Her style, self-care routine + her biggest lesson from 2020
Words: Leila Petersen | Images: Leeroy Jason
An awarding-winning writer, storyteller, fashion aficionado and influencer of note, Bongiwe Neema Nouse is truly making her mark in creative realms. Here she shares why self-care and her frame of mind are top priorities as she forges into the new year.
The past year has been crazy but it’s also the year you were named the MENA/Africa Regional winner in the Next Creative Leaders 2020 category. How does this award influence your creative trajectory?
2020 was one for the books, to say the least. To be awarded the Africa Regional Next Creative Leader at a time such as this has really brought home the truth that there is definitely more life at the end of all this. In the midst of all this global uncertainty and fear, there is still more to aspire towards, more to learn and that’s very comforting. The award has catapulted me onto a global creative platform in a way that only The One Club for Creativity could. The onus is now on me to translate the exposure into something tangible.
Which iconic figure influences you and why?
My mentor and the global thought leaders in my industry all influence me.
You have impeccable style and love to dress up. How have your aesthetic and shopping habits changed due to the lockdown?
My aesthetic hasn’t changed but it has expanded to include loungewear. Over the lockdown period, online shopping became my favourite pastime.
What are the items that you have relied on and will continue to use?
Knitted suits and satin sets were a common feature that I still rely on even today.
Self-care has been such a buzzword this year. What does it mean to you?
Self-care is something that became a big part of my life from the time I started working. Employment was, in a lot of ways, my introduction to adulthood. So, in turn, it was my introduction to self-care and self-awareness.
To me, self-care means stretching that hour-long lunch break to go to my favourite balmy outdoor restaurant. Waking up an hour early, two days out of the week, to give my skin the extra care it deserves. It’s meant splurging once in a while on an item that ideally should be paid for by someone’s son but alas, here we are. Travel, social media breaks … it’s all these things.
When it comes to beauty- which products have made it to your top shelf? And could you take us briefly through your morning routine?
When it comes to beauty, I really keep it simple. I cleanse my skin using either the Eucerin DermatoCLEAN Cleansing Gel or just Pure Glycerine Soap. I then spray the La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water on my skin, right before applying Bioderma Atoderm Crème and finishing off with my favourite sun cream at the moment: Eucerin Sensitive Protect.
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in 2020?
2020 has taught me the importance of “doing”. I’ve spent so much time in my head in the past that this year has made me see the wisdom of living with urgency. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
Lastly, how have you managed to recharge and reset, and what fresh new perspective will you be approaching 2021 with?
It’s not a new perspective because I say this every year. So while most push a ‘New Year New Me’ agenda with countless expectations, my position is not to burden a brand new year with expectations. 2021 will be everything it’s meant to be. And that’s enough.