Gracing our July cover is award-winning DJ, entrepreneur and ambassador of DRIP SA’s Finesse scent, DJ Zinhle.
It’s our beauty issue and the gorgeous DJ definitely understood the assignment. She’s serving face on the cover, and you can read all about her money moves and her approach to building an empire. You’ll be inspired by her take on inclusivity, representation, and the standard of beauty.
If you’ve been following Ntombezinhle Jiyane, aka DJ Zinhle since her early days as a resident DJ on Jika Majika, then you’ll remember her sporting a blonde hairdo behind the decks. She’s managed to reinvent herself over the years, cementing herself in different spaces.
Having observed her from afar, the words graceful, intentional and self-aware have become synonymous with her. When I was jamming to her hit tracks over the years, dating back to ‘My Name Is’, ‘Colours’, ‘Umlilo’, ‘Uzobuya’, and most recently, ‘Siyabonga’ featuring Black Motion, Kabza De Small and Nokwazi, little did I know she’d be on the cover of our beauty issue in 2022.
I’m trying to wrap my head around the epic nature of this moment as I make my way to Photohire studios in Zonnebloem on a rainy Friday morning. DJ Zinhle’s in the makeup chair, a soulful ballad playing in the background that captures the tranquil mood of the space. She has this calm energy, which prompts me to walk towards her – cautiously, as it’s still early and I don’t want to overwhelm her.
If you follow her on social media, you might’ve spotted Nomuzi ‘Moozlie’ Mabena and Thabiet Amardien in her posts, part of her squad. They’re present, like rose petals to a bud. From their interactions, it’s clear theirs is a tight-knit circle.
I introduce myself, Moozlie, who is here as a Creative Contributor for The Drip Group, offers me a chair, and I settle into the moment.
I’ve thought of a few icebreakers, but the one that immediately comes to mind is DJ Zinhle’s reality show. “It was a lot!” she exclaims .“I guess also with pregnancy... It was just a lot of things at the same time. But it was something different, and I was excited to do it. I felt like I needed to do it, that if I opened up, I’d have nothing left to hide. It was liberating!”
She says viewers understood the intention behind the show. “People were kind and welcoming of the idea, and they opened up not just to me, but everyone on the show.”
AS I AM
DJ Zinhle shooting without hair and makeup for the reality show is a huge talking point. When I mention this, she laughs, “I think that was the most puzzling thing for me, just to hear people say, Oh, my gosh! She’s not wearing makeup; she has no hair on, and even Moozlie doesn’t. Guys! That’s definitely how we look. Makeup is stunning, but we don’t always have it on.
“I think it’s important we see ourselves as we are, especially on a platform where it’s not the norm to reveal yourself in that way. That’s why I say it liberated me because I could go that far and say, in reality, this is who I am.” This speaks to representation, so I ask her to elaborate on her take on the standard of beauty in 2022?
“I feel it has evolved to be more about yourself, what you want to express about yourself and how you want to do it, whereas, before, people would tell us what beauty is. We’re evolving to a place where people are saying, this is how I look, and I feel beautiful this way. If I don’t fit the standard, that’s OK! It’s about breaking the rules and celebrating how you feel about yourself.”
And she shares that in the past few years she’s also had to ask herself what her idea of beauty is because she had been tuned into what the world was saying for too long, “until I eventually reached a point where I was, like, this is how I look, and I really have to like it, so I’ve fallen in love with how I look, with or without makeup.”
Grab your digital copy of the Beauty Issue, here or pick up a physical copy in-stores nationwide on Monday, the 27th of May.