these were paid posts, all against the Federal Trade Commission. These influencers had legal action taken against them citing “Social Media ‘influencers’ made no attempt to disclose to consumers that they were being compensated for promoting the Fyre Festival. Instead these influencers gave the impression that the guest list was full of the Social Elite and other celebrities.”

In other instances, these endorsements have been found out by the celebrities themselves, sharing more than what they should – remember when Scott Disick shared the notes from the brand on his Instagram and Twitter?

It might be an exciting way to get people interested in your product or event, but the repercussions to your brand could far outweigh the benefits.  Often the content of this paid endorsement or post come across as forced and unauthentic but there is light at the end of the tunnel if your brand wants to go down this route. Work with the celebrities to ensure that it sounds like the celebrity, let them tell it in their own brand voice and when their audience is naturally engaging with the celebrity.


Influencers and bloggers


An exciting new area for brands to explore in communicating their messaging is with smaller and at times, slightly more unknown influencers and bloggers. There is an emerging market in using micro influencers over macro influencers. By using these influencers and bloggers, brands can communicate through real people, in an authentic voice.

There are two types of influencers – macro and micro. Macro influencers are not that different to your celebrities, besides the celebrity title. These influencers have large audiences that they can push your message and brand out to, often at a hefty price tag. Unfortunately, the engagement of macro influencers posts are on the lower end, but if you are looking for reach on your post then you’ll be in good hands.

Micro influencers, however, have a smaller following than that of a macro influencer or celebrity, between 1000 and 90 000 followers. Their audience is more engaged in the content that they post which makes these up and coming influencers and bloggers more attractive to brands. These types of content creators are in it for the long haul and want to leverage off your brand as much as you want to leverage off their following.

There is something to be said for bringing in influencers and bloggers for a long-term brand affiliation, rather than just paying them one off. You can together, create bespoke messaging and content, as well as ensuring a complete buy-in from the blogger or influencer which in turn translates into engaging content on their platforms for their followers and your future followers and customers.

There is no right or wrong way forward for your brand, just make sure that the celebrity, blogger or influencer is right for YOUR brand, that they can communicate your vision and objective without sounding forced or fake and your campaign will always win.

Author: Nelisiwe Zuma

Editor: Erin Crous

My Life Design Story

Thank You Mama

I grew up in a small rural village outside of Pietermaritzburg called Impendle. My dad was in a taxi industry and when he got shot three months after my mum gave birth to myself and my twin sister. We were left without a father’s love; my mum was left behind with five (5) Kids and without a husband.

Mum and Dad

When my dad died, my mum and dad were both in their twenties and twenty-four years later my mum still able to blush when you mention my Father’s name. she is still a widow and never been with another man. When we ask her why she did not date or get married again, this is her response “It has always been your dad, he was my first and my last”.

Powerful hey! and she will say it with a smile on her face.


Uneasy Childhood

You now have a clear understanding of how my life must have been, being raised by a single parent who is by herself taking care of five children with no education, no proper job but through it all, she had Hope, Faith, and Love for God. basically, that is all she had with her.

All she could do to fend for her family was to work multiple jobs – by day she was a street cleaner and by night a dressmaker. she managed to raise us with the little that she had and of course with our grandparent’s support.

A Noble Man

My Dad: Mondli Zuma

It was hard to hear all the stories about how much of a nobleman my dad was, how he was full of life, full of jokes and fun being around. He was full of energy, beautiful smile, kind and loving to all people but most especially to older people. my mum would say ” While everyone is drinking alcohol and smoking weed or cigarette, your dad would be drinking his Coca-Cola and telling his funny stories to everyone” He was that man, that respectful man that every older people would rather be in his taxi than to any other taxi driver. and I guess he was brutally killed out of jealous. basically, he was eliminated from this world for being whom God created to be, being a noble, loving and kind man.


My mum made us believe that God exists and that he loves us. But I had my if’s and but’s. I had my days with him where I would blame him for taking my father from my mum and his children’s. I would hate the mentioning of his name for making things hard for us.

Most of my life I knew that he is a God who “claims to love, protect and provide for his people”. I knew the verse that says “God loved the world so much that he gave his only son to die for us so that our sins will be cleansed and be free from sin”. But I thought to myself, did he loved us when he took my dad from his three (3) months old twins – from when he took a young man from his young lady wife.

