My Den: Zodwa Kumalo

The digital director, freelance writer and DJ welcomes us into her Killarney home

My Den: Zodwa Khumalo

Words: Phendu Kuta | Photography: Obakeng Molepe

After going through a divorce, Zodwa Kumalo moved from her shared house in Orange Grove to Killarney, first to an apartment owned by friends and then to her current space, which she found through the assistance of real estate mogul and former TV personality, Nomsa Nene.

With the majority of her items in storage, with the plan to divide these between herself and her ex-husband at a later stage, Zodwa lucked into landing the Visa Checkout campaign, by which she was able to purchase some of the furniture items she has in her new home.

My Den: Zodwa Khumalo

"It was a big deal moving from a house to a flat, because I have lived in a free-standing home for such a long time. We bought the house when we moved to Joburg six years ago, and the main thing we wanted was a living room that spilled out into the garden, so that we could open the doors and watch the kids playing outside whilst we were inside. We always had lots of parties and people over, so I was like, 'how the hell am I going to maintain the life that I love whilst living in a flat?!'" 

As a DJ Zodwa has had to learn to rely on her headphones a lot more, but adds that there are definitely certain perks to where she lives now. Firstly her new home is so central. And as a single mother of two young girls she appreciates the added level of safety and security that comes with living in an apartment. The communal garden and pool means that while she doesn't have to bother maintaining either, her kids still have the option of playing outside and she can entertain friends or guests outdoors. 

My Den: Zodwa Khumalo

Seated in the living area, one of the first things you'll notice is Zodwa's art collection and taking us through it, she explains, "the photo of Kepi from The Smarteez shot by Chris Saunders was a wedding gift, and there's an artwork by Amy Ellenbogen who interned with me when I was at Elle in 2003. When Nkuli Mlangeni, the founder of the Ninevites, had a lot of international demand for her rugs but not enough capital to meet the demands, she decided to print limited editions of the rugs as prints."

My Den: Zodwa Khumalo

So what does her home say about her?

"I think it probably says I like the minimalist look, that I have a vintage or classic fashion sense, but appreciate the modern. I think that also speaks to my personality, as much as I am in the digital space and ngithanda izinto, Im still very grounded, I do believe in the old-school approach of doing things."

Zodwa's home essentials are uncapped WiFi (she doesn’t have a TV and downloads Japanese cartoons for her kids, series for herself and uses it to work from home), a good couch, lots of light is a non-negotiable, warmth and comfort. 

"I'm like a cat, so I don’t buy things because they are aesthetically beautiful, they have to be comfortable."

In fact comfort was the biggest challenge Zodwa faced in her lounge area, as even though there was a couch and there were chairs, no one would ever end up chilling there and would always gravitate to the balcony or her bedroom.

My Den: Zodwa Khumalo

"The light in the lounge is so beautiful during the day, and I haven’t had people over since I bought the chair, the black lamp and the Nguni rug; the rug actually makes it more homey, so the next time I have people over this will be the space we chill in."

Well it was great breaking in the space with you, Zodwa, and it looks as if you're in the perfect place to write this new chapter in your life. 

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