The digital director at Livity Africa on dressing like a boss
As the Digital Director at Livity Africa, Zodwa Kumalo’s role encompasses everything from drumming up new business to creating strategies to tinkering in the backend of the website, to doing email campaigns, to fiddling with Google Adwords, to creating content. However, it’s most likely that she’s in a meeting.
“I hate meetings though. I feel like only 40% of all meetings are necessary, and not the ones after 4pm, which you’ll never catch me in.”
Zodwa’s tip for navigating the corporate world? Listen.
“You don’t always have to pipe up in meetings just to say something. Think before you speak.”
Otherwise she says that it’s crucial to respond to emails in a timely fashion, make time to chat and get to know your colleagues a little more, take initiative and then treat people the way you would like to be treated.
Spoken as a true boss – and Zodwa clearly means business, which is why we asked her to select her favourite power outfits from Superbalist’s workwear offering.
“I wear anything from dresses and skirts to jeans and dungarees. I have only three rules:
1. No slops 2. No slippers 3. Wear heels to meetings.
So yes, I do believe in power dressing – but it depends entirely on my mood or who I want to impress. My favourite saying on the matter is: dress for the job you want.”
Zodwa’s ultimate work outfit is anything that’s well-tailored with clean lines and accentuates her best features.
“An ultimate work outfit for me has the ability to pick me up when I’m not feeling particularly motivated that day, or gives me extra confidence when I need to land a new client, or allows me to go from the office straight to dinner with friends without feeling the need to change... There are very few items in my wardrobe that are too casual for work or vice versa.”
“It’s not an aspiration for me. I love the way a good, well-made suit fits; I love a pretty, pleated vintage frock; I love boyfriend jeans paired with a fresh white tee, blazer/leather biker and heels...”
Breaking down her quite feminine selects, Zodwa says…
“I like a little frill detail here, a discreet slit there… I’m also a sucker for a real brown leather bag or boots. My clothes don’t have to cost a bomb or be a particular brand – they just need to look like good quality and be able to hang out with the rest of my clothes. That’s why I love a good vintage or classic-look item. I have an hourglass figure so I love high-waisted tailored skirts – the one I’ve selected is also below the knees which I love. And I do love a pair of culottes – perfect for pairing with a grey or black poloneck and sneakers this coming winter. I love wearing varying shades of grey as a look. And I love my navy coats and jerseys and blazers. When I do wear heels, I often opt for a block heel – like the one from Madison that I’ve picked. Comfort and style for me are inseparable. You can never have enough crisp white cotton shirts and the ruffle hem tie waist hammered silk dress I would buy as a gift for someone who has the legs to pull it off.”
So, do girls run the world?
“Not until we have economic and social power. We are predominately the victims of domestic violence, murder, sexual harassment, labour exploitation … We can’t be fooled by the small clutch of women who exert power in the public eye (there are not enough of them) and ignore the millions of unemployed, underpaid and undervalued women who run households, raise children... Yes we are making strides and yes, make no mistake, we are coming for everything. And we’ll know we are close to running the world when we no longer have to caveat achievements with “First woman to…” I mean ELLE US has only now (in 2017) appointed its first female creative director, Ruba Abu-Nimah… first? For a woman’s title? Really?!”
We've got a long way to go. Let's get to work.