"Public Figure" is Bonang's first as a co-Producer. The documentary explains the positive and negative aspects of social media. In the film, Directed by Brian Corso, they highlight influencers who have used social media to better their lives, businesses and those of people around them.
Public Figure premieres in South Africa this weekend in Johannesburg and Cape Town as part of the Encounters Documentary Film Festival! We got to chat to Queen B* about her latest project. We spoke to her about the film, House of BNG and, of course, Social Media.
ZAlebs (ZA): How did you go from a career in traditional media (television, radio, etc.) to building such huge social media influence compared to many of your peers?
Bonang Matheba (BM): "Firstly, I'm actually very lucky that I started on traditional media and that I had already built a name for myself before Twitter, Instagram and Facebook really took off. I think I was one of the first South African celebrities to sign up on these sites. So, just the timing was right. Then, because I've grown with Social Media, I've gotten to learn the tricks and watch how much it has changed. What social media used to do was amplify traditional media. Now, the roles have reversed and traditional media amplifies what's going on on social media. So there's been a huge flip and I think when you know that and have tracked it, you know how to use it."
ZA: Public Figure, in part, shows how influencers have been able to build six-figure businesses from Social Media. In terms of the opportunities that social media offers, what do you think the opportunities are for young Africans today?
BM: "I want to be honest... Most real opportunities for young people today are on digital and digital media. You know why? Because it is up to YOU as an individual. If you are a songwriter, you don't have to wait for anyone - you can put your song on YouTube. If you're a model, you don't have to be signed to an agency to put your work on instagram. If you are funny, you can start gaining traction from putting your skits on Twitter. That is the beauty of the Digital Era. We are in the era where people can create their own brand but, most importantly, people can also OWN their own brands from the very beginning of their career. You don't need to sign over your talent to someone else anymore. It is yours! The truth is that these days, nobody else is coming to help you get there or build your name for you. Now, it is a responsibility that you need to get on there and do the work."
ZA: What do you think is the real secret to becoming a social media influencer or starting to make real money off of your social media pages?
BM: "If we look at maybe the top 10 digital influencers in the county, the common thread is that they are consistent! Whether it is with content, delivery, aesthetic or the quality, you know that they will be there and the content will be good. So that's where it starts. Then also - I find this with myself too - be authentic. I find that the more I show my personality and the things that I personally genuinely am in love with, people are drawn more to that. Then, finally, I find that people underestimate social media. They underestimate how much hard work it is. They see it as "oooh ha.a. Batho ba ba post'ang di picture all day" but it is really hard work! It is like any other industry, it takes hard work and consistency for a long time to build a successful career."
Public Figure will be going on sale worldwide so her fans outside South Africa can enjoy it too! It will be available on iTunes from the 18th of June and also Amazon.
See the full EXCLUSIVE interview from South Africa
Read more: Is Bonang Moving?
main image credit: Shen Scott, ZAlebs