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Many know her for her incredible beauty, popping melanin, and amazing dance moves. Fast-rising influencer Fancy Makadia is becoming a force to reckon with in the media industry, as she is redefining how business is done. She has found a way to make money, be paid for her worth, and while at it, inspire many young people who look up to her.

A fashion icon in her own right, the France-based influencer has kept her fan base growing back in Kenya. She is stylish, daring, and experimental. Unlike her other family members, Makadia is soft-spoken, but don’t mistake that for shyness. Her mom Akothee has taught her to live her life to the fullest and have a purpose in life.

fancy makadia
Fancy Makadia / Courtesy / Skirt by @shoptungatunga

In our inspiring conversation with her, we were surprised to find out little-known stuff about her. Just like us, she is human and there are some things she has had to overcome and despite a celebrity’s daughter, nothing comes on a silver platter. Enjoy and share!

Fashion Today: Why did you decide to be an influencer?

Fancy Makadia: You know, I was known as the dancer. All I would just do is dance. So there’s this one time I posted on my Facebook page, asking my followers which products they’ve never gotten a chance to buy. 

Also read: Meet The Sexy Ugandan Model Who Is Taking Over Africa

I noticed that people came to buy and sell in my comments section. People were actually making successful purchases. This made me realize that I can try and create a brand, market people’s items and help them reach a wider audience.

That’s how I decided to be an influencer. 

FT: How would you describe your experience…what are some of the interesting experiences that you’ve had so far as an influencer?

FM: Before, brands were reluctant to approach me. I was also scared because I was like, I’m so far from Kenya and most of my followers are based there. However, I learnt that it was about skills; not location. It is more about what you bring to the table.

When I signed my first contract, I really learnt a lot. Before this, I never knew anything about social media insights and analytics. I got to know what kind of content people want.

It made it easier for me to plan myself. I would say it’s a journey that’s been really amazing.

fancy makadia
Fancy looking lovely in an African print dress by @shoptungatunga

FT: You’ve spoken about contracts. Tell us, how do you go about contracts, because many influencers out there get approached, casually decide on the price and go straight into working. I’ve seen many complaints online from influencers claiming that they weren’t paid. Can you touch on the importance of contracts and what are the most vital details that should be included?

FM: For the first endorsement that I signed, we had to sign a contract. It basically included the period of time that I was going to work with them and how much they were going to pay me. On my side, I had what content I was going to bring.

Also read: 10 Times Azziad Nasenya Looked Super Stylish

This is important so that you and your boss – the client – don’t have scuffles. When you are busy for example, you have to check your schedule with the contract. For instance, if you have a contract for six months, you have to know what you will be doing within that time.

The contract literally spells out the payment terms so that you don’t have to worry about getting your money when the time comes to be paid. The first thing that you have to ask for as an influencer is a contract.

FT: Have you ever had an experience where clients take too long to pay you, you have to follow up severally?

FM: For me, I chose a different path. I did not want to work with clients and then they pay after. I work with upfront payment. I start the work from the day you’ve paid me. This is because I’m in a different country. You can’t trust everyone. Someone might decide not to pay you, block you and you might not find a way to reach them. So they always pay me first then I deliver their content agreement.

FT: You definitely wish to work with bigger brands in the future. Which are some of the names you wish to collaborate with and why? 

FM: I would love to work with brands here in France and some back at home. For now, I’m doing just fashion, but I also want to collaborate with gadget brands like Tecno Mobile. Then there’s also Home 254 apparel.

fancy makadia
Fancy in a @shoptungatunga jacket

FT: Since there are many brands that approach you for collaborations, what do you consider before you choose to work with one?

FM: Firstly, I always look at the product. They have to send me something that I’m very, very comfortable with. As a content creator, you also have to think of ways to produce content with the products that they are going to give you. 

Also read: Mary Erica: ‘When It Comes To Your Dreams, Just Shoot Your Shot’

So if they give you an item you’re not comfortable with, you will be blank. 

FT: Now, let’s take a detour and talk about your dancing. I’ve been seeing your amazing choreography videos. The moves are on point. People really love what you do; the comments section is always lit. Were you always a dancer growing up, or is it just something that you started recently?

FM: I think me and dance are like married, you know, haha. I started dancing when I was a little girl. I can’t remember the age I was but I’ve been dancing my whole life. 

FT: So how do you find TikTok when it comes to content creation compared to the other platforms?

