Mabote, a media icon and glamour woman

Johannesburg – Kefilwe Mabote has successfully turned her social media pages into a profitable business, which affords her the finer things in life, from a new home to exotic labels and holidays.

She said its hard work that got her here and therefore she hates being referred to as a slay queen, which she finds degrading.

“The term has shifted and has negative connotations, similar to someone who uses men for financial gain, which is something I am definitely not,” she said.

Having grown up in Moletsane, Soweto, Mabote said her life was hardly glamorous.

“We had challenges similar to what many black families face. My life was never rosy, and I think that’s the misconception that people have. I didn’t have it easy at all. But I did have a fulfilling upbringing made possible through the love of my grandparents and my mom,” she said.


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A post shared by Kefilwe Mabote (@kefilwe_mabote)

As flawless as she may seem, she also revealed that she struggled for a long time with issues of being bullied at primary school.

“It was the most traumatic experience I’ve had to deal with. With time, I learned that bullies are people who suffer the most and actually take it all out on vulnerable people, and through that understanding, I was able to become a better person in my later years.”

On becoming one of the most recognised faces on social media with more than 1-million followers, Mabote said it was something she did out of pure fascination and curiosity. She explained that she stumbled across Instagram back in 2012.

“I would put looks together and tag the brands because I liked them. They noticed me and then trade exchanges and then paid collaborations. My breakthrough came when I went to the Salvatore Ferragamo show in Milan, Italy, back in 2016. There, I could safely say that I had arrived in the influencer space.


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A post shared by Kefilwe Mabote (@kefilwe_mabote)

“I loved the platform and I monetised it. Simple.”

Now she gloats that she is more than just a face, but a luxury digital media influencer, as well as a stylist to the elite: wardrobe and imagery consultancy and author.

The book she wrote is titled Kefilwe Mabote – Influencer Deluxe : From Soweto to Milan.

Her work has seen her crowned with SA Style awards, Glamour Woman of the Year award, and Cosmopolitan Influencer award for The Best Lifestyle Influencer and Instagrammer of the year by 2-million icons.

“The greatest misconception one can do is assume that someone’s profession is not hard. It’s called an industry and profession for a reason because one needs to apply their mind, time and energy into it.

”I have recently purchased my new home. That has been the highlight of my career because who knew one could buy a house through revenue generated from social media? I am grateful for that because my passion and craft and literally put a roof over my head.” she said.


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A post shared by Kefilwe Mabote (@kefilwe_mabote)

If social media didn’t exist, she would be an architect.

“I once did an entry interview at Wits and I failed it dismally, hence I opted for graphic design at Vega. I still love buildings and the story behind them.”

She matriculated at the National School of the Arts and studied toward a degree in accounting through Unisa, but never finished it.

For those who didn’t know, Mabote said she is happily settled, raising her two sons. “I am also a mother of two handsome boys whom I love so much,” she said, adding that she will reveal her next big project soon.

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