She is stylish and she knows it. Every red-carpet event, or even stepping out of the house is an opportunity for her to make a fashion statement.
Her style and creativity have earned her many partnerships and a spot as Creative Director at Finesse fragrance by Drip, and Drip footwear.
Recently, Nomuzi “Moozlie” Mabena was also handpicked to be the Creative Director of the new partnership between Drip footwear by Lekau Sehoana and Fila South Africa. This means she and their team join forces in creating a range of stylish footwear and street apparel.
“I am still figuring out what the title creative director means. But I have been a creative director for all my work for a good eight years and I feel it was a build-up to where I am today,” Nomuzi tells Drum.
“Last year I started with Era by DJ Zinhle, and it was within Covid-19, which gave me space to be creative at a time when I needed to.”
Working with her best friend DJ Zinhle has been a learning curve.
“It was meant to be when we realised that we like the same things,” she says. “But you learn how serious this is when you see they have stores at big malls and retail centres. I am learning so much.”
Last year is also when she joined the Drip footwear brand where she worked creating their fragrance Finesse.
“This has been a fashion year for me and this collaboration with Drip and Fila is the biggest.”
Nomuzo was involved in the creative process from inception until it reaches the shelves at Shesha stores on 14 October.
“I could take all the credit for it but it was a joint effort. The amazing team at Drip delivered. From the graphic designers, and fabric designs right down to the manufacturers. I just put in my two cents worth, and teamwork made the dream work. Since we started in February, it’s been a back and forth and I have loved it.”
Nomuzi says people assume that being a creative director is glamorous.
“It’s a lot of work, you work tirelessly at the office, and there are disagreements, like in any work environment. But it’s been such an amazing experience and I’ve loved it.”
She is one of the most stylish women in the country and she knows it.
“I am the best-dressed woman in the country. Ngiyaswenka! I have been serving combos on tv for years and it's bigger than just putting together a nice outfit. With the work I’m doing, I’ve taken what I know and learned from the streets to a retail level and I’m working with professionals who have been to school and studied for this,” she says.
This year on 20 October, Nomuzi celebrates 10 years of being in the entertainment industry. Ten years ago, she won the MTV VJ search and quit her communications studies to pursue her dream of TV presenting.
“I had to choose between attending my classes or interviewing Snoop Dog and I chose to take on the presenting job and here we are, ten years later,” she says.
Although she dropped out Nomuzi still encourages people to go to school.
“Especially being in this position now. There’s a technical knowledge you receive at the school level that you can never learn in the streets,” she says.
“I sat with the designer for the shoes and apparel. I would send references from the internet while they had the ability to create it, see if it's practical and if it will work or not because of school,“ she says. Ten years ago, she was one of the youngest and coolest people in the entertainment space.
“I knew it and stuck on that for so long time. Then suddenly I was 25 and now 30. I still go into new spaces and still don’t know what people are talking about. But I learn and grow every day,” she says.
“Having done this for ten years, you want to do something meaningful. But in the 10 years, I have learned not to be too hard on myself. That’s because I am the most amazing person I know. I never want to let myself down or sell myself short and that can manifest in me being hard on myself.”
Nomuzi says at times she suffers from imposter syndrome or self-doubt despite her ongoing success.
“Especially when coming into spaces like these, where there is an educated marketing director, and big titles and I am here because I dress well, my combos are communicating and I’m cool. I would doubt myself or question whether I am in the right place. But that pushes me to want to learn, making me hard on myself. All because I want to be the most amazing version of myself,“ she says.
She has been told by many on social media that “she can’t rap” or “her music career will not last”.
But Nomuzi chooses not to listen to critics.
“Thank goodness I am not on Twitter anymore, I left in February. I don’t see the criticism by choice. That is why I have been able to focus on what matters. I shut off the noise,” she says.
“At first, I thought I needed to engage to stay relevant but it’s toxic, I don’t bother. I pick the things I want to engage in. I have people who do tell me what is being said, but with my brand it’s either you like it, or you don’t. People usually just receive what I give them.”
Nomuzi says more than anything, it is her spirituality that has kept her relevant and thinking positively.
“I wish I had a super formula to get over imposter syndrome. But, I am very spiritual and I read the Bible daily. I wake up, sit on the toilet and go on my Bible app. I believe what God says about me more than what I think about myself and what people are saying,” she adds.
“That is why I had to get off Twitter because the things people say there, don’t match with what’s happening in the Bible and in reality. But I take life one day at a time and I am not perfect.”
With having fulfilled some of her fashion-related goals for the year, Nomuzi is looking at making new music to unwind from a busy year. The last project she released was titled Spirit Of An OG in 2020 and since then she has been longing to record new music.
“I have been dying to go back to the studio. I have been longing to get my thoughts out. A lot has happened in my life and there’s a lot to talk and flex about.”
Nomuzi says we should expect new music from her by early next year.