Humxns of UCT - Mziyanda Malgas

What makes Her Campus UCT so special and unique from the other chapters is that our members, writers, and students are incredibly diverse. Each person has something beautiful and interesting about them – a story to share, a talent, or an outlook on life. We’d like to celebrate our diversity by zooming in on individual’s stories, speaking to them about what they’re most passionate about and letting them shine on our platform. Whether it be just for a chuckle or to actually share some wise words, we’d like to introduce a new series to Her Campus UCT: Humxns of UCT.

This Humxn of UCT is Mziyanda Malgas, a second-year Gender Studies, Media & Writing and English Literature student. This is the full interview that was conducted to share her story over social media. This 20-year-old model, creative, and content creator humbly describes herself as “just a student who does many things on the side”. It is safe to say, that these “many things on the side” obviously refer to her being a whole entire skinny legend and the only girl able to pull off a signature ankle-grazer trouser, white socks and polo neck #lewk. Of course, it could also refer to her international collaborations with I-D Magazine, Louis Vuitton, ASOS and The New York Times, to name a few. Mziyanda’s success is reflective of her go-getter and unapologetic attitude which has allowed Mziyanda to ask for everything that she wants and get it every single time. Without further ado, I introduce to you, the queen herself. Alexa, play Nicki Minaj’s ‘Majesty’.

What is your biggest success so far?

My biggest success so far has been being able to showcase a representation for Black femme queer people. The campaigns such as Woolworths and New York Times are most definitely something I am very happy and proud about, but I always say that it’s less about Mziyanda and more about the representation which I never saw myself growing up. Showcasing that you can succeed and do what you love without having a massive family name pushing you and being self-made is possible - especially in South Africa!


Have your studies at UCT inspired you to use your voice as an influencer?

Definitely so! Gender studies is the best course I have ever taken and I tell everyone about it. The topics that are covered are so important especially in today’s world and the many aspects it goes into is incredibly interesting. I truly feel as though Gender Studies has opened up my eyes even more to the history and current issues that oppressed people face and just how it’s been structurally built over centuries to be that way. This year in English we have been studying and reading more African literature and reading about the struggle Black people have been going through for so many years has allowed me to love my Blackness even more and use my voice with the small platform I have to try and make some change where I can.


What is your favourite nostalgic 90s trend?

My favorite 90’s trend would have to be the fashion that pop icons such as Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and all the IT girls wore then - it was so messy and colourful but put together well and so telling of that time. I also really love looking at old ad campaigns from the 90’s and just seeing how extravagant they were.

Which looks can we expect to see you serving this spring?

This spring you can see me wearing less layers - winter was cute but I have had enough of dressing for 4 seasons in one day! My style changes all the time so I can’t really pinpoint specifics but I really am looking forward to wearing shirts buttoned down a bit and showing my chest - I find liberation in that because I always hated my body when I was younger because I never had the muscle that is often expected of all boys to have, but through fashion and experimentation I have learned to love it!

Are there any pop culture influencers you’re inspired by?

There are so many individuals who inspire me, funnily enough most of them are queer which is great but Fela Gucci and Desire Marea who make up the music group FAKA have been one of my biggest inspirations. They were the first true representation I saw of myself and I am very honoured to call them my sisters/close friends! My friends inspire me so much too and especially the youth doing great things and showcasing their unique creativity- I’m really excited about this generation and all the amazing changes we are going to make in this fragile world.

How do you balance being a working girl by day and social pop princess by night?

That is a very good question because I myself don’t know to be honest! I find that with doing courses that I really love, my schooling is always going to be a constant that I try work at and do well at. It’s all about balance really, these projects that come around do require a lot of thought and effort into and that does leave me feeling like I’m not putting in equal time to both schooling and other work but we all have the same 24 hours in a day and some people spend their free time watching series and sleeping and I use my free time trying to sleep but using my creative skills in other avenues too. I love being creative, it drives me so it does come naturally. And with the fun social life, that’s such a part of me as I love meeting people and dancing that it’s never something I have to think of too much, but there have been some things I’ve had to miss due to either being too overworked, sleep deprived and not trying to get that 5% deduction!!