Women in Tourism: Female Bloggers in the Bay

  • 27 August 2016 | By Anje Rautenbach

In the spirit of celebrating the sixtieth national Women’s month in South Africa - a day commemorating the 20 000 women who have marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in 1956 in protest against the apartheid laws - we are chatting to some of our local women in tourism in Nelson Mandela Bay. Today we talk some of our local female bloggers in the Bay, women who spend hours and hours to bring people the best in beauty, lifestyle, travel, fashion and parenting.

Megan Kelly - By Megan Kelly

Megan Kelly started blogging in hopes of creating a space where she could share her latest beauty finds, practical tips, tricks, and tutorials. After welcoming her son Axl, she found the inspiration to share her own stories and experiences as a first-time parent juggling the life of a work-at-home-mom fueled by chocolate, caffeine and an undeniable beauty addiction.

Tell us a bit more about your blog.

By Megan Kelly is a South African beauty, parenting and lifestyle blog bringing you the latest beauty reviews, parenting tips, lifestyle trends and promoting body confidence. My aim is to offer unique content – yep, no cookie-cutter reviews here – that delivers the latest in a way that is more accessible to the everyday woman who is budget conscious, practical and wanting to get the best value for her money. My hope is to empower women and moms from all walks of life with relatable content that gets you talking!

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

The friends that I have made along the way. The blogging community can be so supportive, encouraging and provides a place for me to learn a little from everyone. I have met some of my best friends through blogging – and to be honest, we haven’t even met IRL. I am so appreciative of that support system!

Are there any female bloggers in South Africa you look up to?

Yes! Many! Lydia from Greenlydia (obviously) because she stays true to who she is. She doesn’t change her content or use of language just to accommodate everyone else. In fact, when I read her posts – I hear Lydia. She puts thought into what she’s doing and embraces being the average traveller in every way possible, I love that her photos are true, she doesn’t go out of her way to have a perfectly styled photo, she just lives in the moment. It’s beautiful.

Natasha from The Rabbit Haus is another blogger who sticks to her voice. I lost track of her after she stopped writing Raising Men, but am so glad to have rediscovered her blog and am reminded all over again why I loved her blog so much. Natasha doesn’t sugar coat it which is what makes her blog so authentic and enjoyable. I often read her posts and applaud her for saying everything that I am already thinking – I hope to one day be as confident in my own abilities as she is, in hers.

Anja from Glitz and Grammar has been a long-time favourite. I love how she just embraces awkwardness, her rants are hilarious and in general, she is a badass that I have to meet one day.

Anje from Going Somewhere Slowly does an excellent job of transporting me to places that I will probably never get to see, but her writing is enough to take me there. I love that when I meet up for coffee with her, she has stories, experiences and a love for travel that comes through in everything she does. Anje is the epitome of following your passion and making it work for you. I admire that so much!

I know that I am forgetting many, but there is a community of bloggers who truly inspire me – you are all treasured and wonderful!

Which women have influenced you to be the person you are today?

I have so many powerful and independent women to thank for moulding me into the woman that I am. From my gran, mom and incredible teachers who have all in some small and sometimes grand way, encouraged me to grow into the woman that I am today.

I am proud to be a South African woman because…

I have the opportunity and freedom to follow my dreams and aspirations!

If you can leave one thought with the young women of South Africa during Women’s Month, what would it be?

Don't just be someone who survives life, but someone who conquers life.

You can find Megan Kelly on her blog at www.megankelly.co.za, and on social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


Luchae Williams - My Spreadsheet Brain

Luchae Williams of ‘My Spreadsheet Brain’ blog claims that her introduction to blogdom started when she found her knack in writing extremely long Facebook “notes”. Her blog focuses on life as a young wife and mom, with amusing anecdotes which she calls #parenthacks and #marriagehacks. She also chats about her ever growing nail art repertoire and is an avid music lover, singer and songwriter. Luchae is a regular music reviewer for online publication Gateway News and is a contributor for JStar Magazine. Together with Eleanor Douglas-Meyers of Just Ella Bella, Luchae co-host’s the official #ECMeetUp – a well attended Eastern Cape based blogger convention.