FM: TikTok…that’s an app that’s hard to predict. Because…one time you are up, the next you’re down. When I post something on Facebook, it goes viral in a second but TikTok, really takes time. It has its own people.

But I’ll keep trying because it’s better to give it a shot than to fail.

FT: How do you find verification of pages different in Europe compared to Kenya?

FM: I think Facebook is the easiest platform to get verified on. But one thing you have to know is that consistency is key. So when my social media marketing team was very consistent with the posting, I gained more followers, and one day I woke up to find that I was verified.

fancy makadia
Fit by @shoptungatunga

FT: You’ve said that you have a team that is behind your online presence. How did you come about selecting people with whom you can trust your brand? That’s definitely a big risk to take…

FM: Trust me, social media is something that you really need to take care of…because, you never know. Someone might post something and the next thing you’re trending for the wrong reasons. 

Also read: 10 Times Boity Killed It With Her Style

There are people who have seen me grow, who have been there for me and they were like, why not create a Facebook account? I said let’s do this. Since they really advised me, I agreed that we do this together.

FT: Do you personally respond to comments or it’s just the team?

FM: Yeah yeah, I respond to comments.

FT: You are currently studying Hospitality and Management. The travel and hospitality industry has been affected by the pandemic. The industry is very volatile…so are you still interested in pursuing a career in that field?

FM: I’m still very interested. No matter what happens, I must keep on pushing.

FT: On the issue of bad energy and cyberbullying, how have you managed to deal with this because most of your family members are in the public domain?

FM: Back in 2018, I posted a picture of my dad and me on Instagram. He is white. So, people came on trolling, saying things like ‘he’s your sponsor’, and it made me feel bad. I started crying. My mum has been of big support in my life. 

She’s like, seriously? Are you crying because of someone somewhere using their own data bundles to talk badly of you? She says that we all have 24 hours in a day to do things. She adds that whatever I came to do in this life, God gave me a purpose. Hence, I stopped minding what people say.

Some comments are very nasty, but we just need to stop listening to negative comments.

fancy makadia
Outfit by @shoptungatunga. We dig those Bantu knots!

FT: About your fashion sense, I noticed that you really love African print. Is it someone else’s influence on you or how do you go about choosing your style?

FM: In the beginning, I wasn’t really digging African print. But, when the Tunga Tunga endorsement came in, and they wanted me to collaborate with them, I was like let’s try something new.

When they first sent me my first bunch of clothes I fell in love with African print. I was like from now on, go African or go home.

FT: When it comes to taking pictures, there’s a huge difference between what’s on Instagram and in real life. How do you prevent yourself from being carried away into being someone that you’re not?

FM: When I’m taking my Instagram pictures, I just try to be normal. Because once someone out there sees me looking different from what’s on Instagram, it will be an embarrassment. I literally try to be free-spirited, create a mood, laugh and it makes me feel I’m being real.

FT: Mental health also comes into play. There are expectations from fans, you being a public figure. How do you deal with situations that may undermine your mental health?

FM: So every morning, my mum sends me some very motivational quotes on how to deal with mental health. So I feel like nothing on social media will ever bring me down. There’s a time I went online and some people were like, we can see your pants, which wasn’t true.

Also read: Get To Know Patricia Aika, The Stylish Corporate Lawyer And Influencer

I asked myself, should I feel bad about this? I decided not to. If you are a creator with a big nose, there’s nothing you can change about it. So it’s all about self-acceptance.

FT: Where do you see yourself in the next two to three years in terms of being an influencer?

FM: I look forward to having more brands working with me, especially in France. I am already doing that back home, even though I’m currently working with three. I want to take a big step and go big globally.

FT: You truly avoid controversy and drama. Is that intentional or do you just like playing it low?

FM: I think it is both. I don’t like problems or drama. Once you don’t have drama in your life, you’re good to go.

Top by @shoptungatunga

FT: Young people who may be looking up to you may not see the other side of things. Maybe they think everything is easy for you. What do you have to tell them?

FM: Nothing comes on a silver platter. People think that since I’m in France, all I do is wait for mum’s money. No, I work hard for my own money. You cannot just sit and expect things to come to you. God helps those who help themselves. You have to try. I previously got many comments, people telling me that I can’t do it, that I’m so shy.

