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Tagged 4: Kayla Kim Kay

TikTok sensation Kayla Kim Meiring used the platform to catapult her loungewear, haircare and snack box ranges. The representation of coloured people is also an ethos she prizes
Thu, Dec 16, 2021

"Fame evolves continuously. Once upon a time you got fame as either royalty or a warrior or something in religion and the like. Even being on TV was once a new way to get fame. Now going viral gets one fame. There's no one way and you can't look down on new ways that develop," tweeted DJ Olwee.

I often speak about the clairvoyance of Andy Warhol and how we are currently living in a time he manifested – specifically his philosophy on how almost anyone will be able to be world-famous for 15 minutes making the phenomenon more accessible. But even then as they say 'the cream always rises to the top'. In this time of followers, TikTok views and influencers – Warhol foresaw the future.

As I prepare for my interview with TikTok star and entrepreneur Kayla Kim Meiring who has built a community of 'Hunays' on social media, I think of how much Warhol would have eaten her up, how she is proving to be relevant for more than 15 minutes, solidifying her position.

From her 1 million TikTok followers to her avant-garde pink style and cotton candy hair, the 29-year-old who found fame through short form dance videos and unique style, is a perfect depiction of what stars in 2021 look like and how they find fame.

"I never imagined that this would be a full-time thing, I was literally just an ordinary person working a 9-to-5 and then when Covid and our first lockdown hit, I started TikTok," says Meiring as she prepares for our tagged! 4 cover shoot.

"Watching other people's TikToks was a coping mechanism for me – I wasn't even posting my own in the beginning. I thought if I am getting this feeling from other people as a viewer, maybe I could also give other people that same feeling."

Like how most people of influence are born today, Meiring was just trying to create a safe space online for herself and boomed overnight.

Having studied fashion design and worked as a fashion buyer for some of our fave retailers, the influencer is making use of her impact as an entrepreneur building her own loungewear clothing line named after her stans – My Hunays – which also includes a hair care range.

"Working in fashion retail for six years is where I acquired the knowledge to start a business, the dream was always fashion I was one of those DIY kids."

The social media figure has learnt the art of making money off all the tiny quirks that her subscribers love her for, like her love for sushi and noodles. Her brand also includes a snack box of some of her faves.

"Pap and chakalaka is all the way at the top for me, but because I'm pescatarian people wonder how I am eating it with a veggie burger but I'm like I'm obviously not going to eat it with fish," she laughs. "It's crazy how people took a liking to me eating on camera."

Although the curly-haired cutie's content is light and fun, she hopes to be a figure of possibility for young girls of colour, specifically breaking all negative stereotypes among coloured girls.

"There is a lack of representation within the entertainment industry and influencer space for coloured girls. Growing up, I never had that role model and not because they weren't there but because it wasn't showcased to us.

"There are many talented coloured people that did not get the opportunity and social media wasn't around as much back then."

In eight months Meiring has been able to achieve all her goals on this journey thus far and although she doesn't have a strict production schedule, her strategy includes posting 14 TikToks a day.

"It's very unpredictable… It's literally just a feeling and I'm like, 'OMG I need to TikTok that'," something we saw happen a few minutes later as she got the crew on set to record a Nkao Tempela challenge.

"I'm not one of those to shy away from what my goals are… My hunays are mini versions of me – they aspire to reach their dreams, they are go-getters," turning me into a fellow hunay.

The tagged! 4 class member dreams of writing a book one day, but for now the next goal is to get a team together to handle her brand and all that comes with it.

CREDITS

Photography Legae 'Elle' Sehlako, David Motsomotso, Blackmilk Studios Cover Design and Art Direction Chelsea Pitt Styling Kgosi Lesego Makeup Kutlwano Segale Hair Peter Matlala Hair Assistant Slindile Motsa Grips, Data Handling Washington Nyanda Sound Wellington Nyanda Videography Sabelo Sokhela, Smegga, Nhlanhla Ndaba, Nathaniel Ledwaba Digi Photography Assistant Gudani Maswoliedza Production Assistant S'bo Gyre

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