Kween Krush: NATASHA NDLOVU “The Power To Influence.”

Kween Krush: NATASHA NDLOVU “The Power To Influence.”

Kween Krush alert!! This is where we celebrate everyday women for being complete badass Wonder Women.

Natasha, we have a crush on you because you’re completely slayin’ the game. To quote Drake ‘You started from the bottom now you’re here’. You went from model to blogger to YouTuber to influencer and now the world is at your fingertips.

What’s the hardest thing about running your own empire Bisous Natasha?

Lol, thanks. Now I just need to start making Drake money! 🙂 The most difficult thing about running my empire – as small as it is – would be time management. I currently do not have an assistant and work with people on a temporary basis, so I have to make the most of each day and not procrastinate.

What do you identify most with? Being a blogger, influencer, model or business woman?

For now, I would say an influencer. I used to model but now I do this full time; my goal is to make it into a successful business and be a business woman.

Have you found you’ve had to fight to be seen or heard as a woman in your industry?

My industry is dominated by women, which is a good thing but I still have to fight to be seen, to be paid fairly etc.

What are some of the biggest challenges? Is it as competitive as it seems?

Some of the biggest challenges start with securing a project over someone else, so it does make the industry competitive. There are many friendly and helpful women in the industry but there are always a few who are in it for themselves.

What’s a day-in-the-life of Natasha Ndlovu?

It varies. Some times it involves me in my pyjamas on the computer all day doing admin but some days I go out to several meetings with potential clients for work. Once in a while I am shooting several street style looks or travelling with a brand when there is an upcoming product launch.

Your Instagram account natashandlovu has close to 100 thousand followers! What’s the secret? Is it more hustle than luck or timing?

I have been on Instagram for a while now and many brands and accounts repost my photos. Nowadays, with the algothrithm change, you have to be consistent with posting and keeping followers aware of the content you produce.

How did you come to live in London? Have you found it difficult at times?

I moved here initially because I was scouted for modelling. I then did some interning at art galleries in between before falling into fashion and blogging. It has been a tough journey, especially when family and close friends live abroad, but it has its amazing moments.

You’re away from your Mum and family who live in South Africa. Do you miss them? What’s it been like to build a trusty support network here?

I do miss my family and only see them once a year. The distance and cost of travelling halfway across the world makes it difficult to see them often. It also therefore makes it important for me to build friendships with people I can trust, not just hang out with on weekends.

Do you have any insecurities or anxiety when it comes to being in the public eye?

I am a quiet person when I am at public events where I don’t know anyone so I avoid going alone haha.

What’s more important to you, being recognized as a brand or a role model?

At the moment, honestly, as a brand because I am trying to be a reliable source of content and information but I have always wanted to help other women with the knowledge and experience I have working in fashion.

What is the one thing people don’t know about you?

Oooh, that’s a secret. Ha! To be honest, I am not that mysterious.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I would like to do a beauty collaboration, so I am focusing on beauty content a lot.

Who do you look to for inspo? Would it surprise us?

I look at 90s fashion for inspiration these days. The Calvin Klein – Cindy Crawford era.

Any advice for women/men following in your footsteps? What does it take to be the ultimate #BossKween just like you?

I say keep creating content, work hard, give yourself a little break (Netflix) but keep the momentum going. It’s so easy to look at someone on Instagram and feel like you will never be as successful as them but just focus on your work / content and you will have a breakthrough.

Natasha was Carmela’s first London flatmate. They lived together in a charming little place in Notting Hill, in a street behind Portobello Road. Most of their time was spent watching Netflix, drinking rosé while discussing boys and going for brunch at their fave spot ‘Mike’s’. Carmela will always cherish those days.

Need more Ndlovu? Of course you do!

Subscribe to Natasha’s YouTube channel and for all things #fashun follow her on Facebook.

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Kween Krush: BREE TOMASEL “From Hiding My Humour To Going Viral!”

Kween Krush: BREE TOMASEL “From Hiding My Humour To Going Viral!”

Kween Krush alert!! This is where we celebrate everyday women for being complete badass Wonder Women.

Briannnnna, we have a crush on you because you’re funny AF! In the last few years you’ve become this viral internet sensation, as well as a national radio star and co-host of the best kind. What came first? Wanting to be internet famous or your love for radio?

All these compliments! I can feel my head swelling. Haha!! Radio has always been the dream since I was a little girl, but I never thought it could be a reality. I literally pinch myself all the time and still can’t believe I get paid to make a dick of myself on the radio and do something I truly love everyday. Making people laugh is something that gives me so much life and happiness and the video thing was just a natural progression that gave me another outlet to do that. Seeing people engage and enjoy what you’re doing is the best feeling.

Did it take you by surprise when your videos started to be shared and liked worldwide? Some have millions of views!

I still remember opening my page and seeing one of my videos Sober Uber home Vs. Drunk Uber home going ‘viral’ for the first time and it was the strangest feeling. It got thousands of views a minute and I thought Facebook had a glitch and then I realised what was happening. I still get shocked every single time a video I post goes well.

