Model of the moment

Bonginkosi Memela’s Perspective on Influencer Marketing

More and more brands are shifting from traditional marketing to influencer marketing. This approach involves partnering with credible individuals who have a large and engaged following in a specific niche community. These influencers are active on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok. In this edition of our “Model of the Moment” feature, we speak with micro influencer Bonginkosi Memela to gain further insights into the world of influencer marketing. Nkosi, originally from Bulwer, a small town in KwaZulu-Natal’s Midlands region, completed his studies at Durban University of Technology and relocated to Johannesburg in 2018 to pursue his passion for acting and the entertainment industry.

How’s your  journey in the influencing business, and, or favourite influencer marketing campaign you’ve worked on and why?

I have genuinely enjoyed working on every campaign as a lifestyle influencer, but the one that stands out the most is my recent collaboration with Nedbank. Aside from the good paycheck, I enjoyed learning new tricks to manage finances and educating my social media followers. The Zara campaign was also enjoyable, as I have a passion for fashion. Additionally, I have participated in beauty pageants during school and university, so anything related to beauty and style is right up my alley. 

The journey of influencing the public has been beneficial, fulfilling, and thrilling. While not every collaboration is guaranteed, I am grateful to be among the first group of micro-influencers. Stepping outside of my comfort zone has made it even more enjoyable. However, there are times when being an influencer requires sharing too much of my personal space, which can be intimidating.

What’s your definition of an influencer?

An influencer, in my understanding, is an individual who possesses the ability to sway the general public’s purchasing decisions towards a particular product or service offered by a brand. They are often perceived as relatable and approachable figures. To maintain authenticity, it is crucial to remain true to oneself.

What’s the difference between micro Influencers and celebrity (macro) Influencers?

The key distinction lies in the number of audiences or followers that these individuals have the potential to reach. In my view, micro-influencers tend to have a stronger connection with their audience. However, when it comes to generating impressions, reaching a larger audience, and driving engagements, macro-influencers come out on top.

In your perspective, how do you envision the future of Influencer marketing?

In today’s digital era, the world has embraced the online realm as the primary platform for various activities. This shift has proven to be advantageous for influencers as brands are compelled to collaborate with them in order to connect with their target audience. With the majority of individuals actively participating in social media, it has become the most efficient and cost-effective method to promote one’s brand. Consequently, the future of influencer marketing appears promising in this era dominated by trends like “catch-up” and “Netflix and chill,” which pose challenges to traditional marketing strategies.

What projects are you currently engaged in? Additionally, could you share any forthcoming initiatives or potential partnerships that you have in the pipeline?

Currently, I am occupied with my full-time job and eagerly anticipating opportunities to partner with esteemed brands, specifically those in the luxury sector. I have a genuine affinity for luxury and consistently curate opulent content for my social media audience. “And that’s on purrr” for a touch of humour. Additionally, I am exploring other personal passions that I am unable to divulge presently, but overall, I am seeking to expand my horizons.


By Muzi Ndziba

Muzi Ndziba | Joburg-based freelance journalist | content creator | Istyleblaq founder

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