Tell us a bit more about your blog.

My blog is called My Spreadsheet Brain and I chat about life as a young mom and wife, featuring #parenthacks #nailart tutorials and #marriagetips, with a special dash of REAL.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I love that I get to overshare in a space that is my own.

Are there any female bloggers in South Africa you look up to?

I’m the hugest fan of Cassan Lee Ferguson of Leather Jacket Foxes and find Cindy Alfino’s 3Kids2Dogs1OldHouse humour hilarious.

Which women have influenced you to be the person you are today?

My grandmothers and mother have played a pivotal role in who I am today.

I am proud to be a South African woman because...

We have learnt to stand up for what we believe in, through the actions of our forefathers. South Africa’s history plays a big role in who we are, as a people and it is in the strength and humility of its women, that you will find the true heart of our country.

If you can leave one thought with the young women of South Africa during Women’s Month, what would it be?

Be who you are called to be!  God has placed purpose inside every one of us and it’s our duty to discover who that purpose is and to pursue it!

You can find Luchae Williams on her blog at www.myspreadsheetbrain.co.za, and on social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


Paula Jones - Penelope & Bella

Paula Jones is a working mom to four teens, a wife to a pediatrician, and part-time maternity wear designer. You'll find her over at Penelope & Bella - a mom blog with a shop.

Tell us a bit more about your blog

My blog is essentially a momblog, where I talk about life as a mom and offer parenting tips that have worked for me. I enjoy interacting with other moms, and this is what inspired me to start the blog. So often we think we're alone in experiencing the trials of parenthood, and we forget that sharing with other moms reminds us that we are not alone in this.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I love the creative side of blogging. I enjoy putting an article together, sourcing a suitable image and finalising the design to fit in with the rest of my site. What I love most of all though, is when my readers interact with me by way of comments etc - it's nice to know there is someone out there!

Are there any female bloggers in South Africa you look up to?

I would probably say Sam Posselt - although she's more of a social media specialist. I often turn to her if I have questions about social media, Google rules and regulations and general online "stuff"!

Which women have influenced you to be the person you are today?

Most definitely my mom! She taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to. I think she's also taught me to be a fairly objective person, I like to consider all angles before I make up my mind about something - which has its pitfalls too, as I'm probably one of the most indecisive people I know!

If you can leave one thought with the young women of South Africa during Women’s Month, what would it be?

You are worth so much more than you believe! Never let anyone stifle your personality or your character, and allow yourself the confidence to be able to identify these behaviours when you see them. You were fearfully and wonderfully made, and that's not worth changing for anyone or anything.

You can find Paula Jones on her blog at www.penelopeandbella.com, and on social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


Odette Johaar - O So Inspired

Odette Johaar is a twenty something from the beautiful coastal city of Port Elizabeth. She describes herself as just a woman with an opinion and a love for chocolate and pretty things. As a creative individual with a passion for various art forms, Odette enjoys spending her free time doing crafts, photography, graphic design and writing. She is the blogger behind the lifestyle blog O so inspired.

Tell us a bit more about your blog.

O so inspired (OSI) started off as a haircare and beauty blog, which I wrote as a hobby. Soon I incorporated posts on music, books and other lifestyle topics. Nelson Mandela Bay has so much beauty, and there's so much happening in the Bay that I've decided to rebrand OSI and post about the Bay.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

The sense of community. Blogging has allowed to meet so many wonderful people, both online and in real life.

Are there any female bloggers in South Africa you look up to?

There are many. Firstly there's my group of blogger friends. They're all so supportive, if any one needs help or advise there's always someone to assist. I'm also inspired by Anja van der Spuy, the blogger behind Glitz and Grammar. I often read her posts, wishing I was as witty as she. Anja is not afraid of being different in her blogging style.

Women's Month in South Africa is...

An important reminder that we, as women make an important contribution to society and that we do not need to change who we are to do it.

Which women have influenced you to be the person you are today?

My mother is one of the biggest influences in my life. She has pushed me to do well at school, university and at work.

I am proud to be a South African woman because...

We are strong. South African women have overcome many tribulations, and this has opened up many doors for women and young girls.

