S Mag Women of the Year issue | Lamiez Holworthy - The Tattooed Lady
For redefining the meaning of “It Girl”, Lamiez Holworthy is our Woman of the Year in entertainment
At 30, radio and TV personality Lamiez Holworthy keeps getting hotter — and more comfortable in her own skin. And it shows. When she’s asked to go topless for her cover shoot, she doesn’t think twice — she drops her monochromatic MaXhosa Africa robe (valued at R10 800) and strikes a pose, unapologetically.
Under flashing lights, her intricate and detailed shoulder body art, which has earned her the moniker “The Tattooed Lady”, sparkles like Edward in Twilight. Her glow is flawless; she’s probably the most well-moisturised person after designer Rich Mnisi – as TV personality Bonang Matheba would say, “Must be that African butter.”
But make no mistake about it, Holworthy is not baring all for likes, clicks, or clout. She is unashamedly reclaiming her power, strength, and body. She is fearless, fierce, and fabulous. Having just celebrated her birthday, Holworthy says she’s the happiest she has ever been and more than ever in love with her body.
“It took me a while to get to this place. I wasn’t always this comfortable in my skin. I wasn’t always as free as I am. I allowed society and the world to get into my head. I allowed them to [make me] feel like I wasn’t enough. I allowed people to make me feel uncomfortable for being not only a human but also a woman,” she says.
“There are so many changes that come with being a woman — from getting your period every month to falling pregnant to going through a miscarriage to giving birth, or not being able to have kids. There are all these things that women go through on a normal day for which society makes you feel uncomfortable. I have reached a point where I’ve fallen in love with what I see in the mirror and the woman my mom gave birth to. But I’ve also had to fall in love with the woman I’ve designed.”
Receiving the honour of Woman of the Year in Entertainment by SMag is not a feat Holworthy takes lightly. After all, it has taken her 12 years to get to the top of her game.
“It’s an answered prayer, in terms of finally being heard, seen, and recognised. For most of my career I’ve struggled with that,” she says.
With her dope dance moves as she plays on the decks, Holworthy is such a vibe. If she’s not booked at your party, is it even worth crossing live on Instagram and creating more vibez? Her radio career is also taking off. She is in the second year of her Metro FM show The Penthouse Sessions with Lulo Cafe every Saturday. When I call her the leading female DJ in South Africa, she corrects me: “It should just be DJ.”
She adds, “Not only have I proven that I’m as good as a man, but sometimes I can be better. The biggest challenge that I’ve gone through as a woman has been working extra hard to prove myself, being undermined because of my gender and having people try to take advantage because I’m a woman.”
Her “momager”, Imelda Klow, is by her side at all times. While her daughter is having an outfit change she tells me that Holworthy is actually very shy, and at her happiest when she’s on her couch, cuddling her musician husband Khuli Chana and reading crime fiction.
“My biggest blessing is that my mom has been my manager from day one and she doesn’t take rubbish. She protected me from the not-so-nice-parts,” Holworthy tells me. “I’ve seen young women who had promising careers but fell victim to people taking advantage of them. Sadly, one of the biggest struggles women go through is being seen as weak, vulnerable, and soft.”
Klow has impacted not only Holworthy’s career but also her edgy and spiky quiff, which she first rocked in 2017. A year after first sporting her signature half-shaven hairdo she scored a presenting gig on music show Live Amp. She calls that her breakout moment in the business of show.
“I did not look or sound like anyone else. It was also around the time when society was finally learning to accept [people] being different. I was the difference that was needed. Society makes it cool for young women in the industry to aspire to be ‘It Girls’. But all the ‘It Girls’ were light-skinned and skinny,” Holworthy reflects. “They had long weaves and they all looked like they were taken from the same catalogue. And then you had me — I’m not only dark-skinned but I’m a big girl with big thighs, cellulite, and stretch marks. On top of that, I have this crazy short hair and tattoos. It was the opposite of what we had been made to believe an ‘It Girl’ was supposed to be. As a result, [there were] so many other women who could resonate with who I was. I didn’t look like the girl from the magazine, I was the girl next door.”
When the subject of her husband comes up, her smile turns brighter than the sun. She confesses that the “Tswa Daar” and “Hape Le Hape” hit maker was her high-school crush.
“It’s the biggest mindf*ck when you go from having someone on your wall and then have them running after you,” she laughs. “Then nine months after they meet you, they marry you. But also, it’s marrying your best friend and someone who understands you. He inspires me to be the best version of myself. He understands me and he’s my best friend. I got my husband as a blessing from God and my ancestors.”
While she continue to sit at the head of the table in showbiz, away from the limelight she’s chasing after a cause close to her heart. Holworthy is in the process of building an orphanage. She currently takes care of about 40 orphans with the help of her mother and husband. She has zero funding, she stresses, but she loves giving back.