Also read: Joan Kubai Reveals Where She Shops, Her Love For Nollywood And Soft Side

I was like, I will prove you guys wrong. Just trying to do something can help you in life. This was a trial and error situation, and it got me somewhere I didn’t think I would be. 

There you have it! Fancy has big dreams to achieve and we wish her the very best in her journey. Keep it Fashion Today VIP magazine for more inspiring conversations!

 

Faustina Royale is a 25-year-old content creator and fitness influencer who is on the fast rise. The curvy, smart, and bold star has been helping many of her fans embrace body positivity. 

She has had considerable success so far, boasting over 100,000 followers across her social media. In her TikTok videos, she’s not afraid to showcase her curvaceous body, rocking flattering dresses while delivering much-needed humor that her fans love.

Royale had a virtual chat with Fashion Today and from our conversation, we were super impressed! Read on to find out the most surprising thing about her that fans don’t know. Be inspired!

Fashion Today: So about content creation… What drew you into that field?

Faustine Royale: As a dancer naturally I’d dance sometimes at events or enter dance competitions. I loved enjoying performing but when I wasn’t performing I’d take videos of myself dancing and I became more fulfilled as I actually saw the content as opposed to just performing on stage. 

faustina royale

I got drawn to content creation mainly because I loved seeing my art come to life and I’d create content at first for my own enjoyment and later on shared it with the world. It started out with dancing but later on, I realized I just love creating content. I’d create some fitness or modeling-related content as well.

FT: Superb. What would you say is the most important lesson you’ve gotten as you’ve been building your fanbase as a content creator?

FR: I’ve learned that the content I am creating is for my fans not necessarily me. Meaning that as much as I’m a content creator and I have a plan, structure, and strategy, I always have to take into consideration what my audience likes about my content and prioritize that.

Also read: 10 Times Azziad Nasenya Looked Super Stylish

FT: Let’s talk about the brands you have worked with or wish to collaborate with. What do you look for when working with someone or a company?

FR: I’ve worked with a couple of artists in promoting their music in some of my dance videos and also collaborated with a few photographers as well. Ideally, partnering with Lingerie or Swimwear brands will be a great opportunity for me as a model and also a couple of clothing brands as well. 

Obviously, a great work ethic is always my starting point in choosing the right person to work with. I also prioritize having a colleague that understands my brand and my vision as well.

faustina royale

FT: TikTok is different from other platforms in so many ways. Since you are a regular user, what are some of the tips you would give a new, aspiring creator?

FR: Firstly follow trends! Prioritize them! Having your own ideas is a great thing (keep creating by the way) but with Tiktok you need to get in the boat that everyone is in. Get out of your comfort zone every now and then, get involved in Tiktok challenges. Also, use hashtags that are relevant to your posts. 

Bear in mind also that in everything you do, your brand and your vision must be aligned with every post. 

Also, be aware of what your audience likes and align that with your content as well. It’s a matter of being yourself the Tiktok way, which is hopping onto the trendiest challenges and also not forgetting that you need to be creative as well.

FT: Your Instagram feed shows how bold you are. Is it an extension of your personality?

FR: Yes definitely. I’d like to call it my alter ego. I’ve always been a daring and courageous person but have never expressed it. I’ve structured my feed in such a way that it’s uncensored and unfiltered, the way art should be.

faustina royale

FT: What’s the one thing that your most loyal fans don’t know about you?

FR: I’d say most of them don’t probably know that I’m a huge science enthusiast. Physics to be specific. I’m planning on furthering my studies soon and getting to a point where I’m a quantum physicist

FT: About working out and keeping fit, what would you say is the one thing that can help someone stay consistent?

FR: Get a workout partner, or preferably join a gym class or any form of a group arrangement. This helps a lot because staying consistent is a difficult thing for most people, no matter how passionate. 

Also read: Get To Know Patricia Aika, The Stylish Corporate Lawyer And Influencer

So having people or a person who will constantly remind you of your goal and push you on days when you don’t feel like exercising is always best.

FT: When it comes to being an influencer, the landscape is pretty competitive. What makes you stand out?

FR: I’m comfortable in my own skin and I’m big on being natural as well. My overall look and my body as well. Basically being true to myself makes me stand out. Making sure that I  promote self-love and encourage others to stay true to themselves as well.

faustina royale

FT: Who are some of the people you’d love to collaborate with in the future and why?

FR: Definitely SavageXFenty, mainly because the Lingerie brand supports the body positivity movement, I mean I’m curvy, and working with such a brand that understands and encourages self-love in that manner would be a plus. 

