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My Frustrations About Being a Black Blogger in Cape Town

Okay guys, girlies and gender benders, if you are reading this you most probably know the frustration I have as a blogger in South Africa and you know what, let me go and add “black”. Being a black blogger in south Africa is the pits and whenever this conversation comes up, people are ready to fight with tactless words. Let’s get into this…

I have only been a blogger for 3 years this year and I have been having so much fun because firstly, this journey has taught me a lot about being a better writer and what it takes to improve and express myself in a way that my readers still feel connected to me than sounding like they are reading a boring newspaper. You know how sometimes bloggers sound the same because they write like they are editors of Times. Secondly, I have learned a lot about wine, travel and cars in less time that I would have if I was just consuming the information. Thirdly, I have met and been exposed to a lot of personalities online to know the kind of energies I need to keep around me to be inspired and build myself up while learning from other bloggers not forgetting the digital and creative skills I have picked up along the way.

You can just imagine how exciting it is until people sell you the idea that you can actually get paid for it and you buy it with the hope that you too can one day make a living and build a legacy through online platforms until you enter the space and get sucked into the ghetto of it all. Here is what my frustrations lie and please go off on me and tell me how the facts are wrong like one white man who told me I did not have the facts and I always ask, “have you ever been a black female blogger in South Africa?” and they are left puzzled because who are you to invalidate my reality.

Imagine receiving 30 bottles of wine in one year and none of those wine brands paid you and not a single one asked how much you charge for your work given that you give detailed content, your followers and readers engage with you. Imagine this being your reality and knowing that the fact that they are not even asking because they have no intentions of paying you a single cent. Let’s also add the fact that they will ask you to send them pictures you took, in your time, without payment, of their product and posted, for free because they want to share it on their page. How rude!

Here is another scenario, imagine being invited to an event and it is far from where you stay and as a black creator you did not grow up with the privilege of parents buying you your first car at 16 and/or you do not earn enough to afford a car given the climate of young BLACK talent not being paid enough to survive life in Cape Town. (If you think I’m talking bull, read up on the Stellenbosch scandal on employment). Back to my point, imagine that and making provision to get to the event because you have to network so you cannot afford to miss out on these opportunity- still no one asks you for your media kit or to assist with transport.

Let’s hypothetically pretend you have all that sorted out and you get somewhere you were invited, and you meet other bloggers. The thing is, the influencer and bloggers’ space is small and everyone is jealous of each other so we tend to talk about one another behind one another’s backs- it can be fun when you hear dramas about some people you think they have their sh*t together and they don’t.

Anyway, you are there, and you find out a white blogger is being paid tons of money, enough to pay 3 bloggers even and this said blogger has a big following to a point that they don’t even bother about creating content that is authentic. They basically deliver below sub-par content, and they get the clout from their bot bought followers, yikes.

The sad part is, I am into wine and I love being in the wine space as a blogger for the experience and the science behind it however, when you think about getting paid as a blogger in an industry that is being run by senior white men who have no interest in learning about this evolving beautiful world, you end up talking to yourself. One of the few things that give you credibility is doing 10x better than the white influencers who don’t even know anything about wine but take money to work on these brands and being black when they are looking for black bloggers/influencers. Being black is your key to these doors- how sad!

With that being said, my frustrations are deep and most of us are at a point where we go to these events and just listen to people praise themselves for the bare minimum (brands, PR companies, other bloggers) it’s a movie. With that being said my lovely one, welcome to the blogging space and if you are in the Western Cape, welcome to the boiling pot.

I do not expect people to agree with me, but this is my experience (my own) and does not include all bloggers. If people care enough might be shook by this but shame, we are past the point of being apologetic and being blacklisted would not be such a bad thing because either way, I can just go buy wine myself than drink wine for free, blog about it and still go to bed hungry. OKSALAYO!!!!

Have a joyous festive season, stay safe and wear a mask!

When you can travel the world, you are lucky. But when you travel around your country and enjoy it, it is a right and a privilege because only a few see beauty in the places they call home.

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