Our guest writer, Pamela Mkhize, caught up with Sandy Nene (22) who hails from Inanda, Durban. The bubbly Sandy is the founder of one of largest online community. He chuckles about how his family is still confused by how he gets to travel around the country, just from blogging.
Who is Sandile Nene
I, Sandile Nene, am a son, brother, grandchild and friend. I’m the first born and have four siblings. My mother is my hero and my siblings are my angels. I grew up in Inanda, Durban.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
I am so many things, but I’ll go for unique, loud and outspoken.
What inspired you to start blogging?
When I got over theatre performing, I wanted to do something that could bring out my personality. I wanted people to know me, what I like, so I needed a platform to express myself. I tried fashion design but I dropped out of school without even completing a year. My lecturer would always find me online, reading blogs or tweeting. I fell in love with the online world, how it revolves and all the interesting people I came across every day. That’s when I knew that a career in the online field is what I was destined for.
Blogging allows you to…
Meet new people every day, inspire and tell other people’s stories.
Your Top 5 favourite bloggers and why?
- Brett Robson
- Faeema Sader
- Sarah Langa
- Jerri Mogkofe
- Kevin McLenann
They are unique, don’t try too hard and aren’t replicas of something I have seen.
You grew up in a township as a young, black gay man – did you faced any challenges?
Young, black gay men living in townships go through discrimination every day. Unfortunately, I did face a lot of this while growing up. But I don’t mind the fact that I went through all that hate. All the things that happened to me in the past have helped me be the person I am today. I am stronger, confident and I am my own inspiration.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My family, the people I meet every day, my colleagues and emails I get from new blog followers who are inspired by what I do.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
I have not yet achieved everything that I want to a blogger and businessman, but one of my greatest experiences within the three years of blogging was working with my favourite brand, Mr Price, and being selected as a South African Ambassador CAT Apparel in the year 2013–14. I landed an interview in a radio station I grew up listening to, which is also the biggest station in South Africa, Ukhozi FM.
Any exciting projects you’re working on?
I’m working on creating content for my Youtube channel. I’ve been blogging for three years now and a lot of people have always suggested I start vlogging. I also want to work with more South African entrepreneurs, especially designers and photographers. So if there’s anyone out there looking to collaborate with me, I am available.
Five things every blogger should know:
- Brands are always watching you; whatever you do or say online, s keep that in mind.
- Do it for you.
- It took me two years to start making money for my blog, so don’t focus on making money – work hard and do it for the love.
- Google should be your best friend.
- Being brand loyal goes a long way.
How can we stay connected with you?
My handles on Twitter and Instagram are the same; @SandyNeneSA. Or checkout my blog; www.sandynene.com where I share things that I love, interview SA’s favourite celebrities and the latest trends.