50 Coffees is a blog series that follows me, Lucia Dramat, as I interview inspirational Christian women in South Africa. I was going down the instagram rabbit hole as one does and on my way I came across this gem, LeAnne Dlamini. She has been in the music industry for years but she got my attention when I saw her heart for women and her fashionista ways, needless to say I was hooked. When we got in touch and when we finally did the interview I met a total sweetheart. On our Joburg trip she was the first interview and I was so nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. I was praying that everything ran smoothly and immediately after I met her I was at peace. She is such a genuinely nice and down to earth person. I am blessed to have met her and I am so excited to follow her cause to bring unity to women.
You are a fashionista and I love checking you out on Instagram, who are your fashion icons?
I think it’s a range of people, it is very vast. It could go from the girl next door to superstar celebrities. My top style icons… There is a stylist here in Joburg called Thuli. She is @stylealertSA on Instagram. I have recently started working with her on certain project and video shoots. She has amazing style. She is also a designer and has a store in Joburg CBD. Her style is so incredible, she is definitely one of my style icons. If I was looking overseas, I would probably say Jlo. I love her style, I love what she wears. The rest I just go with whatever I see on Pinterest or Instagram.
You are often travelling. What is your favourite holiday destination?
There are so many but if I had to pick I would say New York for the City but I think I have found the perfect balance with Dubai. You can shop and have the hustle and bustle, but you can also just go and relax on the beach. You can just get away from it all. So I would pick Dubai for both, but for the perfect beach holiday I would pick Maldives. We went there on our honeymoon ten years ago and my husband promised that we would go back. For relaxation it is the Maldives, it is beautiful.
How do you balance your career as a mainstream artist and stay true to your beliefs, values and morals?
The way I was raised probably has a lot to do with that. I have been blessed enough to know that God is my main source. I have tried to stay as connected to Him as I possibly can and I know that is the only thing that has kept me sane and kept me humble. In my industry I have seen many people fall. You are at the top of your game then something happens and you are no longer everyone’s “It Girl”. I have seen that happen and I said to God ‘Lord, if I can just stay consistent, if You can just keep me on the path that I am supposed to be on and I am just here to do what I do for You’. Here I am still going strong and I think my family also keep me grounded like my mom and my husband. I have no time for egos and all of that drama. I just always want to be approachable, I want people to see the real me and I think they do see that. It is all because of God.
What is that fear, statement or internal question that you had to overcome to become who you are?
For me it was probably my insecurities, I use to play small with myself when that’s not how God wants us to be. He wants you to be bold, out there and stand up for yourself. I was almost doing the opposite. I would downplay what I could do. I would shy away or cover up what I could do and what I had to offer. That was definitely something that I thought was crippling me. I thought I wasn’t good/cool enough to be in the entertainment or music industry and like I couldn’t hang around the people that I was hanging with. But I am just as good as everyone else and I want other people to feel that way as well. Those challenges have probably helped me push women and girls the way I have. I want them to see it is possible. You just need to step out of your comfort zone and be bold and be secure in who God made you.
How was End Girl Hate birthed and developed into what it is today?
End Girl Hate really started on social media, I had gotten into the whole social media thing. So I was enjoying being on social media and posting. I said to myself one day, what can I do to start encouraging people on social media. I really wanted to use social media to impact people rather than to impress people. Everyone is now on social media, it is all about this perfect life and what you want people to see. I wanted to make people feel a certain way, especially girls and women. I feel like that is where my heart is and that is where I am drawn to. I really just started by posting inspirational messages and encouraging women and girls to start supporting and loving one another. Just saying it is ok to support your sister. Just because you are loving on her doesn’t mean that your light shines any less. That is really where it started and it became a thing. People took to it and here we are almost two years later. I spent a whole year only posting on social media for people to start grasping what this whole initiative is about.
Outside of Social Media, merchandise and projects to help ladies, tell us more about the events?
I hosted my first End Girl Hate breakfast last year in April, where I really just had twenty likeminded girls together. It wasn’t necessarily celebrity driven because I wanted everyone to know that they are accepted. The field I am in you kind of get the sense that there are levels to groups of people and you can’t mix with that if you are not this. I just wanted to scrap all that with End Girl Hate. I want every single girl and women to know ‘you are part of the sisterhood’ weather you are a domestic worker, a waitress or a CEO of a company. We all have the same issues at the end of the day and every day when you go home we all cry the same tears. That’s what I really wanted women to know. It was just a group of twenty women that I wanted to support and connect certain dots. Because of the position that I am in on social media, I have been lucky enough and blessed enough to have a following. I have a lot of people asking me ‘how can I get connected to this person? Can you help me do this? Or do you know someone who does this?’ I started seeing myself as a connecter. I thought if I could get these women into one room and I kind of introduced everyone to each other and say ‘this is your chance to go and meet your next business partner if that is what you want to do’. It really became a networking and supporting each other kind of event. I have had two in Joburg and I had my first one in Cape Town in April this year, which was awesome. Then we had our first sisterhood conference, which I would like to do twice a year. We had that on the 19th of August at the Melrose Arch Fire and Ice hotel we had over 110 women. It was incredible how we all came together. I had an inspirational speaker, someone to really motivate women to be the best that they can be and to know that we can love each other. So that’s what we did in August and where I am now we would like to do more events. I would like to take it to Durban too, as people pick up on more events they say ‘when do we get it?’ I would love to send the End Girl Hate message and the sisterhood message to everyone that needs to hear it. And who knows maybe it will cross the South African boarders and then eventually branch out into the whole world.
Connect with LeAnne Dlamini and End Girl Hate via
Instagram: @iamleannemusic @endgirlhate
Twitter: @iamleannemusic #endgirlhate