Entrepreneur and content producer Nandi Dlepu has a style that’s as quirky and infectious as her smile. She’s a born creative and a lover of all things colourful. She’s carving her own niche while managing multiple projects and passions. We shine our spotlight on her this week as our Phenomenal woman crush.
Please tell us who Nandi is and what she does full-time. I am a black woman, mother, sister, lover, creative and professional. I am all of these things full – time.
What inspired you to start Bloom and all the other movements like that you are currently spearheading? Personal need and the faith that there is more that binds us then separates us. When I am moved by an idea or inspired to be a part of something I imagine that I am not alone. Couple that with the fact that I am a doer and you have Joho Moms, The WKND Social, Bloom, Brunch & Rides and soon Fridays.
What’s the most challenging thing about raising a child in this generation? Being afraid that he will grow up with no context and at the same time worried that he could feel limited or weighed down by it.
What’s your biggest concern for your child moving forward? I worry about his safety. Not just physically but emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Its impossible to isolate the concerns they each take their turns such is having your heart exposed.
What will you teach him about being a strong black man? Simply that he is strong, that he is black and that he is a man.
What is the one thing you make sure to get across about yourself to others? Fun loving and independent. Its not that I make it a point to come across like that, it just happens. It’s who I am.
In what kind of conditions were you raised and how has that laid the foundation for the person you are today? I had a really great upbringing and didn’t want for much. It had its ups and downs but I believe i picked my mom. She just fits. She ran a number of businesses some successful some eventually failing. She is brave, strong and independent. Always building and even starting over. I am beginning to suspect I grabbed a couple pages out of her book.
Is there any advice you wish to give to young creatives moving forward in their various industries? To always remember that “No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.”
What was the hardest thing about getting to where you are now? When you pour yourself into one thing you’re taking something out or away from somewhere else. There is only so much of you to go around. There isn’t more to give, only to move around and that causes friction and distance between even the greatest and kindred of spirits.
What significance has your style, in terms of clothing, had in your life? When you don’t look like the rest of a room you can sometimes be under estimated which is not necessarily a bad thing. I’m sometimes criticised and celebrated for being “creative” or for being an “individual” but just being able to look good while feeling like yourself is a great affirmation.
Is there a moment in your life that you feel has mounded you into the person you are today? Why? There have been a number of those moments but the most recent was when my body raised a white flag and I spent 2 x days in hospital because I just wasn’t managing my life well. This year has been an incredibly reflective one as a result and continues to be. A lot of what I have achieved this year has been in part to me taking a time out, to listen and to start abiding to the Universe.
What have you found to be the most challenging thing about balancing the life of a blossoming career woman and a nurturing mother? Just that. Sometimes I feel I am divided into many parts and I wish that more of my life included and truly embraced my being a mother.
What is your favorite thing about being a woman of color?
Hahaha, thing! Like I could just isolate it to one thing.
Follow Nandi on :@mamkashaka @Fix’inDiaries @Johomoms @Bloomorg