Yaya Mavundla takes her role as an influencer seriously
In commemoration of 40 fabulous years of female strength, resilience and beauty, the Sowetan Women’s Club and Toi Moi are connecting you with some of SA’s most-admired women, one of them being an award-winning transgender activist and a recipient of a Feather Award Yaya Mavundla.
Born and bred in Kranskop, deep rural Kwa-Zulu Natal, and raised by her grandmother Siphiwe Mavundla, the reality star on Mzansi Magic's Becoming is a publicist by profession.
Being a transgender influencer wasn’t a part of her plans as according to her she was just “living her life the best way she knew how” which was to be truly authentic to who she truly is.
“This really happened by default, I was living my life the best way I know how which has been so authentic and I started seeing brands showing interest in wanting to work with me. I think also that a lot of people after I've done something they would start paying attention to it. Be it products that I use, people would enquire where I got them and they would go buy them.
“To date, one thing I know I have inspired many people to do is to fix their smiles and take care of their smiles after I visited Dr Smile. I see many people taking this seriously and putting their coins where it's worthy to do so,” says Mavundla.
The transgender activist explains that she has now taken influencing seriously as she’s noticed how beneficial it is for “someone who wants to one day build her own shows, brands/businesses and so much more”.
“I think I'm on the right track so one day I can influence my audience to go buy my products just like Cassper Nyovest, Gorgeous Mbali and Bonang Matheba do with their fans and followers.
Mavundla prides herself on being a community advisory board member at Wits RHI Transgender clinic and the first Transgender Woman in Africa to wear The Amsterdam Rainbow Dress photographed at Constitution Hill.
“What I do I didn't do it because it was trending, it came to me when I was already doing it without me knowing I was influential to someone else. What you see me post, is me wearing that dress, using that product and drinking that alcohol and I like it, and it shows which is why the consumer is more likely to fall in love too,” she explains how effortlessly being an influencer is to her.
“I influence society's decision to notice and consume brands and products. I want consumers to trust me to a point where they can one day trust my own products/business because they know it works.”
Being the curator and brains behind Layers of a Transgender Woman exhibition which is currently on show at Constitution Hill's Woman's Jail, Mavundla alludes that there is still room for more influencers in South Africa as they “all speak to different audiences”.
“…even if one day we speak to the same, there are people who are always looking at trying something new and listening to new people and are inspired by different people throughout their journey,” she expresses.
Mavundla completely believes a career as an influencer can be lucrative, because “we are in an era where brands are more likely to work with a person directly as an influencer rather than the traditional way of advertising”, she alludes.
“Influencers are more relatable to the people on the ground who actually use and buy these products.”