 I’d also like to work with  Boss Lady Dressed and Zeeshop because I love how they also focus on the curvy women audience and create pieces that just accentuate curvy bodies.

FT: Finally, where do you see your personal brand in the next two years?

FR: I see my brand reaching more audiences globally. Especially more women, in the sense that more women would find some form of inspiration to be the best they’ve ever been. 

Also read: Fashion Model Debbie Opiata Reveals How She Built Self-Confidence

Also, I see a lot more brand collaborations as I believe more and more people would get to understand my brand better and I’d be more mature in my craft as well. Venturing into the business side of things as well. Probably a clothing or lingerie line.

 

Burundian social media influencer Nella Neth sat down with us this week to speak about her new journey as a mother, the little things she cares about the most and revealed her ultimate hangout joints in Stockholm, Sweden, where she is based.

Nella, you’re now a mom to someone very special to you. How has motherhood changed your lifestyle?

My lifestyle hasn’t changed completely. I surely do not have time to attend certain events or do some stuff because of responsibilities, but I manage to take care of my son and make sure I take care of myself as well.

Over the years, you’ve branded yourself as an actress and performer. You’re now regarded as the most beautiful influencer to crop out of Burundi. How does it feel to have such a crown?

I don’t consider myself the most whatever but I do have a creative mind. I am entertaining and can also be unpredictable- so if that’s what beauty is then I am so damn beautiful. But when it comes to the appearance, Burundian girls are beautiful; I just happen to be the one that have used my platform shamelessly and became more visible.

What do you regard as your most notable achievement in your professional career?

I have achieved a lot when I look back even though I tend to discredit myself. However, my biggest pride and achievement is the fact that I have established a connection with my followers. There is nothing better than having someone you don’t know, they don’t know you, they don’t want nothing from you but an ear to listen and an open heart. I speak a lot privately with my followers and they share a lot about themselves with me. That kind of trust is priceless. People sometimes just need someone they can relate to.

How have you managed to maintain such a terrific body after giving birth?

I must say that it’s genes because I haven’t worked out or done any consistent diet. I have been eating whatever, so let’s thank my parents for passing me the fit genes.

How’s your day-to-day routine now that you’re a parent?

My days are different; anything can happen. I just adjust and add on my normal schedules.

Sweden is known to have great fashion brands, a vibrant culture, the iconic reindeer, a great landscape, the canals in Stockholm and much more. What would you recommend someone to do while in this beautiful country?

OMG! I don’t even know where to start because I might break it down like a tourist guide. Stockholm is a beautiful city; very vibrant, very busy and clean. The parks, the breath-taking architecture, the cafés and the shops.I would recommend someone to have window shopping in Östermalm, go to Södermalm to eat some delicious vegan meals, go visit the royal palace at Gamla stan and at the end go to the clubs in Stockholm — not the most popular, but the underground, Facebook event kind of clubs. You will have blast and don’t forget to put yourself on the list because clubs here can reject you for not being on the list.

What kind of music makes your days easy to go through?

Koffi Olomide. I can even feel my body shaking already just by thinking about Congolese music.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Reality shows. I haven’t been watching Basketball Wives this season and I feel like I have missed out.

Has your fashion sense evolved since you became a mum? In what way?

My fashion hasn’t changed a lot because I don’t follow trends; trends are tacky. I am a classic girl that dresses according to what looks good on me.

What’s your vision in life for the next 5 years?

I see myself very successful. I just can’t tell anyone my projects – I tend to believe in the evil eye. Inshallah God has great plans for me

What or who’s your muse when it comes to a dose of positivity?

My son he is happy boy; his laughter gives life. Oh and Pinterest. I just type key words like “happy, motivation quotes” and baam I feel good. There’s no particular person that makes me happy.

What’s that childhood memory that you will never get over?

I have plenty…my childhood was quite amazing.

What’s your parting shot, a word of encouragement or appreciation to your fans?

Thank you for being the sunshine on my good and bad days. I love you endlessly. You made me who I am when it comes to being an influencer.

When it comes to doppelgängers, science states that each one of us has at least 7 people in the world who look exactly like them. Rarely are we lucky to meet even one, but in the case of celebrities, many people usually come out to claim the spot. For example, Taylor Swift and Obama’s lookalikes are popular in their own rights.

lihle and phuti
Lihle (Left) and Phuti (Right_

Meet Lihle Nkosi and Phuti Phala, two South African upcoming media personalities who just found that they look alike. At first it could not settle easily with them, but they’ve found comfort within each other.