If you can leave one thought with the young women of South Africa during Women's Month, what would it be?

It is okay to be different. It is okay not want what everyone else wants in life. Trying to fit into society's mould of what it is to be a woman, might make you unhappy and your happiness should always be the most important thing in your life.  

You can find Odette on her blog at www.osoinspired.com, and on social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

 

Miriam Maulana - New Kid on the Block

Miriam Maulana is a Zimbabwean girl and Rhodes University Graduate  living in Port Elizabeth.  She is a passionate feminist who loves her wine and coffee,  and she is a self-proclaimed foodie and an avid reader. She runs the blog NEWKIDONTHEBLOCK that is aimed at inspiring women to be the best they can be. She wants to empower women to be themselves without fear of judgement. To love what they love and not have to worry about society’s prescriptions of gender roles

Tell us a bit more about your blog.

New Kid On the Block is a lifestyle blog that has a focus on Beauty, Skin Care, Healthy Living (mental, emotional and physical) health and anything travel. They are so many topics women would rather not discuss out of fear of being seen as either vain or too feminine. New kid on the block wishes to motivate and drive its readers. It is aimed at empowering the 21st century woman. You can still love makeup and know how to spell. It’s about realising that the difficulties you might be facing aren’t your own and there is nothing to be ashamed off. It’s about driving each other, supporting each other and being there for each other. Your online besty!!!

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

The creative process, seeing that the work I’ve done is helping someone, inspiring someone, moving some woman in South Africa and other arts of the world. Photography is a passion of mine which is why I’ve started a photography business because bringing objects to life and the ability to share people’s special moments gives me joy.

Are there any female bloggers in South Africa you look up to?’

Megan Kelly from By Megan Kelly, Luzanne from Pink Peonies Blog and Cythnia Gwebu from Estrelaevra.com

Which women have influenced you to be the person you are today?

My mother has been my greatest inspiration. She has taught me and continues to teach me what it means to be an independent and strong woman. She has been there for me and one day my hope is to become half the woman she is today.

If you can leave one thought with the young women of South Africa during Women’s Month, what would it be?

Don’t ever feel like you have to be anyone you aren’t. Feel free to explore the world. Find your passion and chance your dreams. The world is yours to conquer. Do not allow anyone to make you feel less than brilliant and amazing, do not allow anyone to abuse you or make you feel like you don’t deserve the best. It’s about you and YOU are beautiful.

You can find Miriam on her blog at www.newkidontheblock.co.za, and on social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


Nadine Rose Larter  Passing the Open Windows

Nadine Rose Larter is a writer, a wife, and a home schooling mom of three. Her passions include reading, writing fiction, travel, photography, and cuddling with her cats. Most days she can be found at home taking care of her family, but every now and then she disappears on magical adventures which she subsequently overshares on Instagram.

Tell us a bit more about your blog.

It seems that rule number one when it comes to blogging is “have a niche” but I have to admit that I don’t have one. My blog tends to reflect the multidimensional chaos of life. It is filled just as much with the excitement of adventure as it is with the mundane parts of day-to-day life. I like to think that my goal is to be able to call myself a “real” travel writer at some point, but the truth is even if my blog ends up 90% travel one day, it’s still going to include the odd rant about social injustice, and probably a couple of gushy posts about whatever fandom has overtaken my life at any given point.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I love when you pour your soul out, feeling unsure of yourself but knowing that you need to say something, and then having someone come back and say me too. Blogging can be such a great reminder that we are not alone in our doubts and fears and frustrations, and sharing those things kind of lightens the burden. 

Are there any female bloggers in South Africa you look up to?

Anje Rautenbach from Going Somewhere Slowly. She is so naturally and unapologetically on an adventure. I love it. She’s all over the place, telling fun stories, taking gorgeous pictures, and just beautifully strolling through her own life and sharing it with the rest of us.

Women’s Month in South Africa is…

A celebration of something profound! While advertising companies would have us believing that women’s month is about spoiling women with something pink that smells like flowers, it’s really a celebration of something that proves that great things happen when you let the women take over!

Which women have influenced you to be the person you are today?

