Slaying moms and their kids
New age moms are making motherhood look glamorous and earning a dime off it too with their parenting exploits on Instagram, writes Somaya Stockenstroom.
Local moms of Instagram can give Victoria Beckham a run for her money in the slay game - they're young, hard working and celebrate their uber cute kids.
The mom bloggers or content creators say the best thing about this journey is that they get to make make money for simply being moms.
Most started by creating Instagram accounts for their babies as a space where their memories can be kept safe in one place. But the cute snaps resulted in thousands of followers, leading many of Mzansi's women to create inspirational motherhood accounts - sharing advice, their daily struggles and how they balance their family lives.
Popular accounts include that of Olwethu Leshabane who is sought after by sponsors.
Her posts are heartfelt as she shares stories of having successfully given birth naturally after being told she couldn't due to previous Caesar births.
She speaks candidly without hesitation.
"When a crawling little human comes across the self-raising flour cupboard I guess we let it pass as texture play...I need to baby-proof better. My baby proofing is clearly worse than my hubby's pull out game," she captions her baby's pictures on Instagram.
She speaks like any concerned mother about the content children are exposed to on television, to daddy having a go at the loo alone, without kids tugging behind.
She shares her love for vintage fashion, but also her not so fabulous pictures - sweating after giving birth. The mother of three has more than 105,000 followers.
Hot on her heels is Nompumelelo "Mpoomy" Ledwaba, wife of Idols contestant and singer Brenden Praise, whose online life looks like a fairy tale.
Her Instagram page describes her as mommy to @nuri_ledwaba, an entrepreneur and a lifetsyle and mommy content creator. The University drop out shows just how business savvy she is.
Tshepi Vundla has an "internet baby" from singer and rapper JR.
The fashionista who was influential online, before falling pregnant, says initially she never wanted her baby, Siba Bogopa's face splashed all over the internet.
But after having had a Caesarean birth, she was home and says cabin fever crept in.
"I was bored. So I took pictures of him and the two of us and posted it. His pictures came out stunning. And soon after he was used as a meme as well. He became a little celeb," she says.
He now has his own Instagram account with more than 14,000 followers. His facial expressions say so much and Vundla believes this is why he is often the subject of many memes.
"I don't mind people using his image as long as it's not for something vile or sexual. I try to protect my son from this by posting appropriate pictures of him," she says.
She says she enjoys creating content for other hustling moms so that they know that they are not alone.
"Sometimes people think what they see on social media is all glamour. Although my son loves and knows the word cheese, it's not always fun and games. Motherhood is real, but it doesn't mean we can't be fabulous mothers. I also enjoy sharing my joy and love for my family," she says.
Nangi Noruka is a 30-year-old creative art director and a social media strategist who established her page after having her bundle of joy in November 2014.
She says her daughter, whom she calls her Lulu Love Bug was also initially used as a meme.
"To this day she still gets used quite a bit - the pics where she has no teeth trying to bite into a rib is one example," she says.
Her daughter now has her own page where Noruka has coined her the nation's baby. On the page she shares images of her happy, sad, bathing and sometimes sleeping baby girl.
"I work, I am not married. I try and share my own journey of being the best mom I can be and that your life doesn't have to completely come to a stop. Naturally I'm a sharer, so I enjoy sharing pics of myself and my little girl. It was an advantage when brands approached me to work with (them). I work with those who represent the values I stand for," says Noruka.
She complains that as much as her child's face is used for jokes, it's not always hilarious.
"I often approach people who would use it in a bad way - and ask them to kindly take it down and not associate her face with negativity," she says.
Bayanda Gumede, 37, was a Mrs SA contestant in 2017 and says she was nudged to post inspirational quotes on her personal social media pages.
"After the contest, the habit remained," says the mother of four (two of her own and her husband's children from a previous relationship).
She also created a personal blog around motherhood.
Her Instagram page states she is "Inspiring moms to live a life they love."
On her page she genuinely speaks about everyday issues - such as what to do when your kids are bored, why she doesn't believe in spanking, finding balance and self care for mothers. With over 12,000 followers, she says it's not just for the income that comes with promoting brands.
"I do it genuinely to help others. As a result of its success I hope to set up workshops where I can teach other women how to start online businesses," says Gumede.
Babalwa Ndlwana, 24, who works in advertising, says she deliberately became a mom blogger because there is no one else offering advice and affirmation to younger mothers.
"I found there was no content for young moms. It's taboo, especially in my culture, to celebrate young unmarried moms. But I hope to show there's no stigma to it. I will get married in due time - but having my baby was nothing to be ashamed of. I am a young and proud working mom who enjoys showing off her family."
Her posts are versatile and range from glam natural hair pics to breast-feeding pics.
She has also set up an account for her baby boy Ukho Zinge, but says it's more for keepsakes.
"I would like to store his pictures in one place as one tends to lose pics over time."