Uncovering the Business of Music and Journalism with Yamkela Mdaka

We know that fashion and music go hand in hand. Just like wearing your favorite outfit brings you confidence and joy, singing and dancing can do the same effect. Fashion and music are a part of most people’s everyday life.
We’ve even witnessed this close link in business. Mafikizolo founding member Nhlanhla Nciza’s clothing brand NN Vintage, Rihanna styling a collection for Puma,.. Many musicians dip their toes into fashion.
But what about music and journalism? Can a grooming magazine editor be successfully launching a music career? 

Just one look at Yamkela and we knew the answer was Yes. Feather Awards judge, grooming editor of Destiny Man magazine and talented musician, we believe Yamkela Mdaka is raising the standard.

Yamkela, also known as Alek Blak, has always had a passion for songwriting. This passion lies so deep, he wants to offer the world the very best of his creativity. Exploring new sounds, lyrical styles and producing techniques. But how does a musician end up as a grooming magazine editor?

In 2013 he started a journalism and politics degree at Rhodes University. During his second year of studies, he landed a week internship at Destiny Man Magazine. “After majoring my second year, I realized I couldn’t go back to school.”

Eager to learn more, his gut feelings told him to work at Destiny Man magazine. Knowing that “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”, Yamkela took his courage and emailed a colleague he occasionally interacted with a couple of times. Turns out, this person was a major editor within the company. Soon he was out of school and working full-time at Ndalo Media, a publishing house for Destiny Man Magazine.

While most of his friends were living the varsity lifestyle, he was entering the workforce at 21. Developing new skillsets, analyzing work dynamics, Yamkela was striving to integrate his new work environment. He soon understood the importance of building relationships to launch a sustainable career. “You need to build relations and need to know people who will rally behind you when you make a mistake” he says.

All this hard work, while continuously working on his first love; music. He would write editorials during the day and write songs back home at night. Yamkela’s perseverance was lead by his strong belief in excellence. Fully aware of his tendency towards procrastination, he knew that in order to succeed he needed to walk the extra mile.

For him, raising the standards can be summarized by one word: excellence. Excellence in how you present yourself and how you collaborate with others. This translates in his work ethics by being reliable and always showing up.

Here’s to Yamkela raising the standard with excellence.

Threads Team

We believe in change. We believe in leaving a lasting impact. That's why threads mission is to empower the next of South African fashion entrepreneurs by providing them with the tools, resources, and networks to run a sustainable business operation and thrive internationally.