It’s always an exciting time for us when our issue goes live, and hits the shelves. We also enjoy the conversations that emanate from it. This is not only our Youth – Disruptors issue so you can imagine our excitement is through the roof!!!!
We offer you a glimpse of what to expect from our cover story featuring, Linda Mtoba, Kay Yarms, and Nabilah Kariem as they detail their respective journeys to becoming the digital disruptors we respect and love.
Linda Mtoba – on her authentic approach to content creation and her impressive reach.
“I always tell people that if you’re visiting my Instagram page for perfection, you’re looking in the wrong place. It’s about my truth. By living authentically, I’ve freed myself from many societal pressures.”
She says having an online presence as an actress is vital. “I think the mistake many actors make is relying solely on their acting career to flourish, but as a person, your brand goes beyond that. And I don’t think people capitalise on it enough. You can’t rely solely on your TV role and expect that to translate into your brand. That character isn’t you.” She’s built a formidable brand and attributes her success to being able to separate herself from her work. For example, “when I wasn’t acting for a year and a half because I’d had a baby, I was still super-relevant, got work and people still spoke about me. I was still top of mind because my brand was strong enough to sustain me beyond my acting career.”
She further notes that when people view her profile, they don’t immediately think, oh! She’s an actress. “But there’s a conversation around everything else I do outside of acting. You may be on the biggest shows, but are you landing gigs outside your career? Are your fans thinking about your red carpet looks? Are you considered for campaign work? If people aren’t thinking about you, you need to work on your brand.”
Nabilah Kariem – on her journey to becoming an influential figure in international modest fashion community, and the evolution of the content creation landscape.
Inspired by her love for fashion, this charismatic content creator has established an online presence in the modest fashion space. “In 2015, I was in my first year studying fashion design and modelling on the side. I wore a hijab, which I honestly thought would be the end of my modelling career (The idea of a model wearing a hijab wasn’t a thing yet).”
She’d already been using Instagram mainly to post images from her modelling work. “When I posted my first image of myself wearing a hijab, people noticed my page. That was when fashion media was dramatically shifting towards Instagram, and the multi-billion-dollar modest fashion industry was finding its voice. I somehow found myself right in the middle of it all, and consequently, my content started doing well on the platform.”
She married Sulaiman in 2016. They became business partners and devised a multi-year strategy for Nabilah to become a leading fashion content creator. “Sulaiman closed his small business; we went all-in.”
As the world continues to evolve, Nabilah says, “What inspires me most right now is the possibility of what I could still create, what I could still become. My success on social media has happened early in my journey as a creator, designer and storyteller, but I think it’s important it doesn’t become a distraction. It feels like I’m playing a 50-year game, so the rapid changes in social media and fashion landscapes over the next decade seem irrelevant.”
She isn’t afraid to experiment with content creation. “The Galaxy S21 Ultra was the first time Sulaiman and I seriously started using a smartphone for professional shoots instead of a DSLR camera. (That wasn’t because Samsung was my partner or sponsored our videos.) At the time, the Galaxy S21 Ultra was undoubtedly the best smartphone globally for creating images and film. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has only improved on those features.”
Kay Yarms – on the future of storytelling and her message for Youth Month.
What’s the future of storytelling? “Consumers want to feel something and connect with creators. I think we’ll see more creators being vulnerable. People will feel represented, which will positively impact how we live.”
It comes as no surprise the woman on her radar is Uncle Waffles, the DJ who became an instant sensation when a video of her went viral on Twitter. “I love her success story, how she was ready to meet her blessing with hard work and determination. That speaks to me.”
And her message for Youth Month? “Stay in your lane because everything happens as and when it should. Take each day as it comes, and don’t dwell on the past or future because the present is all you can control.”
Grab your digital copy of Glamour’s 2022 Youth Issue, here or pick up a physical copy in-stores nationwide on Monday, 23rd of May.