Ameera Murad Ameer

Creative Spotlight: Kicking it with Mimi

Vibrant and an appreciator of all things fabulous! MiMi is a Zimbabwean lifestyle blogger and influencer.

Born Ameera Murad Ameer, she is simply known as MiMi. MiMi formed her trendy lifestyle blog, Kicking It With Mimi in 2011 while conducting Media Studies and International Relations at The University of Cape Town. Graduating on the Dean’s list with a Bachelor of Social Science in Media and Writing and International Relations. Her stylish lifestyle blog covers fashion, beauty, travel, and general lifestyle trends not just in Zimbabwe but across the continent.

Kicking it With Mimi over the past 8 years has established itself as a top lifestyle blog in Zimbabwe with a growing African audience across the continent. MiMi went on to receive Zimbabwe Fashion Week Blogger of the Year for both 2015 and 2014. To add to her accolades, in 2018 she received Zim Blog Awards, ” Lifestyle Blogger of the Year ” award. Her fresh perspective on the African lifestyle and her quality content has positioned the stylish blogger as one of Zimbabwe’s most renowned lifestyle bloggers. From Cape Town to Harare to Dar es Salaam, Kicking It With Mimi is the epitome of African lifestyle and luxury. When she is not blogging, MiMi also works in the digital marketing industry.

How did you start your journey to get to where you are today?

It has been an unexpected journey but so grateful for how everything fell into place. I started blogging in 2011 but it was really in 2014 when the world took notice I just returned back home after completing my media degree in South African. I then received Zimbabwe Fashion Week Blogger of the Year 2014 acknowledging my blogging work. For me, that award was the real catalyst that accelerated my career and before I knew it, I was receiving calls and invites to a number of events and corporate meetings.

Building a brand of course takes time and it can grow or die pretty quickly too. God has been very generous with me and the hard work paid off and continues to pay off. Consistency is key and constantly upscaling your skills to ensure you offer quality content. With competition online growing, never get complacent or comfortable. Creative content is the key to being relevant. After 8 years in the game and approaching 10 in the next 2 years – you have to keep pushing yourself. Keep asking yourself – what is next?

Mimi in Tapfumanei Munenge Suit
Mimi in Tapfumanei Munenge Suit

Can you share with us your creative process?

I often start with an idea or come across a product or service I think fits into my definition of creativity and newsworthy lifestyle content. I often like to discover exciting offerings and at times brands approach me too. After 8 years of blogging, you begin to understand what your audience enjoys and what their preferences are. Once I have conceptualized what I would like to showcase, I then craft strategy on how best to showcase or convey the product or service to my subscribers. Planning and strategy will very much influence your rollout and determine how effective your content will be.

Additionally, I am always looking to see what the new trends are globally and regionally. We are living in a world where trends and media are constantly changing. You truly have to be at the pulse of these trends and developments.

How much of it is an expression of yourself?

It has always been an expression of myself, which has been from the name of the blog to my actual content. It is about my opinions, reviews, and recommendations.  From the vlogs to the blog articles – I express my views and in some ways that is what my audience likes the most. There is a huge push online towards the personalization of content and what I call reality TV /real-life inspired content. Audiences enjoy following and consuming media focused on personalities. Authentic lifestyle content is key especially where users feel is attainable, or aspirational but mostly relatable.

Who or what would you credit your success to as a Zimbabwean and African lifestyle blogger?

It would be a combination of good quality content and a need or more so a desire by online audiences for lifestyle content that showcase Zimbabwe and Africa in a different light. In some ways Kicking it With MiMi challenges the discourse around Africa as a whole where politics and negative storytelling dominates. Through my content, I wanted to challenge that discourse and showcase “the other side” to the continent. The more flamboyant and colorful stories around lifestyle and travel as well as the unique packaging have made for exciting content for online audiences.  At the end of the day, as Africans, we really want to tell our own stories and work towards building our future where anything is possible.

What some of the key issues or trends that you explore fashion wise?

Redefining beauty standards where a certain standard of beauty is celebrated. Through my content and social media – I experiment with my style and celebrate all body shapes especially those with a little more curves. From swimwear partnerships with Noe Es to exploring couture looks with Tapfumanei Munenge. I definitely like to promote the theme that beauty comes in all shapes and forms. As an African woman, I like to promote healthy living but also loving ourselves –flaws and all!

How would you describe your fashion style?

I would say modern, comfortable, and glamorous for the fuller figured women. Over the years, there has been a misconception- fuller figured women cant be a little sassy and chic too. I love redefining how the fuller figured woman can express herself through fashion! I am definitely a little feisty and sassy.

What is your favourite fashion item?

I love a good handbag, sunglasses, and shoes! It definitely adds the final touches to an outfit and shoes, more importantly, can completely ruin or make an outfit. So it is so important to have the right finish!

What are your travel destination recommendations? Tell us why also.

I would say a combination of Tanzania and Cape Town! Tanzania because it has both island and safari offerings plus city life adventures so it really offers every type of traveler something.  From the Serengeti, Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro what is there not to do!

Cape Town is an all-time favorite, good costing, a wide range of activities, beautiful views and quality experiences. An old-time favorite and I often head to Cape Town at least once a year.

Can you share with us what your most memorable event to date is and why?

Receiving various awards over the years are always a moment of appreciation and reflection. To have online audiences nominate and vote for your work is such a wonderful acknowledgment for the content and work put in over the years. Receiving “ Fashion Blogger of the year” consecutively for 2 years and “ Lifestyle Blogger of the Year 2018” was a true blessing and humbling moment.

Who are your heroes or people you look up to?

I would definitely say my grandmother; she was a strong woman and played an important role in my upbringing. I also find grandmothers a great source of wisdom as they have experienced life and have life knowledge.

Additionally, women breaking boundaries and setting a new pace in their respective industries are always inspirational. The likes of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Michelle Obama, and Serena Williams to name a few. Their journey and hard work are not only aspirational but commendable. Women too can attain the goals whether it is heels, sneakers, or both!

Can you give us your favourite quote and one of your own?

My favorite quote is “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frighten us.”

My own quote is “The sky is not the limit, if we can dream it and work consistently – the world is yours!”

What do you do to unwind?

I enjoy some family time and beautiful sunny afternoons when I am not working. I appreciate a good white wine, beautiful views, good TV and good food J I also really love to catch up on sleep because I’m often on the go so I normally have to cut my sleeping time.

Who are your favourite musicians & What is on your music playlist now?

Lots of Afrobeat at the moment, really loving the new sound of Nigerian music but also embracing legends like Fela. Man of the moment is definitely Burna Boy and I am loving his sound. He is like a new age Fela too, love that feel he has on some of his songs!

I really do have a wide variety of taste when it comes to my favourite musicians. When we think of the legends like Cesaria Evora , Hugh Masekela , and Tuku . Then to the more recent musicians like Wizkid , Tiwa , Ex q , Tamy , Black Coffee. I love a fusion of Afro beat , SA House and some local flavour too not forgetting a little hip hop and trap.

What new projects, collaborations, and shows can we look forward to?

More and more travel partnerships for sure and not just locally. Kicking It With Mimi is going INTERNATIONAL and I am looking at more regional and global content. Zimbabwe will always be home but I am looking at including a variety of content from beyond our borders. In addition – I have a new platform launching lets say for now – you will be able to Kick it with me at your fingertips especially for Android users!