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INTERVIEW: Actor, Model & Reality TV Star, Bonginkosi Ndima Talks Why He Started Bongs Ndima Foundation, Men’s Mental Health, Brand Influencing, and More…

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INTERVIEW: Actor, Model & Reality TV Star, Bonginkosi Ndima Talks Why He Started Bongs Ndima Foundation, Men’s Mental Health, Brand Influencing, and More…

Bonginkosi Ndima, 35 yrs old currently based in Johannesburg, but born in KwaZulu-Natal (Eshowe), is an Athlete, Reality TV star, qualified personal trainer, socialite, brand Influencer and a qualified online video editor.

Bonginkosi as been involved in two local reality shows (Tropika Island of the Treasure Season 7 in 2016 and Barone Manhunt Season 3 in 2013) and as made TV appearances and acting in a few local telenovelas like; “Zabalaza”, “The Queen” and “Isithembiso” to name the few. He is currently working on a huge campaign as brand ambassador with @Me1st, plus a brand Ambassador for @EjectWear and literally made the brand a household name using his platform to reach as many people as possible.

Check out my interview with Bonginkosi below;

Hey Bongs! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Bonginkosi Ndima, born and bread in a small town, Eshowe in KwaZulu Natal. Am 35 yrs old. Am a qualified online video editor and I hold a diploma as well in Fitness. I worked as a Personal Trainer for Virgin Active and before that I was a video editor for Times Media.

Been on 2 reality shows both on big platforms, Barone Manhunt (SABC 1) 2013 where I was a runner-up and then 2016 I was on the Tropika Island of the Treasure (SABC 3) and we won this one where I was teamed up with Anga Makhubalo aka. NaakMusiq.

Talk me through an average day in the life of you?

Oh well some days are crazy busy and some are just chilled. But in any given day we still put in the work. Whether is towards the foundation which am running or just gym. Which must be done at least 5 times a week. But to answer you my day start with a cup of coffee doesn’t matter how early it is, its my life giver.

Tell us more about “Bongs Ndima Foundation” and why you decided to set it up?

Bongs Ndima Foundation is a registered NPO which was founded in August 2019. The organisation core existence is to address and create awareness around depression and anxiety amongst men in South Africa. The organizations core objectives is to provide a platform for talks and to embark on road shows where we are engaging with males, with the hope of them opening up and sharing their problems. Part of our functions is to create a holistic space where male individuals can come to seek help but also feel safe to engage in talks with our in house therapists/ psychologists and to tackle depression through fitness, creative activities etc.

Reason for all of this men are groomed to be strong, to keep their emotions in check, not to show any weakness. But with current life pressures we cant expert men to be these rocks. This has been evident with the number of suicides that are on the rise and gender based violence men need to heal, for them to become better.

Do you think men’s mental health is a serious issue in South Africa and extension Africa?

It has never before been more serious, we are surrounded buy many broken men. And mostly they’ve went through so much pain and trauma. Yet they are still expected to be strong, loving and heading homes. But hoe are they suppose to be heading anything when the designated leader is also broken? The rise in gender based violence is another apparent evidence that lot of man are not coping well in life and very unfortunate those around them tend to suffer a lot. So we say at Bongs Ndima Foundation, its time to open up, share your feelings, let go and heal.

You are a young entrepreneurial minded guy. How do you balance your personal and professional life?

We all have one life and the best thing one can do is to try and live it to the best possible way they can, which means going out but also be mindful of other elements that might impeach on your career. Gym for me is the centre of everything. Keep  the stress away and my mind sharp, so I can be at my best level when it comes to work. And come weekend ill still be popping when it comes to leisure time.

You have made a few TV appearances and acting roles in some local telenovelas, Zabalaza, The Queen and Isithembiso to name the few. How as acting been so far?

This has been quite an exciting and challenging journey for me. But one thing I have learned is that everything that happens in our lives is a preparation for the next level. This door for me opened after appearing on the first reality show. I was still unpolished then and a bit shy so nothing much was going to come of that, but later more opportunities came and I started gaining my confidence and got more comfortable. Since the Tropika Reality show I have appeared in bigger stages. I’ve been on Zabalaza, The Queen Mzansi and my biggest role as yet was on Isithembiso S2.

Last time I interviewed you were the Face of Eject Wear brand, now you are a brand ambassador for “Me1st”, how did you get the deal and what campaigns are you currently working on with them?

First it was Ejectwear which is a brand of underwear, wow was I stretched here? Coming from a reserved family and now on a national and international stages, cause the brand grew started making waves in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast even London. I was the first black face and brand ambassador to be heading the campaigns and modelling. I was still shy here but I had to let go and face my fears, there was lot of nudity, I mean its underwear how else to market it? Lol

Then became brand ambassador for Asian beaded bracelets this was not just normal bracelets it was one of those sort of bracelets esch piece went for $150. They had to end the partnership as they felt they were not attracting the required targets in SA.

