Bonang Matheba – Behind the Brand

Often affectionately referred to as Queen B*, the media personality, fashionista, model and mogul Bonang Matheba has blossomed beautifully over the years.

And I don’t mean ‘blossomed’ in the cliche sense, I mean it in the actual sense of the word.

Blossom
ˈblɒs(ə)m/
Verb

To mature or develop in a promising or healthy way.

Synonyms: develop, grow, mature, progress, evolve, burst forth, come to fruition…

Bonang has grown leaps and bounds from her time as the bubbly young girl presenting Manhattan’s Fantasy Challenge, to coining the term “your girl B*” during her days as a presenter on SABC 1’s Live (now Live AMP) to finding herself dominating South African media at any given time of the day.

In between TV and radio appearances, host and MC duties, travelling and interviews, she feeds fans sneak peeks of what she’s up to or what she’s thinking with constant updates to her Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds.

With a minimum of over 800,000 followers on each platform, the ROI on the time and effort she has invested in her brand is evident. Bonang is the only female brand ambassador for Ciroc, the only face of Revlon outside of the US and the brand ambassador and co-designer for Woolworths’ lingerie range, Distractions.

Although she is very hands on in terms of her brand and how it is managed, she couldn’t do it without the help of a formidable team. The following article is based on my view of her team from the outside, looking in. Attempts to get confirmation and further information from her PR team have gone acknowledged but unanswered.

Her Mother

Although Bonang has been in the business for seven years, her mother – Charlotte Mokoena – is the reason we even have someone to fawn over in the first place.

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Mrs. Mokoena not only brought B into the world but she equipped her with the knowledge, self-confidence and determination needed to become who and what she currently is.

Bonang never misses a chance to share just how much of an impact her mother has had on who she is and what she has been able to achieve thus far – including the huge influence she has on B*’s style.

She recently told Makho Ndlovu in an interview for OkayAfrica “from a very young age my mother has always told me that “I’m enough, I’m adequate- and that I’m powerful beyond measure.” Those words have stuck with me all these years and I’ve used them as a foundation for all I do.”

Mrs. Mokoena is a Managing Executive of Telkom SA Limited and the President of Institute People Management.

Training

It is no secret that On Cue Communications taught young B all she needed to know before she jumped into the crazy world of entertainment.

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On Cue communications, established in 1992, offers exclusive and complete training seminars in TV presenting, radio presenting and corporate media skills and they are always on the lookout for the next generation of SA’s media and entertainment talent.

Mentor

Most young women could only dream of being mentored by one of South Africa’s earliest media darlings turned mogul, so naturally, Bonang would have the privilege of calling Basetsana ‘Bassie’ Khumalo one of her mentors.

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Bassie is equally as crazy about B*, having played a huge role in setting B*’s career as a Top Billing presenter in motion.

PR and Management – Brand Three-Sixty Communications and CSA Global

Her career and image used to be managed by Jay Badza and Sylvester Chauke of the DNA Brand Architects but she recently jumped ship and joined CSA Global as well as Pumza Nohashe at Brand Three-Sixty Communications.

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Pumza Nohashe

And now you know why her career has never, EVER, taken a dip – all three companies know what they’re doing and they do it impeccably. Which is why Bonang remains on good terms with the DNA Brand team.

B* and Chauke even recently shared the joy of taking home some awards at the Olivier Empowerment Awards. Chauke won the Young Achiever award and B* took home the Top Media Personality of the Year Award.

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Bonang Matheba and Sylvester Chauke at the Olivier Empowerment Awards

Brand Three-Sixty Communications currently handle Nomzamo Mbatha’s PR, brand collaborations and all those fabulous international work trips. Former clients include Minnie Dlamini’s who later enlisted the services of Jarred Doyle Comunications.

CSA handles talent, communications and events with an extensive and well-thought out variety of services associated with the needs of their clients.

According to CSA, their aim is to link “an appropriate, famous face to your event, campaign or endorsement can have a significant impact on your success. CSA Artist Attainment (CSAAA) has the network and know-how to manage all elements involved in celebrity procurement. Extensive experience – both locally and internationally (via our Los Angeles and Paris offices) – enables us to leverage our reputable industry standing to source some of the globe’s biggest stars for our clients.”

Stylist

Her style is as iconic as her famed work ethic so it comes as a major surprise that she only recently enlisted the services of a professional stylist.

“I realize that in order to conquer the African continent, I might as well use fashion because I am very good at it and once again, it’s a language that the world can understand,” said Bonang in an interview with Nigeria’s entertainment website, Pulse.

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She has worked with a number of designers of the years. Gert ‘Bonang’ Coetzee has been responsible for a number of her most iconic red carpet looks. Other favourites include Mozambique’s Taibo Bacar, South African brand Kisua as well as Nigerian designer Toju Foyeh, who most recently released an entire collection inspired by B.

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Bonang Matheba and Law “Luxury Law” Roach

This year, she met up with Law “Luxury Law” Roach (whose most famous client is Zendaya Coleman) and their fashion partnership has been an exciting thing to witness. From all the styling he did for her as host of the Metro FM Music Awards to all the SAFTA’s looks he has pulled for her, I can’t wait to see where he takes her style in future.

Make up and Hair

What is a queen without her crown and face? Never one to be caught slipping, she is always beat for tha gawds ! In addition to her inimitable style, B’s hair, brows and face STAY on fleek.

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Nthato Mashishi, Vuyo Varoyi and Muzi Z

Over the years, she has worked with the likes of Nthato Mashishi, Vuyo Varoyi (for Revlon) and now she either takes Muzi ‘Muzi Z’ Zuma or Clara ‘ Clara Banx’ Chimeloane everywhere with her.

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As for those killer lace wigs, she gets them custom made by Patrick Missile (who also caters to the likes of Boity Thulo) while hair stylist, Saadique Ryklief, styles the heck out of those things for major events and photo shoots.

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Friends

Mishumo Madima

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According to her blog, Mishumo is “a South African working as a diplomat in Kenya, [who is] also a student, singer and songwriter.”

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She once told Elle Magazine, in an interview for B’s Elle South Africa October 2012 cover, she dreams of seeing Matheba ‘on that red carpet with Giuliana and Ryan’ and look at where her bestie is now!

Speaking things into existence is a thing, people.

Kirby Venlet

Judging from social media, Kirby Venlet and Bonang’s relationship goes beyond work. It’s all love and friendship. The CSA account executive seems to have been around for a lot of B’s highs and lows, both personally and professionally.

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Toke Makinwa

The tale of how the two met is not exactly known but it was probably on one of B’s many trips to Nigeria where Makinwa is currently based. The multimedia personality also works as a host and model and she is the one who gave B her new Nigerian name, ‘Adebimpe’ which means “the crown is complete.”

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The Queen’s crown may be complete in Toke’s eyes but I think this is merely the beginning of an exciting chapter in B’s public life as a media personality and business woman.

You may be wondering why her bae, Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes didn’t get a mention and that is solely because a Queen is not defined by her King. That, and the fact that he hasn’t made a noticeable impact on her career thus far. His impact on her personal life is an entirely different matter all together…

In the meantime, we will sit back and watch the queen and her royal court conquer.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @mediagirl_za

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