15 Sep Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful: Zanele Kumalo
Zanele Kumalo is the current Content Editor at The Publishing Partnership, a company producing engaging content for targeted audiences across both print and digital platforms. Her previous experience reads like a list of publishing dream jobs, having worked as a Features Editor at Marie Claire and a Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, ELLE, O Magazine and Top Billing magazine. Before focussing on beauty, Zanele worked as a reporter at the Sunday Times. Equally obsessed with music as she is with words, it’s not unusual to find Zanele behind the decks at an event.
Please let us know about your current role and what this entails?
I am a content editor for The Publishing Partnership. I work mainly in digital – creating and curating content for clients.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I really enjoy the challenge of content marketing where I need to deliver a story about a brand that a targeted audience will be interested to read and engage with.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced and triumphs you’ve enjoyed in your career so far?
I’ve always pushed myself to try different things and to keep learning. I think the biggest triumph has been getting to learn from the best people in the publishing industry and being recognised as a player in the field. The most difficult challenge has been how to keep relevant, to create stories that peek people’s interest without giving them what they think they want. Going digital has changed the game and we’re all still trying to figure out how best to play in this relatively new space.
What have you learned along the way?
Every experience (mistakes, horrors and delights) you encounter will serve a purpose in furthering you and your career. Regret nothing.
What are some of the issues/topics you find most rewarding to write about?
Politics, economics, psychology, anthropology and history are deeply fascinating to me. I’m passionate about music, art, fashion, design and travel so revealing something intriguing about humans using those themes is incredibly rewarding.
What role does music play in your life?
I DJ when I can and when I’m invited to. I’m obsessed with sound. It says a lot that despite having studied art, being a lover of books and film who’s highly stimulated by aesthetics that I think I would be more lost without hearing than sight. I don’t think I can even properly explain what role it plays in my life. I am a terror on two occasions: when I am hungry and when I hear what is in my humble opinion, bad music.
Where do you look for daily inspiration? What influences your craft?
I look everywhere. I try to take in as much as I can. I don’t talk a lot. I’m always trying to listen or focus on something or someone. Anything can be an inspiration. I do have my favourite blogs, writers, artists I admire, I love a great party, a good long walk in the city and in the forest. They all are triggers.
Beauty is…imperfect, uncontainable, individual.
Powerful is…strong, confident, daring.
When do you feel most powerful?
When what I feel about myself is more important than what others think of me
Where do you visualise yourself being in the future? // Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Working for myself, learning new skills and mentoring anyone who feels like they might like to learn something from me – whatever that might be.
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