A typical day in Monde Mtsi’s life involves travelling to the city centre and setting up a satellite office anywhere he can find wi-fi.
“Town is the most convenient place. The city delivers what it needs to deliver,” he says.
Monde, a blogger, writer and fashion designer and stylist, lives in Langa, but commutes to the city centre daily.
“It’s central, and I need to be where people from my industry are – designers, photographers, boutiques and the nightlife.”
Monde was born and raised in Langa. He did a fashion course at CPUT in Cape Town, then received a scholarship to do brand communication in Johannesburg where he lived for three years before returning home when his dad fell ill.
“My dad suffered a stroke, so I had to come back to man the household. I had to find the first job I could to support the household, and that was as a call centre agent at Old Mutual.”
During his time at Old Mutual, Monde obtained qualifications in public relations management and marketing management.
Then he was ready to move on and spread his wings.
He put out an advertisement on Gumtree, and soon after, received a response from a media company based in Paarl which hired him as a PR officer.
He worked there for seven months.
“I enjoyed it, but I needed to be in an agency environment as opposed to a corporate environment, where I could engage with people and network, so I applied elsewhere, but this time in advertising. I loved that too, but I missed fashion so much, so I resigned and did some soul searching for a month to build my personal brand.”
Monde then started a fashion blog called Renaissance Man, which progressed really well, and is now registered as a company.
“I was featured in one of the big magazines for being one of the new voices in men’s fashion, and was also chosen to be one of two ambassadors for a big eyewear brand.
“Also, while blogging, I did some freelance PR work and wrote for publications, covered events for my blog and did some styling for photo shoots.”
Asked what his job title was, Monde says: “I’d say I’m an information designer.
“ It took some figuring out, but basically I research and gather information and design it the best way possible for people to understand it.”
Monde says he is grateful for the CBD because wi-fi access is widely available.
“I come to the city centre every day and wherever is good, I set up and that will be my satellite office for the day.
“Basically I come to town, find a space, then I answer my emails and go through my to-do list. Thereafter, whatever I need to do for the day, be it a clothing drop off; meeting a designer or photographer; visiting a new boutique; or researching for an article I’m writing for a blog or magazine or do my daily walkabouts – I get all my work done from the city centre.
“I love the city because although it’s the central business district, it’s not all business. You can socialise as well, which makes networking and engaging with other creatives easier.”
However, he says, the walking routes in Cape Town could be improved, with more signage and more visibility so that people feel safer, adding that the Central City Improvement District guards are helpful. Monde feels the city centre lacks affordable co-working spaces, where a creative can “rent a chair” and not pay an arm and a leg.
“An idea is to create working spaces in public to promote creative communities.
“For example, even if they put wi-fi and a table in the Company’s Garden, it encourages people to sit and then also helps to give a platform to engage with one another and meet other up-and-coming entrepreneurs and young creatives.”