On your social platforms you broach crude hilarious subject matters (mostly ones that involve your Mum); was this a planned attempt to do something different as a female or something that just came naturally?

None of my stuff is super planned, it’s literally just me exploding onto video. My content is real, raw and authentically me. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Haha.

How important is it to you that different representations of women are showcased online?

OMG, so bloody important and one of the reasons why I’m so thankful for platforms like social media, as it showcases people of all shapes, colours, ethnicities and backgrounds. When I was growing up there wasn’t really anyone like me portrayed in the media. I always felt different and a little out of place. Sometimes I would hide the humorous side of me, as I was told it’s not attractive for a girl to be funny, so showing young girls and women that it’s ok to be the ‘funny female’ is so important to me.

Do you feel any additional pressure? Do you think it’s harder as a female to make your mark in the big bad world of web?

There are so many amazingly hilarious women in the media and on the internet these days. So many are making their mark in their own way which is so encouraging for younger girls who are wanting to create content. I think the hardest part about putting content out there is being original and different because so much has been done already.

Do you get approached on the street by strangers/fans? What’s their general reaction to your content and was it weird to receive this type of attention at first?

It’s still so humbling when someone comes up to me on the street and says that watching one of my videos brought them out of a bad place or they watch them with their friends and family. It’s always super surreal but the most amazing feeling knowing you’re making even the tiniest difference in someone’s day.

You’ve spent the last two years doing breakfast radio in Australia with Gawndy but you’ve just been offered a new kick-ass radio gig in New Zealand. How does it feel now knowing you’re dealing with a different audience?

I’ve been in NZ for about 4 weeks and it still doesn’t feel real. Some people would call me crazy and they’re probably right, it’s been a long and pretty difficult process. I’ve had to open a new bank account, get a driver’s license, phone number, find somewhere to live, all whilst starting a new job, so it’s been a full on experience. My new radio show won’t start for a couple of months which will give me some time to settle and learn the Kiwi lingo. It’s daunting knowing I have to win over an entire new audience and to them I’ll be a foreigner which makes it even harder but I’m up for the challenge.

Are you worried about making new friends and setting up a new life in a different city/country?

Of course, it’s a big thing to move your entire life but it’s also exciting. Radio gigs are one of those things that you have to be willing to truly chase and that means probably moving your entire life multiple times, starting over and getting used to constantly making new friends. Anyone who has chased a dream in radio will tell you the same thing, it’s not easy but it comes with the gig.

Who inspires you and what can we expect from you next?

I think anyone who has gone against the norm and are their true selves are the people I look up to. I’ve got a lot of different things in the works, like some hidden camera/people reaction videos which I haven’t done much of before, so I’m pumped about that. I’m about to release a ringtone on iTunes of my Mother screaming my name “Oohhhhh Briannnnna” and some merch which my Mum will pretend she isn’t stoked about but will secretly love. I also have a goal to do my first stand up gig this year which I’m shitting my pants at the thought of. Lol!

Carmela’s first memory of Bree was MCing at a radio/schoolies event on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Bree spent most of the time rapping into the mic. Carmela thought she was hilarious then and knew it wouldn’t be the last time we’d hear from her. Fast forward a mere 5 years later and Carmela is still utterly in awe of how freaking hysterical and genuine Bree is. Finally, the rest of the planet has caught up and now gets to ‘lol’ at her daily too.

If you want to laugh till a little bit of pee comes out then follow Bree on Facebook, ditch the cat videos and check out her YouTube channel and chuckle while she continues to harass her Mother on Instagram.

2am phone calls: what we don’t share on social media.

2am phone calls: what we don’t share on social media.

I’m Carmela. This year, I packed up my life and moved back to London for the second time. I’ve also spent numerous weekends in Brighton, traveled to Dublin with my two besties, been to Ibiza for a wedding, spent a long weekend in Cyprus, celebrated a birthday with an old friend in Berlin, eaten every kind of gelato in Florence, did that weird pose next to that tower in Pisa, indulged in too much pasta while checking out the Cinqua Terra, drank Chianti dry, swanned around in Paris, pretended to be Mariah Carey in Capri and had way too much fun in Positano. I just came back from Prague and I’ll be in Copenhagen before Christmas. Yes, I’ll admit it, I’m obsessed with the ‘socials’. All my escapades are thoroughly (and I mean thoroughly) documented on every social platform: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Friends in Australia are constantly messaging me with curiosity ‘do you have a job yet?’ as it would seem all I’ve done since I left was exchange currency and plane hop from country to country. Friends I’ve made in London are constantly saying “If I have to see one more photo on Facebook” or “Of course you’re going on holiday again”.

This made me start to evaluate the kinds of things I was putting out into the big-bad-world-of-web and whether it was reflective of what my day-to-day life was like since I had put everything I owned into two suitcases and made my way to this cold, dark city.

The answer: obviously not.

