This week’s #DigitLabSpotlight caught Apple South Africa’s PR and Communications Manager, Mbali Zondo, in its beam and captivated us.

This 27 year old from Durban is taking Johannesburg by storm in the business world, while still finding time to develop hobbies such as ballet and exploring the world (while documenting everything on Instagram).

How do you like them apples?

Mbali Zondo

1. Tell us more about why you love being in Marketing?

Marketing and Communications is such a diverse industry that changes every single day. I love the interactivity within this industry as well as the many people I have met and have yet to meet. Marketing and Communications has opened my eyes to how much of an influence brands have on our lives and what fascinates me even more is how we as consumers respond to preferred brand messages.

 

2. Which is your favourite social media platform at the moment, and why?

I am on all the social media platforms but my favourite is Instagram. I’m a very visual person and I love seeing what people are up to and how they demonstrate that in the form of pictures. I’m not a photographer but I enjoy taking photos and capturing cool moments and sharing them on Instagram because I get to interact with other Instagram lovers.

Mbali Zondo Instagram

 

3. What is your favourite subject to document on Instagram, and why?

I love taking photos of people in the moment. People interest me because they are so expressive and I get to chat to them after I have taken their pic. Apart from people, I love taking photos of points of interest and I try to experiment with different apps.

 

4. Take us through your average day?

My average day consists of a lot of meetings coupled with a lot of unpredictable tasks. My days are never set in stone and in a way I enjoy that because it makes my job interesting and less monotonous.

 

5. What would your 10 year old self think of your life at the moment?

I think 10 year old Mbali would be very shocked and surprised at my life right now. 10 year old Mbali used to have a low self-esteem and used to doubt herself if she didn’t get affirmation from her friends. Now, older Mbali is very sure of herself in what she wants from life and is very independent, which is a quality she has directly inherited from her Mom.

 

6. We hear you are an avid amateur ballerina…what other hobbies can you tell us about?

Yes. I do beginner’s adult ballet as a hobby. Growing up in a traditional African household, Ballet was something you dared not even consider as an extra activity. Growing up has opened my mind to being exposed to different things hence I decided to do ballet for the sheer love of it. I’m also one of the content contributors for Mango Juice in-flight Magazine and contribute to their lifestyle pages. I read a lot and still prefer to buy the hard copy book rather than an ebook. I also visit art galleries and exhibitions when I can and absolutely enjoy food and wine tastings.

Mbali Ballet

7. Which is your favourite Apple gadget at the moment, and why?

It will have to the iPhone 6. My iPhone goes everywhere with me and it is the one device that got me into taking photos in social settings and sharing them on Instagram. It has allowed me to be expressive in taking photos in a non-intimidating way.

 

8. Describe your ultimate weekend?

My ultimate weekend would be to go to the spa for a series of spa treatments for half a day then afterwards, I’d jet off to Cape Town for wine tastings at one or two wine farms and watch the sun set as I sip on an ice cold glass of wine.

 

9. In your experience, which tends to be better for proper exposure – social media or traditional advertising like radio adverts? And why?

In my personal opinion, I think social media exposure has a lot more longevity and facilitates more talkability and consumer interaction. I feel traditional forms of advertising get lost because consumers are already so bombarded with advertising and it’s hard to cut through the clutter. Successful advertising needs to create and stir consumer conversations and if you can do that by combining traditional media and social media, all the better.

 

10. What’s next?

Travel is next! I want to travel as much as I can and see the world. I have been bitten by the travel bug and my curiosity to visit different places grows year on year. I have been fortunate enough to visit a few overseas countries but I have this drive to visit more African countries because I feel there is so much to explore in Africa.

 

Thanks Mbali!

Check out the rest of our #DigitLabSpotlight series, or drop us a mail with your nominations for the next person to put under our spotlight.

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