Armed with her strong belief that less is more, image consultant and Mrs SA 2020 top 10 finalist Zanele Kamwendo thrives on helping women look and feel their best. With her life-long passion surrounding image and style, she shares what’s hot this Summer (her favourite season) and tells us why image management is not a luxury but a necessity.
Despite being partially deaf, Zanele holds an Electrical Engineering qualification, a Masters’ Degree in Business Administration and runs her own business in Kloof called Sparkle Image Consulting, through which she strives to empower women.
Recently appointed a brand ambassador for the well-known Skin Renewal aesthetic clinics in Durban and Umhlanga and short-listed as the ‘Face of Mangwanani’, Zanele’s gorgeous physique, positive attitude and winning smile all add to the package … making her someone you want to talk to about your image.
Her skills and image interventions have positively impacted organizations across the country within a wide scope of fields including corporate, finance and investment, engineering and construction, banking, church, entertainment and more.
“Women need to embrace their unique, beautiful features and highlight them in subtle ways. We are all diamonds possessing a luminosity within, waiting to be unleashed; all we need is a professional cut and polish and we are well on our way to fulfilling our destiny. Image management is not a luxury but a necessity, as we constantly communicate who we are in our daily activities. We need to ensure people are receiving the correct message.”
At home, Zanele is a loving wife of 17 years and a mother to two teenage boys. At work she thrives on excellence in everything she does and is a hard-working go-getter who believes in uplifting the livelihood and social skills of others.
“A big part of my life also involves outreach. Education is key for our future leaders, so I make a huge effort to collect donated books for distribution to children in underprivileged communities through an organization called Isinamuva Book Club. I also work with Mpact recycling, where I teach children about the importance of recycling and encourage them to keep their paper waste aside and drop them off at their schools or closest recycle centres. Since I believe every woman should have the opportunity to learn how to better unleash their inner and outer beauty, I do charity image workshops with organisations that empower women and young girls.”
Through image management and soft-skill expertise, Zanele specialises in improving the personal and professional images of those who seek her help. In doing so, she evaluates, enhances and transforms appearance, behaviour and communication skills in order to help her clients ensure their image is consistent with their personal and professional goals.
“My life-long passion for image and style, and my genuine desire to see people embrace their individuality and reach their full potential has seen me dramatically improve the image and lives of those I have come into contact with over the years, even before I was qualified. I didn’t mind spending the whole day helping someone shop or clear out their wardrobe or show them how to apply make-up that suits them.”
Zanele studied image consulting part time while working in the Electrical Engineering field. She also appeared as a regular guest at a local radio station doing a series of image talks and has been handling the styling and makeup for a TV programme that airs on DSTV Africa for the past three years. She is a task-team member with the services SETA profiling the occupational qualification for Image Consulting in South Africa.
“I’ve been doing corporate image consulting and workshops for business establishments where I teach the staff about corporate etiquette and professional grooming. I even design and supply uniforms for their staff.”
“Through it all, whenever I have observed a positive change in someone (job promotion, elevated confidence levels and improved exercise, wellness and nutrition), it’s always left me with such a sense of fulfilment.”
Zanele loves Summer because, she says spending time outdoors gives us all a little natural glow. “It is important to balance an active lifestyle with good skincare and nutrition because they work hand-in-hand to create a happier, healthier you. In Summer we transition from darker shades, heavier makeup application and matt finishes to dewy, radiant, glowing skin with more of a natural sheen and a sun-kissed look. We are talking strobing, reflective skin, lacquer effect lips and neon highlights on eyes. This is fantastic because it requires minimal products that are not heavy on your skin, so you can look and feel natural and fresh as you transition from a no makeup lockdown look.”
Zanele says it’s important to remember that how clothing looks on you is not about your size, but rather about the shape of your body. “I highly recommend a body analysis to know your body shape in order to select the right clothing. I also suggest finding you style personality, which helps you understand how best to express yourself. It informs your clothing choice, minimising the amount of orphan garments in the closet, ultimately saving you money.”
Equally important, Zanele says, is finding out what your colouring is. “This enables you to wear colours that highlight and accentuate your features giving you a glow as opposed to draining you. Every colour affects us differently because of our natural colouring. Colour assessments also help with choosing flattering hair colours, jewellery colours, makeup colours, textures and of course fabrics and prints.”
And you don’t have to break the bank to make effective changes. “Get creative with your wardrobe and try pairing outfits you’ve never paired before. Keep your classic look items and give them new life by adding the latest trend in scarves, belts, shoes, bags, current colours and prints. I recommend spending more money on quality timeless pieces, which will carry you through many seasons.”
Graphic polka dots are happening this Spring. Feel free to experiment with other colours of your choice (preferably within your colouring).
The neon hue is here this summer for the bold and adventurous. If you’re more subtle, opt for a neon accessory instead.
Hot pants staged a comeback on the Spring 2020 runways and will be a street style favourite paired with sneakers or heels. Chanel styled their look with black tights underneath (an option to wear them if you’re more conservative).
Crochet has an artistic cool update with creative colours and designs whilst tapping into the ‘sustainable fashion’ trend.
Bermuda shorts as a business suit or casual, depending how you style them, will keep you trendy.
Bra tops and blazers paired with a high-waisted skirt or pants have come through. Try to use subtle, classy, non-lacy, non-see through bra tops.
Loose fitting blazers are not going anywhere yet!
Wide leg or loose fitting pants have been updated in new styles.
Denim never goes out of style. This time it comes in mid-wash colour, classic cut and high rise with a bit of skin at the ankle and raw hems.
Light tiered dresses and skirts have made an appearance as well.