‘Lazy…entitled…’? Enough with the name calling!
Because some bold young ladies are challenging the way some describe millennials, and Africa is already celebrating their work!
Nomvelo Chalumbira, 23, recently graduated from Wits University where she studied journalism and is currently interning at Reuters Africa.
She is also the co-founder of Melenial Media, a digital-content platform created by two young black women, for young black women, with the aim of empowering them and supporting the great work they are doing in different spheres of society.
What started as a blog is growing into a great media brand, and with a prestigious award already on their shelf, we thought we should get into the psyche of this aspiring media mogul, and also asked her to share some of her work with us.
What made you decide to start early, co-founding Melenial Media while still studying?
I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do after university and felt that my degree had not prepared me for the job market, but I was always interested in media, and after doing a blog with my friends for a year, I wanted to start something that represented me and other black millennial women.
My passion was to be a part of the change of the media landscape in South Africa and not rely on building a career at already-established media companies.
In my third year, my current partner and I saw a huge gap in the market of voices of millennial women of color, and thus Melenial Media was founded.There is no set path to success Click To Tweet
Millennials have been called many (not so great) names, such as ‘the Me, Me, Me Generation”, as expressed in an article by a reputable magazine. What are your thoughts about this?
Times are very different and things are being done very differently. Many traditional industries have been disrupted and altered to suit the needs of the current generation.
For instance, the media industry is becoming more digital and fast-paced. We must all keep up with the new.
As an article in the Atlantic put it very well, “every generation has been a me, me, me generation”, so what is new?
How did you go from blogging to having an award winning media brand? What drives you as an entrepreneur?
It hasn’t been easy! Building a business has taught me discipline and perseverance, especially juggling studying full-time and doing Melenial. But, I absolutely love what I do and having the privilege to do what I love every day is a great blessing.
That has helped me get through the tough times, knowing that the reward is sweeter than the sweat. We try our best to be consistent and put out the best content.
Entrepreneurship is challenging but I have a great family support system. What’s even more exciting is being able to be a part of the advancement and empowerment of black women.
Please share some of your photojournalism work with us:
More Than a Barcode: Like identity, our sense of place is fluid; it changes as the place changes and as we change. One’s sense of place becomes part of their identity, and one’s identity affects the ways we define and experience a place. Therefore in the construction of identities, part of what one does is to instill place with meaning by attaching memories and experiences to the place.
Serene yet Strong: Mammy Setshogo fulfilling her regular duties of looking after and running a tavern household in Soweto. Here she is washing the household’s clothes and she looks serene, regal, strong and beautiful whilst doing a mundane chore.
How does Melenial Media aim to empower millennials and change such narratives about them?
Melenial Media showcases a diverse range of women doing great things in their respective fields. We are breaking down the stereotype and notion that there is one type of black woman.
The content you find on our site is interesting, fresh and relatable – not only to millennials but to any generation. We showcase that there is no set path to success.
Melenial Media shows that anything is possible if you believe enough in your vision.We are breaking down the stereotype and notion that there is one type of black woman - @nomvelo_c Click To Tweet
From the work you have done so far with millennials, what potential do you think they have to make Africa even greater?
There are endless possibilities available to Millennials than there previously were. This makes the potential to do great things even greater.
With information, access, and opportunities available at our fingertips, millennials are creating their own opportunities and path.
Africa is a wealthy goldmine of opportunities and it’s all about seizing the moment and just going for it. And that is exactly what millennials are doing. They are not afraid to take a chance and create their own realities that suit them.Africa is a wealthy goldmine of opportunities and it’s all about seizing the moment and just going for it. Click To Tweet
You won the ‘2016 Top Youth Culture Blog in Africa’ award in such a short space of time. What does the award mean to you and Melenial Media?
It was a humbling milestone to have reached in such a short time. It has made us realize that we are creating a sustainable business that is making a difference and contributing positively to society.
What we have created is something quite relevant in the current South African media landscape. We have started something unique, which I am extremely proud of....anything is possible if you believe enough in your vision. Click To Tweet
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