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The Influencer's Insight: Kamo Mafokwane Is the South African Content Creator Pushing Brands To Value Influencers

The final feature in our four-part series highlights Kamo Mafokwane—the South African fashion and beauty blogger who's steadfast in developing her craft.

"The Influencer's Insight" is our four-part series for April's theme "The Hustle." The series features women content creators who've achieved influencer status through their social media platforms. These influencers will give their insight on how they built their brand, challenges they've faced, influencer marketing tips and more.

The final part of the series features Kamo Mafokwane of fashion and beauty blog, WILLKATE. ICYMI, read part three here.


WILLKATE's Kamogelo Mafokwane is the content creator offering her perspective on luxury fashion and beauty. The London in which she resides provides her with daily inspiration. From street style to art and from design to architecture, the city serves as a melting pot that serves as the perfect backdrop for creativity. The South Africa she calls home is notorious for its vibrant and bold flair. The merging of the two allows for content that is widely popular. "Inspiration lies everywhere and anywhere," Mafokwane says. "It's in the small things like an interesting color or texture in a vegetable in the grocery store."

WILLKATE began as a spontaneous passion project in 2013 during her first year at London's College of Fashion, where she pursued a bachelors in creative direction. With every year that passed, her "hobby" became more and more serious. Presently, she's graduated and dedicates all her time to her ever-growing brand. She's even expanded into the realms of travel, interior decor and lifestyle. Her hands in many pots helps to halt creative blocks.

Photo courtesy of Kamo Mafokwane.

Contrary to popular belief, the introvert says her job isn't as glamorous as it seems. Where some weekdays are comprised of meetings, sourcing clothes for shoots, and running into coffee shops to change, 98 percent of her time is spent in no makeup and sweats editing and responding to emails. Her dedication to her craft hasn't gone unnoticed. Mafokwane's clean and crisp aesthetic has landed her work with Cartier, Wolford, Topshop, and IWC Schaffhausen. Making great content, however, is "in you. Creativity can't be forced. You have to put time and effort in versus just posting," she says.

When speaking with Mafokwane, it's evident she has unwavering faith and knowledge of self. She states, "God has gotten me where I am." All her mornings start with prayer and she is guided by her blog's namesakes, her late father and grandmother. She prefers working with women because "they understand me easier." She's driven and weaves stories for brands using both her instinct and heart. "On stage in front of 1,000 people," she'll do great but, "at someone's intimate gathering with strangers," she won't say a word.

The content creator flourishes in an industry where, "Brands don't [always] value [blogger] influence."

Photo courtesy of Kamo Mafokwane.

"One business model does not apply to each blogger," she continues. "Influence is not just about number of followers. Brands should look into engagement." Despite companies adhering to spending undisclosed amounts, "Time, work, and quality goes into the work we produce so we have to be selective," she says. Mafokwane has her sights set on Dior and FWRD—and there's no doubt in our minds she will conquer these brands and more.

Here are three more lessons Kamo Mafokwane has taken away from her journey as a content creator:

  1. You don't have to be friends with everyone: "It's ok if everyone doesn't support, you will get where you need to get to eventually."
  2. You don't have to share with everyone: "When telling your friends and family about your work, it can seem like you are bragging. I don't discuss it with them."
  3. Learn to say no: "Don't compromise your morals and values for a paycheck or to work with a brand."

Audrey Lang is an alumna of Northeastern University and a Boston-based site merchandiser. A surveyor of life who's enamored with all things fashion, art and Africa, keep up with her on Instagram and Tumblr.

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Artwork: Barthélémy Toguo Lockdown Selfportrait 10, 2020. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Goes to Paris in 2021

The longstanding celebration of African art will be hosted by Parisian hot spot Christie's for the first time ever.

In admittedly unideal circumstances, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will be touching French soil in 2021. The internationally celebrated art fair devoted to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora will be hosted in Paris, France from January 20 - 23. With COVID-19 still having its way around the globe, finding new ways to connect is what it's all about and 1-54 is certainly taking the innovative steps to keep African art alive and well.
In partnership with Christie's, the in-person exhibits will take place at the auction house's city HQ at Avenue Matignon, while 20 international exhibitors will be featured online at Christies.com. And the fun doesn't stop there as the collaboration has brought in new ways to admire the talent from participating galleries from across Africa and Europe. The fair's multi-disciplinary program of talks, screenings, performances, workshops, and readings are set to excite and entice revelers.

Artwork: Delphine Desane Deep Sorrow, 2020. Courtesy Luce Gallery


The tech dependant program, curated by Le 18, a multi-disciplinary art space in Marrakech medina, will see events take place during the Parisian run fair, followed by more throughout February.
This year's 1-54 online will be accessible to global visitors virtually, following the success of the 2019's fair in New York City and London in 2020. In the wake of COVID-19 related regulations and public guidelines, 1-54 in collaboration with Christie's Paris is in compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures, and security.

Artwork: Cristiano Mongovo Murmurantes Acrilico Sobre Tela 190x200cm 2019


1-54 founding director Touria El Glaoui commented, "Whilst we're sad not to be able to go ahead with the fourth edition of 1-54 Marrakech in February as hoped, we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be in Paris this January with our first-ever fair on French soil thanks to our dedicated partners Christie's. 1-54's vision has always been to promote vibrant and dynamic contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives and bring it to new audiences, and what better way of doing so than to launch an edition somewhere completely new. Thanks to the special Season of African Culture in France, 2021 is already set to be a great year for African art in the country so we are excited to be playing our part and look forward, all being well, to welcoming our French friends to Christie's and many more from around the world to our online fair in January."

Julien Pradels, General Director of Christie's France, said, "Christie's is delighted to announce our second collaboration with 1-54, the Contemporary African Art Fair, following a successful edition in London this October. Paris, with its strong links to the continent, is a perfect place for such a project and the additional context of the delayed Saison Africa 2020 makes this partnership all the more special. We hope this collaboration will prove a meaningful platform for the vibrant African art scene and we are confident that collectors will be as enthusiastic to see the works presented, as we are."


Artwork: Kwesi Botchway Metamorphose in July, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957


Here's a list of participating galleries to be on the lookout for:

Galleries

31 PROJECT (Paris, France)
50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
Dominique Fiat (Paris, France)
Galerie 127 (Marrakech, Morocco)
Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire/ Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
Galerie Lelong & Co. (Paris, France / New York, USA)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Galleria Continua (Beijing, China / Havana, Cuba / Les Moulins, France / San Gimignano, Italy / Rome, Italy)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)

Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
POLARTICS (Lagos, Nigeria)
SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France)
This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola) THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa) Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland)

For more info visit 1-54

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