Modern Day Influencers – The Power Of Social Media

Social media is to the twenty-first century what dragons are to Daenerys, we cannot win a war without them… err… rather more contextually, we cannot function without it.  We rely on it for pretty much every single need we conjure, from searching for jobs, locations, to keeping tabs on that girl whose life we surreptitiously  long for, to business, advertising, communication and even social change.  It’s true, power and influence lies neither in its advanced algorithms nor clarity of its use but in the hands it falls into. Nigel Mtetah says, “Mind what you feed your brain when it comes to social media, not everyone cares about you.” Rob Kardashian vehemently Instagrammed and tweeted pictures defaming his baby mama to the world, while hash tags such as #BlackGirlMagic and My Black Is Beautiful inspired change in the way black women view their self worth!

I sat down with Nigel Mtetah of ‘The Fashion Statement’, an influential fashion blogger with over twenty- thousand followers on Instagram and Winston Manjengwa who goes by @Amblujay, a Twitter guru, who moves his followers with his witty comments and posts and has catapulted him to internet success. They shared with me the power and influence that social media has and how it has changed and solidified their careers!



How instrumental has social media been in pushing your hustle? 
“Personally I’ve found social media to have played a very major role in my career as a fashion personality. It has given me a voice to speak to unique individuals in different parts of the globe and a faster, much easier way to network and build profitable connections. As a fashion influencer and enthusiast, I draw inspiration from others like me and from everything that exists as an art, social media has given me all that exposure and in a way I can connect with others in different spectrums of the fashion industry to fuse ideas and find out means and ways to better ourselves. All being said, it also comes down to the monetization. I personally reach thousands of viewers on the daily and this gives me the opportunity to win a few people into becoming loyal customers to certain brands that I collaborate with, providing for me the authenticity and credibility that is needed to become an effective influencer.”

You have over twenty- thousand followers, how has Instagram changed your life? 
“The journey has been amazing. I have met quite a number of important people during my earned time on Instagram and most of these people have helped me shape my business model into what it has become right now.Through documenting and sharing my fashion experiences, tips and advice I will not forget to mention the good friends that I’ve met along the way. I truly appreciate the positive feedback I receive from my viewers and this not only gives me confidence but the drive to keep getting better at what I do on the daily.”

Is it possible to live or exist without social media of any kind in today’s world?
“No I don’t think so. I believe that social media is here to stay, that is no secret. For me it was about a year or so ago, when l took a challenge to cut-off all social media. The first few weeks I could handle, but as time went on I felt more and more  like an outsider without it & I found out how hard it was to not have this convenience, I WAS KIDDING MYSELF…..I asked myself if it was an addiction or just the need to have an easy going social life. So that’s when I decided to quench this thirst by finding a good reason to be on it thus, “My Fashion Statement”. ”

Just how powerful is social media? 
“Social media has the ability to create multiple communities of like-minded people. This can be taken advantage of into becoming the most powerful form of marketing and market research in every industry that has ever existed. Research boasts 2.46 billion users world-wide and in every niche it can be productive or destructive in a way depending on how we choose to use it. The daily consumer is either fed negatively or positively and this can effectively create a balance, our job as influencers is to tip the scale through our personal opinion and help the community at large into finding what is best for them.

What does the future look like in your view, in regards to social media? 
“It is hard to make predictions, but looking at how people are getting accustomed to the lifestyle of social media, I see light at the end of the tunnel for everyone that uses it and it will continue dispensing valuable information to those that choose to use it wisely. Influencer marketing will hopefully be the center around which brand advocacy, content and influence revolves. It will continue to be the most cost-effective strategy to deliver long-term and in-depth brand building.”



How influential is social media in today’s world?
Nowadays everything revolves around social media from social, economic and political issues; social media has become a mouth piece and source of information. You get the latest news on social media before you see it on the news even media houses now treat social media as their source of news. Let’s not forget how social media is changing lives from finding people jobs to exposing social ills like racism and abuse. On the business front most companies are able to engage their customers and offer customer service online.

Over the past decade, we have seen the rise of Instagram celebrities and twitter brand ambassadors. How do you get people to follow you, in order to achieve the above?
Personally I  never tweet to be liked I just keep up with current affairs , I  tweet about relatable daily life experiences with a pinch of wit so as to entertain and educate my audience…keep it real, be yourself!

How has social media changed your life?
I used to be a guy who thrived off the attention I got when I tweeted, I was very insecure and I got trolled a lot for being broke and unemployed hence having people react to my tweets gave me a sense of worth and purpose, at one point I even leaked nudes something that will live with me for the rest of my life. However, I remember starting Twimbos Giving Hope, a charity organization which most Zimbabwean twitter users were part of back then in 2014. Serving my community by helping the vulnerable and less privileged kids and seeing how people came together made me feel good about the world and people around me. I also started Pads Drive an initiative that meant to help rural girls with sanitary pads. This opened my eyes to problems that girls face every month which I used to take lightly. I even became a Brand Ambassador for Comedy Central Africa at one point thanks to Social media. I now have a Digital Marketing company and 80% of my clients approach me online….my life revolves around social media, it pay my bills.

Nowadays there is an app for everything, if you invented your own, what would you have it do?
An app that can make food and bring it to my bed …kidding…An app that links job seekers to employers since unemployment is a big problem amongst African youths I’m sure one already exists but yeah I wouldn’t  mind having it.

Lastly in your opinion, just how influential is social media in shaping today’s world?

Social media is a gold rush for marketers, investors and companies not forgetting musicians and upcoming artist who use these platforms to connect with their fans and build their brands … Let’s not forget how movements like #FeesMustFall in SA and #ThisFlag were pushed by social media. To see Trumps latest tantrums you just go on his twitter page not CNN ….We live in the era of social media

By Yvonne Mateko

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