All about our 2018 DELUSH Tastemaker Winner!
WRITING for me is generally an easy sport but right now I feel like a swimmer who has never seen a pool and is expected to do a butterfly backstroke.
As a 5-year-old my dream was to take a hot shower instead of boiling water before pouring into a plastic basin. As a teenager I wanted to look gorgeous in an all-white outfit, which I couldn’t do because of the way my hood was and is still set up. My name is Nomfundo Lovejoy Mlaba, born and bred in the City of Choice, Pietermaritzburg. Pretty cool right?
Only – I’m, not actually from the city. On the outskirts of the red-bricked PMB lies a small village called Ezibomvini, and that’s where I come from. Like its name, Ezibomvini (lol, I don’t know how to translate this without directly doing so but just know it has something to do with red) is adorned by red dust that can turn white into cream in a split second.
Growing up I was exactly like my peers, but at the same time I was very different from them. Even though we lived in a rural area, I’d be lying if I said my family was ever poor. In fact – according to my standards, we’ve always been just above average. This enabled me to get the best of everything. Including going to multi-racial schools. Compared to most of my peers in the village I was different, privileged and to some extent more exposed.
For many this would seem pretty cool but for me it was challenging because when I got to school, despite the common privilege of being taught in English and having access to a media centre – I was still quite not like my school peers. As you can imagine, blending in was as hard as a rock.
Each morning as I put my school blazer on, I witnessed my persona transition from rural to urban. Vice versa in the evenings. Living two separate lives simultaneously convinced me I can literally be anything I want to be in the world. With my grandfather’s constant affirmation I was really ready to be that – ANYTHING I WANTED TO BE.
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After matriculating at Linpark High School in 2012, I moved to Durban to study towards a National Diploma in Journalism. There everything became even more confusing. My two worlds had become one. On my right sat a deep rural Lungelo Ngcamu who could not be bothered by all the suburban mannerism that was Lethu Nxumalo on my left.
As entertaining as their constant conflicts were, deep down I knew that they were a live representation of what I was internally going through. Confused as to which part of me I should introduce to the bigger world.
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One day I can be as rural as we come. Rocking my Afro, a deep isiZulu accent and even wear a maxi dress with thigh-high boots – the fashionista in my hood (lol, no offence to anyone). But man, oh man, on some days your girl can clean up with a cut-crease eye shadow and a stiletto as posh as the accent.
About a month ago my life was drastically changed. I moved from being my village’s pride to being a national key point – well at least a Delush Wine national key point.
For the first time I was treated to a trip to the bird’s land, before landing in the City of gold where I was later announced as the new Delush Wines Tastemaker. A whole me – flying on a plane (the fact that I didn’t pay for it made it more exciting lol).
Soon I will be featured on one of the country’s leading magazines. As a child – something as simple as laying a finger on a copy of True Love magazine was a privilage. I can’t explain what being featured on it means to me.
My journey has not been ideal, but it has also not been the hardest. You can read more about it on the December/Jan(TBC) issue of True Love mag.
Your Modernised Farm Bumkin
Nomfundo Lovejoy Mlaba, Delush Wines Ambassador and Tastemaker