FB_IMG_14913403842973201 - Copy.jpg
My Twin sister and I

I would ask him “How come you say you love us yet you took one person who could have changed our standard of living, taken us to better schools, live a better life and have a relationship with both our parents. in tears, I will say “You took it all away from us and for that, I will not believe in you”

I thought to myself, WOW this must be such a fool God we put our trust in. but little did I know that my mom still had so much FAITH in the very same God who stole her husband from her and the very same God who made her dreams disappears.

I refused to completely accept him – I questioned everything he does and I refused to place my ALL to some God I did not figure out and that is where I began to fool myself thinking I can do it all by myself. on the other side, my mom was there to remind me of where we have come from through God’s strength.

Mummy Dearest

My Everyday Woman

Now I would look back and think to myself how did my mum managed to get us to where we are now. taking us to universities, teaching us not to let go easily in life, to be hopeful , to be respectful, to love and to be humble and all the answers point out to one person, God and his grace to enables mum’s faith to lead us and empowers us to be better children’s regardless of where we are coming from.

This has nothing to do with Woman’s Day or anything related to that but it has something to do with one special person I would hate to die not giving her all that she deserves and all that she did not get from her husband and that’s my Queen Mother.

Mummy Dearest

My Light and My hope

Mum, you are a perfect example of God loving woman, a woman who stands for what she believes in and a woman who stands by her grounds. if it wasn’t for your faith in God so many things would not have been a success in my life and my sibling’s lives.

You are my Dad, my Friend and my pillar of strength. Thank you for listening to my never ending stories, thank you for not giving up on me when I feel hopeless and thank you for never complaining but always giving us the little that you have.

I am proud to call myself your daughter. A daughter of a widow who lost her love of her life 24 years ago and still hasn’t been with another man. A daughter of the strongest woman I’ve EVER come across. A daughter of a beautiful, selfless and woman of prayer 🙂

I tell you, Mama, God will shine the light on you one day and it is not far – You just need to be a little patient.

Ngiyakuthanda Mama.





2017 Soweto Fashion Week Theme was “Hairitage”

Soweto Fashion Week gives an opportunity to fashion designers to showcase their Spring and Summer collection. Other than the obvious, it also enables https://www.facebook.com/DarlingSouthAfrica/ Company to explore their creativity with their indigenous garments.

It is evident that Soweto Fashion Week has gotten even better as the years have rolled by. With Darling Hairstyles proving itself that hair goes hand in hand with fashion and beauty. If that wasn’t the case, they would have not been the principal sponsors for the #SFWSS18 from the start. On top of that, as a hair brand, they did not just sponsor the show but also showcased their out-of-this-world designed collections that were entirely created using hair extensions.


What better way to show their clientele that Darling Hairstyles not only cares for their hair but also believes in the complete look of one’s beauty. You hardly come across designs made of hair pieces and as to how the https://www.facebook.com/DarlingSouthAfrica/ came about with this idea, is another topic for another day. The above picture sums up all that is hair, beauty and creative related.

My Little Darling girls


It’s unbelievable how https://www.facebook.com/DarlingSouthAfrica/ can create out-of-the-ordinary designs. It seems like they did not want to leave out the My Little Darling girls from the show but had to come up with the cutest outfits for them to showcase. You should have seen the joy on their faces as they were walking the ramp. The audience could not contain themselves but instead gave the girls a standing ovation as they walked in with their colorful designs created from Darling hair extensions.

I might have been at the Soweto Fashion Week for work-related reasons but that did not stop me from looking beautiful and representing my special brand BeccaBlairDesigns     

I had the privilege of being styled by her from day one. Sporting my favorite piece by her on the final night which was a black embroided patent leather bag. If you know me well, you would know the drill. I could go on and on about how amazing the Soweto Fashion Week was and might end up straying from the original topic. So, before I do that, can we go back to the original topic.


It is no doubt that https://www.facebook.com/DarlingSouthAfrica/ have gained so much respect from its market. The Soweto Fashion Show Pictures by http://www.fotobooth.biz/ proved the excitement from the audience, see the below images.


What was your highlight of Soweto Fashion Show as a whole?

How I identify bloggers and how bloggers get noticed by brands?

So, where does my journey begin to find you the blogger?