And then Me1st, this was more essential and it was great initiative. We were basically mandated with educating men sleeping with other men about HIV/ AIDS to get tested and to know their  status. I learned a lot as well from it. About sexuality and it drew a lot of attention as most people were not familiar with such talks on national platform. So it also boosted my public image.

You have been involved in 2 local reality shows and In 2017 you were part of the winning team of you and singer NaakMusiq of “Tropika Island of Treasure show”. How does it feel to be crowned part of the winning team?

I have answered this a bit…but I must say the show is big in SA. Very popular…you get noticed as most people follow it closely. And you immediately become popular. So winning was definitely a greatest and not forgetting a financial boosts each of us took home half a million rands.

How often do you go to the gym and how many hours do you spend while you there?

Gym am there at least 5 times a week. Time spent depends on my how my day is structured if am busy an hour is enough if I have time 2 hours in more enough.

What would you say is the main misconception the public have about fitness trainers?

Funny enough most people they seem to be forgetting that its a job and a business. That we also have bills to pay. Yes we followed our passion and made something out it but that doesn’t mean will train someone for free or worse to be paid in kind. Lol

Its a very demanding job, you first have to get yourself to look good then focus on other people to also their dreams as well. Though some trainers don’t seem to be taking it serious.

What aspect surprised you the most once you started the foundation?

Our brothers are going through a lot out there and most they feel no one really understands. Its going to be a long process but am glad I have created such platform most are slowly opening up and are ready to heal and become better. But most guys are not as strong as they pretend to be, and they are hurting. So my advise will be please check on your friends especially the strongest ones in the group.

Tell us two things people don’t know about you?

Wow! This was good a my lil secret now its going to be out there.

  1. I am actually shy guy. Most people don’t believe me even when I tell them until they meet me. At least at first this is very evident. But after a while I let go and be comfortable.
  2. I talk a lot. Ha ha ha. And this will be largely connected to how much am comfortable around or with the person in most cases I take my corner and just observe.

You interact with alot of people from different walks of life and still growing number of followers on social media Over 46K on Instagram, Twitter over 5K and Facebook over 10K. Do you think its important to be online and if so why?

This has became the place to be whether you are an artist, brand now even corporate is also turning to social media to announce their presence. World has shifted now most people are online. So yes to be present on social media can be advantage to anyone who wants to be noticed or heard. I mean I got some of my gigs because of my social media presence. Getting the numbers is the test, you have to be unique and keep your followers engaged. It can be a job on its own but it terms of branding its essential in your growth. I am on 46k on instagram, it comes with a sense of responsibility. You need to be careful what you post cause you have a lot of people who will see that, this can be a good thing and bad incase you posted something negative.

You are currently based in Johannesburg, but born and bread in KZN. How is that working out for you?

Look at first it was hard, being away from home is not nice. But i had to quickly get used being alone and independent. Coming to Joburg was necessary for financial  growth and finding myself. Then there was my son, i think i started missing home more now that he was around. But it was an informed decision to keep him back home, as am constantly busy and a single parent.

What are your must visit travel destinations?

I love islands so this time ill be biased. First one will have to be Maldives islands. There’s something about the places that makes it looks like the closets thing to heaven.

Next on the list will be Jamaica, Brazil islands ignore the main land. I want to be away from everyone else. Far away. 4th choice will be Egypt there’s so much history in that country, that’s where civilisation was more prominent before anywhere else in Africa. Last but not least, Italy. The beauty that seem to be stuck in time but still be modern as well. You cant help but fall in love.

How would you describe your style?

Am not the most stylish person in the room. But i always think you can never go wrong if  you understand your body and dress according to it. God gave it to you for a reason use it to stand out. Am athletic so I try and stick to slim fit and cool colours. Don’t like bright or loud colours. I don’t go with the trends, I go for simplicity an.d comfort.

Name your five must have accessories/essentials?

  1. Wrist watch I never leave the house without.
  2. cellphone
  3. lip balm
  4. mint gum
  5. love caps but sometimes I do without.

What is your favourite dish?

I eat most foods so long as they are not too hot or spicy. But if  I have to chose one as my favourite dish then I guess it will have to be slow cooked mutton curry breyani.

Seeing you’re doing your dreams, what advice can you give others to pursue their dreams?

Dreams manifest when we work on them, just because its your head and it feels and sounds good. Do not expect everyone to have the same vision, but it your duty to make it work. Breathe life into it. All things work out eventually, be persistent and stay focus.

Where can we follow you online and on social media?

Am available across all social media pages;

Twitter: @bongsndima

Instagram: @bongsndima

Facebook:  @bongsndima

Asuquo Eton founded talkmediaafrica.com, now one of the most visited TV, music, tech and features website, in 2011. He is also a social media analyst, media and entertainment consultant.

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