Me. I influenced who I am. Maybe that sounds arrogant, but I work on me. I learn so much from women around me all the time - especially writers (JK Rowling, Margaret Atwood, Aimee Bender, Sarah Addison Allen) but it is I who chooses to implement that influence. I think the moralities of others definitely imprint themselves on us, whether consciously or subconsciously, but we have to be open to that. We ourselves are the biggest influence on who we are.

I am proud to be a South African woman because…

Have you seen our womenfolk? We are so beautiful! So diverse! So capable!

If you can leave one thought with the young women of South Africa during Women’s Month, what would it be?

It really is okay to be whoever you are. I think sometimes it takes us women a little longer than necessary to understand that. But it is okay! And once you realise it your life finally gets to be real.

You can find Nadine on her blog at www.passingtheopenwindows.co.za, and on social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


Gabriella Groepe - Luna Life Magazine

Gabriella Groepe better known as Luna is a PE blogger, Economics Graduate and 2nd Year Media Student with a love for fashion, food, home decor and travel. Her blog tells of the witty stories of her adventures, mishaps and life lessons. She has a passion for videography and photography as well creating content that is relevant, fun and valuable to all ages. She prides herself on being well rounded as a creative, dabbling in Graphic design and Layout as well as Music and cultural exploration. 

Tell us a bit more about your blog.

My blog is about affordable living and spoiling yourself now and then. My blog has a bit of everything from Beauty To Hair care as well as fashion tips for the vintage shopper. I love cooking so there are easy recipes for those learning to cook.  Restaurant reviews are my absolute favorite so showing off some good food is a must on my blog. I like to call it a growing up guide. My niche is every niche my creative mind can comprehend, I love writing about anything and everything.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

Getting to meet other creatives and exploring avenues I wouldn't have otherwise. 

Are there any female bloggers in South Africa you look up to?

 Yes, so many but mostly Angie Batis Durrant Lucky Pony, Anna-Belle Durrant She Said and Lucy Sarah Heaney Lucy Sarah.

Which women have influenced you to be the person you are today?

 My mother, Jane Austen and Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac. 

I am proud to be a South African woman because…

My country has given me a culture like no other. 

If you can leave one thought with the young women of South Africa during Women’s Month, what would it be?

Be bold and never allow others to determine what you can and cannot do no matter how silly dancing in the rain looks, go for it. 

You can find Luna on her blog at www.lunalifemagazine.com, and on social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

 

Natasha Nathoo Joel - Journey with Mum

Natasha Nathoo - Joel, (also known as Zaahida to her family) is an ambivert, blogger and multi passioned entrepeneur with 3 small kids who she homeschools. She has been teaching translation of The Holy Quraan and Traditions and various other subjects for 6 years after studying  Arabic Language Sciences and Islamic Studies for 5 years. As a youngster, she has always had a flair for arts, creativity and a love for reading, research, writing and technology. She finally put all these ideas together when she started her blog Journey With Mum in May 2016 in which she blogs about parenting, birth, breastfeeding, wellness and the life of a work at home mum.  

Tell us a bit more about your blog.

My blog is a South African parenting and wellness blog. I help families live healthier lives and raise happy, healthy and whole children. I want to provide a network and platform where new moms  can find support and advice, a place where all moms can share their hilarious, crazy, chaotic, sad and beautiful parenting moments with other moms so that we can all realise that we are not the only ones going through these types of moments. I see my blog as a resource hub with practical advice/tools for mums who want to breastfeed and have natural childbirth, and mums who want to work/stay at home and look after their kids.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

 I love learning about web development and graphic design, I love meeting and collaborating with new people and being able to put my ideas - which have been kept to myself for years -  out there and share them with people who are passionate about the same things. 

Are there any female bloggers in South Africa you look up to?

Megan Kelly Botha of By Megan Kelly and Sam Posselt of Speaker of Hashtags and SABizchat

Which women have influenced you to be the person you are today? 

My late mum who always thought of the next person and never judged people and my mum in law, who always helps me put life's trials and lessons into perspective and help me look at the bright side.

If you can leave one thought with the young women of South Africa during Women’s Month, what would it be?

