15 questions with fashion blogger, and model Bobo Matjila

Bobo+Matjila+Zen+Magazine+Africa+Interview+2015Bobo is a Business Administration student in University, fashion
blogger, model and aspiring fashion mogul. She blogs about
fashion, trends and her personal style

Zen Magazine: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where were you born?
Bobo:
I was born in South Africa, and I’ve been moving around ever since I was 6. I’ve also lived in Belgium, Switzerland and now LA, so I’ve had quite an International background! I’m currently a student in University about to receive my degree in Business Admin with an emphasis in entrepreneurship, and I’m also minoring in Art & Design.

Zen Magazine: What’s it like living in Los Angeles?
Bobo: 
I love living in LA! Initially, it was really hard to adjust and such a massive culture shock, especially as an African, but now that I’ve become acclimated, I love that it’s such a melting pot of culture and art, and I get to meet and collaborate with the most interesting, creative people.

 Zen Magazine: What do fashion bloggers blog about?
Bobo: 
It definitely varies, but generally anything within the topic of Beauty, Lifestyle & Fashion. I personally blog about fashion, trends and personal style, although I’ve recently also started blogging about hair and vlogging about feminist issues like body image and standards of beauty, because that’s always been something I’m really passionate about.

Zen Magazine: At what point did you decide you wanted to start your own blog?
Bobo: 
I started blogging 10 months ago. After spending the summer in London for an internship, I started posting a lot of outfit pictures on Instagram and realized they were gaining a lot of traction. I also started realizing how much I enjoy being in front of the camera, so I figured the natural thing to do would be to start a fashion blog – and I haven’t looked back ever since!

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Zen Magazine: How do you choose the contents that get on your blog?
Bobo:
For now, I generally only post style posts of my own outfits and collaborations that I do with other brands, as well as my video’s.

Zen Magazine: Who are your favorite bloggers in the world?
Bobo: 
My gosh, where do I begin! There are so many amazing and inspiring bloggers, but my 2 favorite at the moment definitely have to be Margaret Zhang, an Australian blogger with impeccable style who’s catapulted herself to high fashion success through her blog, and Tony Gum, a South African blogger who also doubles as a visual artist, with the most creative, impeccable Afrocentric aesthetic I’ve ever seen!

Zen Magazine: With blogging you also are a model and an aspiring fashion designer. Which brands have you worked with and how many years have you been modelling for?
Bobo: 
It was actually through blogging that I got into modelling, so I’m fairly new to it, and have been at it for about 6 months now. So far I’ve had the pleasure of working with some amazing brands in LA including Chinyere, Anika Perkins, Emmi & Reese, Mercy 1932, Revolt Clothing which is a South African brand and a few others. Ultimately, I aspire to be a fashion mogul, because my goal is to deconstruct and diversify societal standards of beauty, but also to put African fashion and art on the map so that our culture is no longer appropriated, but actually appreciated on a global scale. So with that, I plan on being a designer, creative director, owner of a talent, model and creative agency, author etc … The world is my oyster!

Zen Magazine: Which African models inspire you?
Bobo: 
So many! I’m inspired by women who use their platform to give back, so I’m really inspired by Iman and how she used her platform to create an entire cosmetic empire for black women. But I also LOVE Nykhor Paul because she’s so beautiful and talented, and uses her platform to speak out about being black in the fashion industry as well as promoting dark-skinned beauty. I’m all about that!

Bobo+Matjila+Zen+Magazine+Africa+Interview+2015.jpgYou should never settle for a career that you’re not excited and
passionate about,” says Bobo to all other aspiring models and
bloggers looking to get started in the industry.

Zen Magazine: Your wardrobe wouldn’t survive without..
Bobo:
 All of my beaded jewelry! Because I’m a constant foreigner, I feel like I always need to carry around a piece of home, so I wear my Kenyan and South African bracelets and necklaces everyday, and I almost always shoot with my jewelry too. Besides that, shoulder pads and red lipstick. Every woman needs shoulder pads and a strong red lip.

Zen Magazine: You have this awesome nose ring jewelry. Does it hurt?
Bobo: Thank you! Haha it’s a faux septum so it doesn’t hurt. I’m still not ready for the commitment of a full piercing!

Zen Magazine: What inspired you to get it?
Bobo:  I just really love experimenting with my look so I thought it would be an interesting addition to my face, and I like that it adds an aspect of symmetry to my face.

Zen Magazine: Describe African fashion in 5 words……
Bobo: Regal, beautiful, distinct and tastefully eclectic! (Sorry that was 6 words “Laughs”!)

Zen Magazine: In my handbag, you will always find……..
Bobo: …
lipstick and some lotion to keep those elbows hydrated!

 Zen Magazine: Your style in 6 words….
Bobo: 
Afrocentric, eclectic, colorful and ever-evolving

Zen Magazine: Which fashion websites are you following?
Bobo: I absolutely love i-D, and le21eme. But because I also really enjoy runway shows, I occasionally frequent Style.com.

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Zen Magazine: Any beauty secrets to share with other ladies out there?
Bobo: Yes! There’s no amount of makeup that will give you the glow that water can give you. I’m also vegan so I’m a firm believer of beauty from the inside-out. But honestly, all you really need is black soap, cayenne pepper, water and coconut oil and everything will sort itself out!

Zen Magazine: What can our readers expect next from you?
Bobo: Right now I’m working on my first entrepreneurial venture. My friend and I are creating a hair app that connects women (more specifically black women with curly and/or textured hair) to hair stylists and hair resources. If all goes well, we can expect to launch the beta version by December. Wish us luck!

Zen Magazine: Any inspirational words for the younger aspiring models out there and for people who want to start their own blogs?
Bobo: Yes, just do it! You should never settle for a career that you’re not excited or passionate about. Anything you want to do, you’re more than capable, so go do it! In fact, start now!

To learn more from Bobo, visit her website on www.thisfashionfiend.com. On social media, tweet her on Twitter at @BobydahBadu | and on Instagram at https://instagram.com/thisfashionfiend_/