This is Zodwa + Her Girls

Keeping things stylishly cosy with their favourite winter looks


Words: Sanri Pienaar | Images: Supplied 

What is style? For editor and writer Zodwa Kumalo, it’s all about personal expression. Through the style secrets she wants to pass on to her two daughters and by creating a space for her girls to be confident in their fashion choices, their individual styles and personalities shine through. Don’t believe us? Take a peek at their beautiful lives and let her Instagram feed convince you. Here, the super-cool mom shares the key to her and her girls’ effortless style.

What is the best style advice you have ever received?

If you find the perfect T-shirt or jeans, buy at least three of them.

What is the one item in your wardrobe that defines your style?

My high-waisted black vintage leather pants. I wish I could shave a few years off them...

What’s the best thing about winter style?

The layering and the textures of fabrics – suede, leather, wool.


What are your five top styling tips?

  1. Swap at least twice a year. My sister Zanele and I have a little project called #swapandlisten. We invite friends to bring a few of their items of clothing, shoes or accessories that they love but no longer wear and swap with each other over wine, food and music.
  2. Don’t get caught up in just buying brands.
  3. Support South African fashion.
  4. Find a good tailor.
  5. Shop on Instagram.

Do your children have distinct style differences?

Yes, they do. Maya, 10, is more aware of trends and styles. We were talking about all the different looks and personalities of girls her age last weekend and she said she thinks she's more of a "soft girl'. I had to Google this, mind you. A soft girl has a more cutesy and feminine style – pinks, yellows, greys, oversized sweaters, sweet earrings, blush and lip gloss. Ruby, 8, favours a more unisex look – because she never sits still, she prefers jeans, shorts, T-shirts, tights and princess-style dresses for special occasions. Anything in blue delights her and pink is a no-no.

What do you consider when shopping for your kids in winter? 

Price point. Because they're growing so quickly, it's pointless spending too much on clothes they aren't going to fit into next season, so I generally only shop the sales – real warmth (good fabric is key) and no cartoon characters, please (bought by me).

Winter must-haves? 

Tracksuit pants, crewnecks, warm padded jackets, vest sets (the cuter, the better), soft pjs and loud, funny slippers.


How is homeschooling going for you? Are you guys getting dressed before “school”?

No, they prefer to bath in the afternoon, just before dinner. Homeschooling is easier with Maya, because she's old enough and in Grade 5. She logs into Google Classroom, tells me what she needs to do and then shows me what she's done when she's finished and we go through it. Ruby is in Grade 2 and requires teaching, explaining, reinforcing, marking, testing... and I've been struggling to fit it in daily, as my work schedule is relentless from 7.30am til at least 5pm. The girls have Fridays off.

How have your routines changed?

They're spending far more time on their screens and indoors – and bedtime has changed from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. I don't know how they managed to convince me.

What are their individual approaches to getting dressed every day?

They pull open the cupboards to see what’s clean and then they try to match colour combos or styles. It’s really very sweet. 


What do you guys do for fun while staying at home?

We watch Japanese anime (we each take turns choosing a film) and make or bake a pizza on Friday nights, depending on whether I've had time to make pizza dough or not. On Saturdays, we roll around in the grass in the garden of our complex, chat, take photos, read books and listen to music. We generally bake every other Sunday. And because level 3 allows us to walk any time of the day, we can now fit in an afternoon stroll together.

What are your girls’ favourite items of clothing? 

Comfort is key – right now, they’d happily stay in their pjs all day, even after taking a bath. But that’s just depressing, so when I insist, they choose track pants and tees or crewnecks, depending on how cold it is. 

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