Phendu Kuta is the founder of Unlabelled, an online South African youth culture magazine for which she now acts as creative director, editor and stylist. Through Unlabelled, she aims to encourage youth to embrace their unique identity while offering a fresh perspective on what it means to be young in SA. Phendu also founded a jewellery business in 2011, while completing her studies at Lisof. Upon graduating, she immersed herself in the fashion industry –she was project manager for the International Fashion Sale’s 50 Young Designers and in late 2013, she became a visual merchandiser for the international brand Mango. In 2014 Phendu took a leap both personally and professionally; she resigned and set to work on pursuing her own dreams and so, Unlabelled was born.
My Definition Of Success | Success to me means fulfillment in your career, waking up and feeling like you are adding value and creating impact. Success doesn’t always equate to being established, it is also about appreciating your journey and being relentless about making it. If you believe that you are going to make it, it will happen.
I Am Driven By | My will and desire to succeed. I believe that I have a great purpose, I haven’t accomplished it yet, but I am on my way to accomplishing it.
A Key Talent | I think my positive and calm nature has equipped me more than anything else to be where I am currently. Ambition plays a huge part but I definitely would not be able to handle some of the things I’ve gone through, if I wasn’t a calm and positive person. I’ve developed calmness through being centred, I constantly push myself to be in the moment and stay present. In that way, I don’t let my thoughts run my life, I live my life according to what I feel instinctively and spiritually. I believe that positivity is a choice, just like contentment or happiness, so I’ve always chosen to have a more positive outlook on life. I’ve developed these traits by facing simple facts, which are – you can either choose to let everything that has happened to you make you a victim or you can choose to be a winner, it’s that simple.
Critical Skills I Develop | My people skills and my ability to see what is the next big thing. I definitely appreciate learning and constant self improvement. I value quality and I think most people do and that’s why they appreciate what I do.
Lessons I Have Learnt | Stay humble. I know I’m not an icon or one of the greats yet in my industry, but even when I do reach iconic status (which I know I will), I will always want to remain humble. Take time to appreciate even the smallest victories as gratitude is important. Know what is important and what isn’t, who is important and who’s opinion doesn’t really matter. Know yourself and know what you want, if you don’t, anything will come at you.
Dealing With Doubt | I’m still learning how to deal with self-doubt. I constantly question myself and my decisions. It’s not that I don’t trust myself, I’m just a perfectionist which is in itself quite self defeatist at times. Fear is something I constantly push myself to come face to face with. I know the things I fear and I know I will overcome those fears soon enough because I believe that fear is deception and an illusion created by the mind. We were not made to live in fear.
The Meaning Of Life | God and love is the meaning of life.
The Best Advice I’ve Received | Don’t listen to negative people. I am a great listener and I think through listening you can learn a lot from others, but sometimes you need to develop a listening filter to filter out the nonsense. I don’t know how many times I’ve been told I’m not good enough at something or I can’t achieve something; most times I’ve proven the naysayers wrong.
On Inspiring Others | You can see talent when you spot it, stars have a spark. In order to keep them, you need to show that you believe in them and their abilities. Be attentive. Inspire them to see the bigger picture and keep them involved. Lastly, create a fun working environment.
The Legacy I Would Like To Leave | I would like to leave a legacy that can stand the test of time. I want to make a great difference and I want that to be reflected in the strength of my legacy.