Mwende Ngao is a creative entrepreneur who has carved a niche as a digital content creator, writer, blogger filmmaker and podcaster. She is also the lead editor at Zeda Magazine, an online lifestyle magazine for the youthful African woman.
What drove you to blogging?
It was actually a natural progression from using Facebook notes about a decade ago. I used to write long notes and with time I discovered blogging.
I had a random blog on blogspot for a while before I switched to my own domain, mwendengao.com, about six years ago.
So, it was mostly personal essays and creative writing before I started on what I mostly do now; lifestyle and cultural content.
Tell us about your new podcast, ‘Mwende Says’.
I have wanted to start a podcast for a few years now, but never quite had the time.
The Covid-19 period gave me time to work on things I’d left on the back burner and that included my podcast.
I wanted to find a home to expand my thoughts outside of the blog and social media. It tackles all things life; from mental health to menstrual wellness and travel.
It’s a weekly podcast, so it’s been quite a challenge to keep at it, but I’m proud to be two months in and consistent.
How would you describe your style?
Afro-Parisian Chic. I like a style that looks effortless; one that doesn’t seem as if you’re trying too hard.
I focus on statement pieces such as bold jackets and blazers and a wardrobe with versatile pieces including dresses, blouses and pants that can be mixed and matched to produce a variety of looks.
I add a touch of African style elements into my looks through accessories, prints or hair, and keep my make-up natural, but with my signature red lip.
What five curvy girl essentials would you recommend?
Great underwear, flattering dresses, a good pair of jeans, jackets and coats and heels.
What’s your take on the ‘Buy Kenya Build Kenya’ initiative in regards to fashion?
It’s a good initiative. There’s a huge opportunity here to build the fashion industry.
There are a growing number of Kenyan brands that have quality clothes I shop from including IKOJN and Wangari Mathenge, and I’m excited to see the possibilities.
I look forward to the cost of production going down so that more Kenyans can afford Kenyan brands.
What’s your latest beauty discovery?
My beauty regiment, which is actually pretty simple. I just have cleanser, toner, moisturiser, sunscreen, masks and serums.
Make-up is pretty natural with just a little concealer, mascara and a bold red or nude lip.
Your biggest wardrobe malfunction would be?
Thankfully nothing major. I was at a black tie event once and one of my heels just came off.
I had to hobble to the reception of the hotel and they were kind enough to look for superglue and help reattach the heel. That managed to get me through the rest of the evening.
What’s your most surreal fashion experience so far?
I had a great time shopping my look and getting ready for the Möet party in 2019. The reception was great and I definitely nailed it!
Your most comfortable indoor looks are?
I love deras and satin pajama sets. I’m also wearing tracksuits, joggers and cute tees.
Who do you consider the greatest fashion icon?
Rihanna is the standard for millennial fashion icon. Her style is daring and memorable.
One should shop for what’s trendy or what works best for them?
Start with what works for you and what you like before you look at what’s on trend. Trends come and go, but if you focus on creating your perfect personal style, you’ll be nailing it every time.