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MEET THE EDITOR

YourLuxury Africa welcomes a new editor next month. Ntokozo Maseko talks to us about media, luxury, and African luxury, in particular

By Ntokozo Maseko

ON THE EVOLVING WORLD OF MEDIA

As an 80s baby, I’m part of a unique sect of millennials some are calling ‘the bridge’ because we’ve lived through several critical shifts in political, societal, cultural and, most memorably, technological advances. We’ve seen the world move from using floppy discs to USBs to the cloud in one lifetime, so bridge millennials are fluent in change and quite invigorated by it. Media has taken me on a similar journey since my first taste over 15 years ago, and I’m optimistic about the changes that have occurred over the years.

I grew up at the peak of American and Western influence dominating the media landscape in South Africa, and now I get to not only consume but also produce content that is uniquely inspired by our own lived reality, and that’s incredibly exciting.

I’m also excited by the changes taking place in the world of publishing that make it a more diverse space where smaller players can enter the field and thrive, particularly in the digital sphere. I believe the more voices there are, the richer the experience for readers. Africa is primed to take charge of the world’s increasing gaze on us by owning how our narrative is depicted, and media most certainly will continue to play a pivotal role in recording this shift in the zeitgeist as it happens. I’m excited to be a part of that.

WHAT DOES THE NAME YOURLUXURY MEAN TO YOU?

I’m ignited by the YOUR in YourLuxury Africa. That’s the nerve centre of luxury in the 21st century; ownership and having agency over what you consume and how. The future of African luxury being tailored for us and by us is an exciting prospect for me. 

ON THE EVOLUTION OF LUXURY IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Luxury remains informed by the economic realities of the times, as well as the changing tastes and needs of consumers. In our post-COVID-19 reality, I believe luxury has become less a matter of smack-in-your-face consumerism and more of a hyper-personalised expression of comfort and relief. Things like time and the freedom to allocate it for relaxation and enjoyment, as well as health that goes beyond the physical body, have become as important in experiencing luxury as anything money can buy. Luxury now is hyper personalised and experiencing a much-needed conscious awakening as brands are increasingly compelled to consider the wider reality of climate change, carbon footprint and other aspects of sustainability. Luxury is evolving by virtue of having to be more considerate and considered, because in this economic climate, people are far more particular about value and how luxury makes life more liveable in small and large ways.

ON AFRICAN LUXURY

Our continent is the undefeated champion of birthing ingenuity and where colonialism normalised the act of exporting our genius, our originality and refined eye for beauty without crediting the source – this generation is on a restorative mission. Much of what is changing now in the luxury conversation is the cutting out of the middle man – we are rightfully labelling our impeccable legacy of invention and creativity with the names of the original makers. We have a big challenge ahead to reclaim the value chain of luxury-goods production on home soil, but the days of Africa ghost writing and prototyping luxury for the world to package without us are fading fast. We’ve always had something unique to show and must be bold in reclaiming our seat at the global table.

ON HER PERSONAL CONCEPT OF LUXURY

My idea of luxury is the ability to personalise and tailor. Whether it’s a hair style, a piece of jewellery or selecting car specs, the freedom to make something more intuitive to my tastes is a high form of luxury for me. We’re moving towards a not-so-distant future where vintage Magugu will hold its weight right next to vintage Dior, so owning something like that, that can tell a story over time without fading in quality, is also luxury to me. I didn’t grow up in a family with tangible heirlooms; I want my children and future generations of my family to own remnants of history that I personally lived to witness and managed to preserve for them. Lastly, owning even the smallest slice of time that I can speed up or slow down at will is an exceptional experience of luxury for me.

Image Credits:
Photographer: Mpumelelo Macu of Basement Pixels
Wardrobe: Connade
Makeup: Kallie Steenkamp of SOMA Makeup Artistry

Ntokozo Maseko

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