TAKE 10: Abongwe Qokela

The content creator who’s changing the game


Words: Nhlanhla Masemola | Photography: Nadia von Scotti | Videography: Maxime Thaysen

This Body Moves is our sport campaign celebrating all of the big and small ways that our bodies carry us. This body adapts, struggles, learns. This body endures, it accomplishes, it has what it takes. This body soaks up the stories that make up a lifetime of living with its own identity, heritage, failures, capabilities and wins. This body sets its own pace. This body sets its own terms.

Meet Abongwe Qokela, from Molteno in the Eastern Cape, whose life has long included elements of creativity and the desire to document it. Working as a content creator and social media manager, Abongwe is committed to living loudly and unapologetically – something you can quickly tell from her social media presence and the breath of fresh air that she brings. Abongwe slices through stereotypes by sharing a profile that is both genuine and warm. When it comes to health, she believes that a happy body eats well, is active and that the winning approach to wellness is “everything in moderation”. Now, at 33 years old, Abongwe has made peace with the fact that she never sticks to diets. And that suits her just fine.

My body is a good place to be because...

It’s unique to me and it’s resilient, strong and home.

What do you like to wear while being active?

A good sports bra is a must. And high-waisted leggings.

What do you eat before you work out?

I’m not that hectic about pre-gym snacks. I just make sure I never gym when I'm hungry.

Are there any exercise or eating habits that you’ve wanted to kick?

Not eating was a bad habit I needed to kick. When life got busy, I forgot to eat or would be very lazy and ate whatever was in front of me.

What misconceptions do you think people have about fitness?

That you will look bulky if you do weights. Weights are the secret weapon to an amazingly shaped body.

abongwe 1

What was your favourite moment while shooting the Superbalist Sport 2019 campaign?

Shadowboxing. It felt so badass and it gave me a platform to show what my body can do. I also really loved the entire shoot. There was a sense of ease and we were all hyping each other up. We were not trying to outdo each other. We were individuals with different talents and physics.

What do you love most about your body?

I love my shape.

And the least?

I’m not a big fan of how I’m not as toned as I know I can be.

I have hated my scars and I have loved them...

I got them when I was very young. Hot water fell from a table and it burnt my chest and right upper arm. The scars got the current “graphics” while they were healing, because they were itching and little Abongwe scratched them. My mother decided against a skin graft, because she felt I’d suffered enough and didn’t want to put me through the pain again.

When have you felt your most beautiful?

I feel the most beautiful when my skin is glowing and I’m in warm spaces. (I hate being cold).

What's are your favourite songs to move to?

Nonstop by Drake, Dreamwork by AKA featuring Yanga, Hot Girl Summer by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign, Icy GRL by Saweetie and New Coupe by Frank Casino.

Are there any sport Instagrammers you like to follow?

I like to follow @racheljdillon, @fitnessgirl_ZA, @queenfitness and @krissycela.