As agencies, we normally have search engine tools we utilize to find as many bloggers as we possibly can.

The first step is Buzz Sumo: This site allows me to search bloggers per their focus areas and location. For example, all I do is type the Location: Durban and Focus Areas: Skincare and it will give me a list of bloggers in that niche.

Once I’ve narrowed down the list of potential bloggers to look at I then compile a list of all the blogs in that niche.

The second step is Link2Link Site: As a Blogger, you should sign up as Publisher and not as advertiser.

To briefly explain to you how Link2Link works and how as a blogger can have an access to it. Link2Link site is our in-house site that as a blogger you can fill in all your social media links that you use to promote your work on (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Blogs, Websites etc.)

Under Advertiser Campaign: we have Active, Pending and Closed Campaigns and as a blogger, you can click on the active campaign and see which campaign you are interested in and in that way we will get a notification and decide if you will fit the campaign.

This site allows a blogger to adjust their cost price per post and per social media platform and in that way, it is very much convenient for both the blogger and I the blogger outreach specialist because I don’t have to send an email requesting the rate card.

Our most important section of this site is the Analytics – This section allows me to pull out the Campaign insights from each blogger per campaign and per brand. It helps me to prepare for our client report back information.

If you are a blogger and looking to be exposed to brands then this is your site to use. sign up on this link: http://app.link2link.co.za/signup_publisher.php

Once I have all your social media platform. I then move on to the Third step: Pay attention to:

Post Relevancy – Do you post about things that are of interest

How often you post – Are you very active or do you let the page run itself for months

Remember that the more active you are the more you will get recognition and recommendations.

The Fourth step is to look at your Interaction with your followers.


Image Source: http://theglamunicorn.blogspot.co.za/2017/09/lifestyle-kzn-blogger-meetup-2017.html

Bloggers it is vital to interact with your followers. The more you show interest, notice their efforts and time they put into reading and commenting on your post the more you will have honest followers. I mean, Who wouldn’t like to have organic reach without spending money on their post.

This might sound untrue but as agencies, we do take notice of post engagements and gladly want to collaborate with you.

The Fifth step is to Subscribe, follow and sign up to the blogs of potential influencers.


Stalking you is what I best specialize to because it’s:

  • Open the lines of communication between you and I.
  • I get to learn more about the blog and the blogger and I can
  • Measure the level of Influence you as a blogger has on your platforms.

Now, Let’s speak about how you can get exposed and notice by brands:

Leverage your blog:

This means that your blog should have an authority and trust behind it. Do or use something to maximise the credibility of your blog.

As a blogger, you need to buy a domain name so that no one will claim your blog. It’s also important that you collaborate with high profile bloggers. you might never know how they might respond back to you. Remember that they have been where you are and they have experienced the struggle of being a blogger.

Put money behind your post. This means that you invest on your blog and treat it as a business. For two years tell yourself that you are investing on your blog and that means that you will lose money to get money. Not a nice thing to hear but it is what it is.

Include a blog link to all of your social media accounts:

Do not assume that people know that you have a blog. Put on your blog link on your Facebook blog page, Instagram business page, and Twitter page.

Bloggers, your blog sites have enough space to add all the necessary information. use that space to your best advantage. put in all your social media icons, your updated rate cards, and your email address. Don’t make it hard for us have access to you.

Get out and meet people in real life:


Attend Conferences and Networking Events to meet and share ideas with other fellow bloggers. Events like bloggers meet-ups  will assist you to refine your craft, be more professional, learn from other bloggers mistakes and celebrate successes together;

You will also meet your potential brands Face to Face and develop a relationship with them. When attending events, Actively participate and ask questions and If possible put your blog name and URL on your name tag or create a QR code that links to your blog.

Make it your responsibility to research on everything that is bloggers related.

Don’t be a fool:

We are all aware that some brands like to spend on bloggers (For example, You are working on a campaign in another country and you are exposed to the nightlife; So in occasions like that do not fool yourself to think that whatever you do would not affect your brand name.

Drink responsibly, be professional and don’t forget that you are still there to work and create content for the brand.

Brand Yourself Professionally.



Blogger, Your Feedback Matters

Blogger, do you care to ask for feedback about the campaign you have been involved in?

blogger feedback1

Image source: Personal Design of https://www.instagram.com/aquamelow/

I think this needs to be addressed and definitely by me. As a blogger outreach specialist and have worked with bloggers for some time. This, I have realized and it is the time that I say it again and now in writing.