We cannot sit back and wait for change to come about, we have to be the change that we want to see, and raise our kids and future generation to be good individuals, who will in turn make up a good community. A woman rocks a baby in her one hand and mankind in the other.

You can find Natasha on her blog at www.journeywithmum.com, and on social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

 

Sarah Dirsuwei - Chasing The Rainbow

Sarah is a full-time mom of three teenage and pre-teen sons. She is also a full-time businesswoman. And a full-time wife. She does so many things full-time that she started a blog focusing on travelling with her family to make sure that the time this family does spend together in between school, work, homework, lifting and studying is loads of fun – after all, this is what life is about! You will find Sarah and her family chasing their rainbow every minute they have together - making videos and writing about their adventures as they explore the world.

Tell us a bit more about your blog.

Chasing the Rainbow focusses on travelling and having adventures together as a family. Travel is something that our family love doing together and our blog makes us get up off the couch, put our devices down and go out there looking for adventure – chasing our rainbow. Through our fun YouTube videos and humorous blog posts we hope to inspire other families to do the same, and go out and make their own happy family memories.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

Kids grow up so fast, it seems like just yesterday that our teens were toddlers. Not only does our blog facilitate fun family times, but it also documents all the happy memories of the kids growing up. As a business women, it is hard to balance work and family, and our blog has made me focus on making sure we enjoy loads of quality family time together.

Are there any female bloggers in South Africa you look up to?

Oh yes, so many. I am a huge fan of travel doyenne Kate Turkington. When I grow up, I want to be just like her. At the age of eighty something, she is loving life and exploring the world, often with her grandkids in tow. What an inspiration! Here in Nelson Mandela Bay, I am particularly inspired by Anje Rautenbach from Going Somewhere Slowly – she is a fantastically talented young writer and I love reading her humorous take on the world.

Women’s Month in South Africa is…

A lovely opportunity to celebrate being a woman in South Africa. There are so many inspirational women in our country, who just get on with things – making a daily difference to those around them, no matter how big or small. Its lovely to dedicate a month to each and every woman, and in so doing to share stories about phenomenal everyday challenges and successes.

Which women have influenced you to be the person you are today?

My mom has been a huge influence on me. She taught me to be confident in who I am and to tackle life with common sense. I have grown up believing that I can do anything I set my mind on. Thanks Mom!

I am proud to be a South African woman because…

We are such an integral part of this lovely colourful rainbow nation of ours. Our country has lots of challenges, and we as women are all able to make a positive difference to someone around us.

If you can leave one thought with the young women of South Africa during Women’s Month, what would it be?

You are lovely and you are perfect just the way you are. Embrace being a woman, and be confident in your abilities to brighten the lives of those around you.

You can find Sarah on her blog at www.chasingtherainbow.net, and on social media: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

 

Eleanor Douglas-Meyers - Just Ella Bella

Eleanor Douglas-Meyers is a journalist and videographer (according to the diploma on her mom's wall) who spends her days freelance writing, doing design and layout for the local paper, running a custom hand crafted kids gifting business, blogging, co-organising the #ECMeetup and pretending to be a grownup. She even has a husband and son to complete the full adulting look.

Tell us a bit more about your blog.

I guess justellabella is a DIY mom blog. I love sharing tips and tricks and crafting, oh so much crafting.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I love the world blogging has opened me up to, the people I have met and constantly learning new things.

Are there any female bloggers in South Africa you look up to?

There are quite a few actually. It depends on what I'm looking for...Each niche has its leading lady.

Which women have influenced you to be the person you are today?

I come from a family of strong women, with my mom leading the pack. She has overcome so much adversity in her life but continues to grow,learn and be there for others it is truly inspiring.

I am proud to be a South African woman because…

Of the sisterly support system around me, I can do anything I put my mind to because there is always someone who has my back

If you can leave one thought with the young women of South Africa during Women’s Month, what would it be?

It would be to dream big. NEVER let self doubt limit you, failure is needed in life, because without it success would be much less sweeter.

You can find Eleanor on her blog at www.justellabella.co.za, and on social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

 

Compiled by Anje Rautenbach, travel blogger at Going Somewhere Slowly. Follow her journeys around South Africa on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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