At first sight, you can easily confuse them as twins. In fact, when Lihle first posted a photo of them on Instagram, I wondered why she has never posted her sister for the 3 years I’ve been following her.

It turns out that indeed they are not related. Here’s what they had to say!

Harun: So guys just give me the backstory on how you met…you two look so alike…is it a coincidence?

Lihle: Everyone is confused, because we met in December through a mutual friend in Johannesburg who had told us we look alike.

lihle and phuti

Harun: How was your reaction when you met the first time?

Phuti: When we first met each other we didn’t think we look alike. It was only after we got to talk to each other more and go through each other’s pictures. We took a video that same day when we met that had my other friends confused on who’s who.

Harun: Wow…and what has been everyone’s reaction since then? And do you feel like you two share a lot or you are completely different personalities?

Lihle: People always told us we look alike but we both didn’t take it seriously.

The first day we met, we were just speaking the whole time and we honestly didn’t realize we look alike. We were just chatting the whole time and then started realizing how alike we were. We also found out we share a lot in common. Phuti also has a passion for media and television.

lihle and phuti

Phuti ZA: Everyone is as shocked as we are. I find People’s reaction really funny because they don’t believe us at all; some even suggest that we should do a DNA test and question our parents.

Harun: Do you plan on actually doing that?

Phuti: We are not related I know that for a fact. We’re doppelgängers who are just lucky that they don’t stay too far from each other.

I think if we were to test it would be just to prove to people that it’s possible that there’s someone who looks like you and isn’t related to you

We were talking the whole time our friend even said we talk a lot and we still couldn’t help but continue.

lihle and phuti
Phuti Phala

Lihle: We have very similar personalities, we have the same style in terms of fashion, we into the same career field and we actually even have the same scar on our forehead 🙈 we both fell when we were young. The whole experience has honestly been lovely, feel like I found a sister.

Harun: That’s so cool!

Phuti: Don’t forget that we both went to Catholic boarding school.

Lihle: Yeah that’s true and the funniest things happen, for example this morning we sent each other good morning messages at the same time.

Harun: Wow. That’s just…insane.

Lihle: We both have problems with our eye sights. Oh yes! We both went to a catholic boarding school.

lihle and phuti
Lihle Nkosi

Harun: Have you guys considered starting a show together? You know…it could be a hit.

Lihle: Yes!! A friend of mine Barney suggested we start a show where we answer questions about how we met, like how we are doing now but also show people how similar our characteristics were. It would be really cool to start a TV show or even be featured in a TV show. We are working on that.

Phuti: Yes we’re planning on taking over.

Harun: Why did you two start a joint Instagram account by the way?

Lihle: We shared picmix pictures of ourselves on social media and realized how much attention we got from brands. We actually just did a shoot for Kolorz, a makeup brand in South Africa based in Greenstone & East Rand Mall. SissyBoy Jeans sponsored our outfits for the shoot.

It was a really great start and we want to create this platform and who knows maybe one day we will be as big as TheBadura Twins and monetize on looking alike.

lihle and phuti
The “twins”

Phuti: Yes. So the social media page makes it easier for brands to see our work and book us to work with them.

Harun: So have you had any negative energy thrown your way? How did you deal with it?

Phuti: At this point we’re getting a lot of positive response from people and we’re hoping that we will get approached by more brands.

Lihle: We don’t know of any other doppelgängers that have been social media influencers so it will bring negative remarks as you say but that really isn’t our focus. I think we’ve created a solid relationship in the few days we’ve known each other and concentrating on negative remarks won’t divert our attention from the bigger goal. But luckily we haven’t received any attacks on social media, just love and support.

Phuti: People have just been really supportive; it’s overwhelming. As much as our parents are shocked, they support us and are very happy for us.

Harun: What’s your age difference?

Phuti: 7 months apart, Lihle is older than me. I was born in 1998, February 6th and Lihle was born in 1997, June 25th.

lihle and phuti
Phuti

Harun: What did Phuti study in campus? Or are you still enrolled?

Phuti: I studied TV production at AFDA and I’m graduating

Harun: By the way that is a close age range guys.

Lihle: Right? It’s so amazing, I feel like God had a greater reason for meeting at this point in our lives!

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