Firstly, I would like to state that bloggers, you have so much potential and I appreciate the effort and time you put into your work and promoting our brands campaigns but then I ask myself why do bloggers hardly ask the following questions after the campaign is finished?

  • Are you happy with the work I have produced?
  • Did I meet your brand campaign expectations?
  • Is there a room for improvement? – if there is, please advise

blogger matter

Image source: Personal Design of https://www.instagram.com/nwahh/

My colleagues including my CEO are aware of how much bloggers are close to my heart. I fight for you, yes, I do fight for you but recently it has been worrying me how I barely receive an email or a phone call from a blogger questioning about the campaign feedback.

Instead, I receive never-ending emails and phone calls about when is the payment is released.

Bloggers, allow me to briefly point this out to you and I am saying this out of kindness. Can you take your blogs as a business and by that, I mean be professional in a way that you show concern and do follow up after you have promoted the post and the campaign is finished – That kind of intellectual verifies that you are in this business not just for money but to grow your connection and add value to your followers?

Asking for feedback will not only benefit us as an agency but will also help you as a blogger to see where and how to improve in order for your blog to be successful and credible.

Yes, we live in a competitive world but remember you must have passion and enthusiasm for the brands you work for. Show interest so that clients will see that you care and might consider you for upcoming campaigns.

Bloggers, do you care to share why you never ask for campaign feedback?




KZN Blogger Meetup 2017 was the beginning of all that is to come


Image Source: http://bit.ly/2xz5OJJ

I am the kind of person who never runs out of things to say, which is why my twin sister always says, “You would swear you have a Masters or PHD qualification for talking too much but I guess I can understand because you have a Diploma in Public Relations”. So, I believe that I can relate to people quite easily. However, I am finding it difficult to stick to the subject for a long time and that was one of my biggest fear when Susann Deysel asked me to be one of the guest speakers and share my knowledge as a Blogger Outreach Specialist.

I thought to myself “What if I end up speaking senseless staff to bloggers” believe me I was freaking out because I know myself and I knew I would not be able to stand and stick to the topic of my speech for 25 Minutes 😊 That was too much for me but without hesitation I confirmed my availability and said yes.

We live in a society where we are indirectly told what we are good at and what we are not so good at. Often, I was indirectly told that I swerve from the original topic and over the years I had a built-up fear of public speaking. So, allow me to thank Susann Deysel for giving me a platform to face and overcome my fear. I believe that God uses his people for his goodness 😊

I have noticed that I do not only deviate when I speak but I also tend to do it when I write. So, getting back to the original topic.

KZN Blogger Meetup was the BANG!

Image Source: Bloggers – Jane Wonder: https://www.instagram.com/cjanewonder/ and Sade Lee: https://www.instagram.com/disney_mom_blog/

It was such a great honor to be part of the event and get to share my knowledge on blogger related topics and most importantly meet bloggers in person. so, if you did not make it to the KZN Blogger Meetup, you missed out.

My experience with bloggers was fantastic. They put me at ease and made me feel good about myself. so, I had to do what I had to do, get on that stage and deliver the speech to bloggers. I had to represent the agency I work for, https://www.instagram.com/conversationlab/ and the skincare brand I work with, https://www.instagram.com/environskincare/ and most importantly I had to represent myself for this achievement.

I prepared myself for this speech and everything I said was the truth and nothing but the truth – so it went like this,

Before my tragic accident I had been working on a campaign with bloggers and when I woke up in ICU for the first time I asked myself two questions:

  • Have we paid the bloggers their money?
  • Is my job secure?

When my parents told my boss Kevin Power what I had asked I assumed he asked himself WHY?

Let me tell you why. I love my job enough to call you My Bloggers. I know this might sound like I am owning you but No, I call you My Bloggers because you are very close to my heart and I stand up for you when needed. you might be wondering how Neli stands up for us. let me share with you an incident that occurred not so long ago:

We were running a Big Thank You Darling Campaign where bloggers had to share the video onto their social media platforms and briefly tell their stories as to how the video relates to them. so, when the video had one million views on YouTube channel. My Boss Kevin Power ran and rang the bell at the office, we all gathered around and he began to thank everyone who was part of the campaign but he forgot one people who added to the success of the campaign and that was YOU Bloggers. so, I stood up and said “Kevin, for once can we recognize the work and effort that is done by bloggers” He looked at me and said Yes Neli that’s true.

