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Quick chat with Mandla; Life, Youth, Politics & #MenAreTrash.

#CAREERS: Mandla Dakada, dressed by SIMONI Exclusive Menswear Collection (Sandton), Sunnies by Dolce & Gabbana. Styled by Kay Khanye. | Interview by Lawrence Manyapelo


Double breasted blazer, tie & bracelets: SIMONI Exclusive. Sunnies: Dolce& Gabbana.

If you were to introduce yourself to the world, what would your intro be?

“I’m a communication serialist, based in Johannesburg with an excitement and hunger for sharing compelling African content. I believe in magic and my work tends to demonstrate that.”

You’ve also tapped into PR, what can share about PR?

“PR is a powerful tool with the ability to transcend all limitations through make-believe,  Perception is key. PR gives your the power to manipulate the minds of your audience. However your consumer / audience perceives you – that is true, perception and positioning is everything.”


Jacket, tie & bracelets: SIMONI Exclusive. Sunnies: Persol

As a 29 year old going into your 30s, what is changing?

“I am more intentional in my actions. Everything that I’m doing needs to be sustainable. I’m chasing longevity in everything that I’m doing. I have learned to let go of self-doubt, I trust and believe in my choices now more than ever, and my decisions are more long-term.”

What have you stopped doing?

“I’ve stopped tolerating energies that don’t resonate with me. In my journey, I need as much support as I can get for my dreams to work out. I don’t want anyone to make me doubt my sense of purpose, the possibility of my greatness or my decisions, so I’ve stopped listening to everything that everyone has to share. I’ve cut out a lot of negative ideas and illusions, I’m actively seeking positive motivation and inspiration.”

Is time running out?

“[Laughs] Time is running out but that is what keeps me moving forward. That is what stops me from procrastinating and complacency. The minute you become too relaxed you run the risk of not growing and that keeps me up at night.”

How important is spirituality to you?

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“Everything starts in the spiritual realm before it manifest in the physical world. God is a very important part of my life, I pray a lot and consult with my spiritual elders & leaders for guidance. Above everything else, it is my spiritual-self, my inner man that needs to survive and I’m obliged to care for him.”

While on inner men, what do you have to say about the #MenAreTrash Hashtag?

“I find the hashtag offensive. It saddens me that society sees men as trash, however, I believe in the intention and purpose of the hashtag. The hashtag provokes action, it provokes change. #MenAreTrash sparks a particular reaction in men. It inspires men to do better and to be better. I respect and believe in that, however, every now and then it hurts when someone says #MenAreTrash.”


Double breasted blazer, tie & bracelets: SIMONI Exclusive. Sunnies: Dolce& Gabbana.

Maps shared a tweet admitting “Yes we are Trash”.  What do you have to say?

“Collectively the reputation of men in South Africa is not at its best, so if a man is bold enough to admit that #MenAreTrash I applaud him. I’m still at a place where it freaks me out to publicly own the hashtag because that’s not what I want for men and my society; I want men to do better and we will only do better by being active vessels of change.”

It’s June 16, what advice do you have for the Youth?


Mandla Dakada, Checkered Blazer & bracelets: SIMONI. Sunnies: Persol.

“We need to always remember the shed blood it took for us to be here, we need to be protective of the legacy that is June 16. Let’s not ignore it or water down the great value that lies within the legacy of the Youth of yesterday. It’s a significant part of our history and it contributed a lot to where we are today. We’ve got access and opportunities that we would never have gotten had the youth of 1976 not stood up for what was right. We need to build onto that legacy, remembering that we have the responsibility of being change agents for those that come after us.”

What would you applaud the Youth for?

“Today’s Youth has an infectious resilience, we are audacious, intentional and unapologetic about the things we believe in; those are beautiful attributes that I celebrate about the Youth currently. I’d like to applaud the Youth for that. We are the brave generation and nothing is impossible for us.”

While on politics, what do you think about current state of governance in South Africa?


Double breasted blazer, tie & bracelets: SIMONI Exclusive. Sunnies: Dolce& Gabbana.

“The state of governance in South Africa currently is appalling. People don’t do much for the greater good. The cabinet focuses more on building its own pockets and forgetting that governance is more than just them, it’s a social responsibility. Selfishness and greed contributes a lot to where we are currently. A lot of our leaders talk a lot about radical economical change, a fancy phrase that doesn’t mean much for us on the ground. We are still in a very dark space, governance in South Africa needs healing. We need a new heir in leadership.”

“[Laughs] I feel like a need a break, where’s my tea? These questions are difficult, I’m forced to think.”

What do you think is the common challenge among young Entrepreneurs in South Africa right now?

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“Access and opportunity. Even after we’ve been give access and opportunities into particular markets and boardrooms, the poor level of commitment to processes and policies kills the spirit of entrepreneurship. When opportunities are granted, a great deal of the good intention is killed by the same system that is meant to accelerate our development and growth as young entrepreneurs. Additional to the need of capital, opportunity and access, we need committed administrators behind the systems. We need people that understand the importance of committing to delivering a smooth and supportive process to developing entrepreneurs.”

If you were in a position to solve these problems what would your basic approach be?

“[LAUGHS – I think I should be a mayor after this] My approach would be to cultivate ethical leadership and introduce/reinforce a culture of selfless leaders. Leaders who believe in the idea of collective leadership. Leadership as a collective, that’s where I’d start.”

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