On one hand, I wasn’t ashamed of the things I had accomplished and I guess ‘boasted about’ on social media this year. This was a result of (as a 31 year old) spending the previous year back in my hometown, in my parents’ home, in my old bedroom (which was shared with my 2-year-old nephew whenever he would sleep over) and it definitely took its toll.

To give you some background, this exercise was so I could secure an Italian passport (as my working visa had come to an end) but mostly it was to save enough money so I could return to the UK this time round and not find myself broke, job-to-job, miserable and a little lost. But considering everything I’ve ‘posted’ about since I landed back in London, how could anyone possibly know that?

How could they possibly know that in some sense I was here because I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere anymore? How could they know that maybe I was sadly and selfishly reveling in the fact that I had no one to be accountable for: no partner, no children, no mortgage, so it was easy yet somewhat necessary to make this choice? I wasn’t showing that aspect of my life on social media now, was I?

To think of it, was I really showing anything that was going on in my world? Maybe not. Maybe, it was just highly-filtered travel pics and funny hashtags. Maybe, it was lacking of the struggle to be alone, the struggle to find somewhere to live, the struggle to find work and the constant struggle with money.

The moment that really hit me was when I received a phone call at 2am from my Mother on a Thursday. I was living with Carly. I answered thinking Mum, the silly woman, had gotten the time-difference wrong. A minute into the conversation I could see she was in a car and looking pale (still oblivious to what that could mean). She continued on about how my Uncle Tony was taken to hospital earlier that day and even at that point I didn’t register that something could be wrong. I thought that my Aunty’s brothers and sisters were just on their way to the hospital because it was a close call. That’s how wonderfully naive I was in that moment.

It’d been 15 years since we had lost anyone in our family, so I was out of action when it came to thinking the worst in these situations. I remember saying “So he’s ok right?” Mum broke down in tears and started to shake her head “No, he’s gone” (actually, I don’t know if that’s what she said, but it was something of that nature). Immediately, whether it was the shock or the sudden sadness, I started crying and screaming, waking Carly up in the process.

“Carmela, what’s going on?” She shouted. “My Uncle just died” I replied.

With those 4 words it was like time froze. Did those words just come out of my mouth? My Uncle? My favourite Uncle? The one that would always ask me, never if I had a boyfriend but how work was going? Or how life in Sydney with his son was?

Carly and I lived in an open space, our bedrooms were like cabins on a cruise ship but with no doors. I spent the next 3 hours in the bathroom crying, trying to not to wake her. I dreaded the next morning, worried of how this would feel in the light and how I would even broach the subject with my Aunty and cousins (one cousin in particular that had become like a brother to me). It didn’t feel real. It still doesn’t feel real.

Carly and I have had numerous conversations in the past about what we saw on social media but mostly, about what we didn’t see. Was it a mask? Was it a lie? Was it just the shiny stuff? Or was sharing about the difficult things just too hard and portals like Facebook an escape?

I was apprehensive about sharing my Uncle’s story on social media. Thoughts of it being cheap and cruel ran through my head. But this was my life. This possibly was the real story of my life since I returned to London. It was clear now, that it was never about overseas travel, disposable cash, copious amounts of alcohol and naked dancing. It was about something more. There were lessons to be learnt here.

I had to hear about the news of my Uncle passing via FaceTime. I went to work the next day, puffy faced and red-eyed because I had just started a new job but most importantly, I desperately needed the money. I had missed out on grieving with my family. I missed out on being at my Uncle’s funeral. So yes, this was the real story of leaving your old life and moving overseas. This was what it was really like to be away from home. Suddenly, my passport wasn’t shining so bright anymore, the days felt long and the nights even longer.

So these days, whenever my Mum calls me at an ungodly hour, my heart skips a beat, it’s almost like I can’t breathe. Phone calls at 2am from now on will never be the same.

I still catch myself crying in the most ridiculous places because they remind me of my Uncle (a deli section of a supermarket) because I haven’t dealt with this properly yet. And the truth is I may never. Because I wasn’t there. I’m going to have to live with that forever.

I read his eulogy over a pint in a London pub. I called my cousins after the wake. I message my Aunty most days to see how she is. It sucks.

So, I’m Carmela. This year I moved back to London from Australia for the second time. I’ve traveled numerous parts of Europe and it’s been amazing but it’s also been fucking hard too. I’m not sure if my social footprint reflects this. I’m not even sure if it should or if it has to. I just know if you asked me you’d always get the truth and so maybe I need to continue telling my truth on here too.

Big love,

Carmela

x

Introducing Carmela Contarino, the #PowerKween behind ‘So The Fairy Tales Lied…’ 👸🏻♥️✨

Carmela is an Aussie in London with wanderlust. A TV/Radio rebel. Fierce feminist. Loud laugh-er. Emotional eat-er. Pop culture cat. Red wine wooer and karaoke kween. She hopes that her experiences are just like yours, funny, warm, loud, raw and that maybe you can figure out this thing called ‘life’ together. #YasssKween 🙌🏼