My point then is that I am proud and I see huge potential in all of you. I respect the effort and time that you put into your work and that is why you were the first people on my mind when I woke up”.

My Linkedin Article opened the gates of opportunities

This year February I wrote an article about: Bloggers is it worth investing on your blog sites? I wrote this article unaware that @Susann Deysel will approach me to be one of the guest speakers at the KZN Blogger Meetup on the 26th of August 2017 and speak on these topics:

  • How I identify bloggers and How bloggers get noticed by brands.
  • I would like to share a paragraph from the article I published on Linkedin:

What I am about to say is not me being mean but I feel that some of the bloggers need to be more knowledgeable regarding their focus areas and target markets; their blog page structure; their content structure; the quality of photographs they use on their sites; and most importantly they need proper training as to how much they are worth and how to get noticed by brands”.

Bloggers Gift Sponsored by different Brands

Image Source: https://www.instagram.com/juliajane_media/

To all the bloggers who attended this event, hope you learned a lot and that all that was shared you will apply it to your blogs and let’s take blogging to another level 🙂

My message to bloggers is to


  • Do your research on everything blogger related
  • Know your worth and research your market value
  • Don’t settle for less but be the best
  • Meet other bloggers and expose yourself
  • Be Authentic
  • When you are paid to do the job, put your all or do not accept it.

I would like to end with…

“Live, Talk and Walk Your Brand” By Nelisiwe Zuma



Bloggers, your family and people you’re close to are your biggest fans

Side Note For Bloggers and Aspiring Bloggers:

I’m sure you have heard a lot about this but I’m going to say it anyway – Bloggers, it’s important that you blog about something you are passionate about because you never run out of good content.

Basically, you invest your time in something that you love and people can see that through your writing. For example, it’s good when a person can understand the emotions behind the content.

anja wintour


Anja Wintour is a good example of a good content writer, personally, I find her blogs relatable and she has a good sense of humor.

She blogs about pop culture, food, and fashion but she still makes it interesting enough for me to continue reading her blogs. She words her sentences in a way that’s authentic and understandable. You can read her blogs on http://glitzandgrammar.co.za/


Image Source: http://bit.ly/2fo3V7Y

It’s All Begins At Home








Image Source: My twin sister and I

Home is where everything begins, from the time of our inception to the time you old enough to go out on your own. Home is where you always go back to for honest answers. Don’t you think that creativity begins in a place where you’re comfortable, in a place where you can explore your talents without the interruptions of the outside world opinions?

Some will argue and say that home is the place in which you felt oppressed but in that oppression, you find out what you good at, for example, if you were grounded more often and asked to lock yourself in your room for an hour, in the time that you were grounded, your room becomes a place of retreat.

They’re honest:

Your family are the first people who you show your work and who read and give constructive critics. They will not say something to make you feel better or to please you but they will be frank with you.

For example, my mom used to think that my job to utilize bloggers and influencers to reach out to consumers to purchase the products was misleading and manipulative. It made me realize that more people would think like her, therefore, it is important to educate people on what exactly it is that you do.

They Show Interest

The thing about family is that once you tell them that your work means a lot to you and that you make money out of it, they will show interest. Because all ones loved ones wish for, is that one is financially stable.

But in worst case scenarios where you have explained what you do but your family still shows no interest in your field of industry. That should not discourage you instead it should make you realize the reality of life that not everybody will be interested in what you do.

It doesn’t mean that you must stop instead you should be your own biggest fan and focus on the people that understand what you are doing. Always bear in mind that not everyone who has gotten to the top has been loved and supported.

They Care



They take time to read your entire blog, you might be wondering how I know that. Let me tell you – it’s little things like when your colleague, a friend or your aunt is asking you to change your punctuation. It shows that they care enough about what you put out to the world.

Whereas someone who doesn’t show that much interest or care for me wouldn’t bother to tell me, for example, if you have a boogah (mucus on your nose) and you walk around the whole day without anyone telling you and when you get home they tell you. That shows that they have your back.


Whether your family is for you or against you – it’s important to educate them and not keep them in the dark.