Meet Vuyo Oyiya, our inspirational African Queen, TV Producer, MTV Africa Music Awards Event Manager, Loeries Africa and Middle East Project Manager and Founder of The Official Vuyo Oyiya Network. A woman who wears her wardrobe like an art piece moving in synchronicity with her life’s purpose. Dancing to the beat of her own drum. A women who has a love affair with life , knows her talents, and pursues them with magic and PASSION! We love this African Queen for following her dreams.
Q: So Vuyo, tell us your story?
I’m Xhosa born and raised in Queenstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa. I’m the 3rd daughter of 4, raised by the toughest Queen. I was asthmatic as a child. The doctors didn’t think I’d make it to 16 so I didn’t participate in sports because of my breathing problems. Most of the time I was glued in front of the TV. Clint Eastwood was my hero cowboy (in those days I couldn’t even pronounce his surname). Fast-forward to 1999 while shooting Invictus he was standing right behind me and talking to someone else and I could literally feel the heat of his breath on my neck. I am not going to lie I thought I was going to faint. I remember telling my mom afterward and she still thought I was making it up.
Q: Your favourite person in this world?
My beautiful mom. She’s so beautiful – did I mention I look like her (blush)…
I love my mom more than anyone in the world. The sacrifices she made for me so that I could be where I am today ! If I tell you, you will bow down every time you see her. She’s strong, humble and graceful. She’s my main Queen and thank God for her.
Q: Share some happy childhood memories with us?
Sometimes my mom took me to work with her. I used to love going to work with my mom. My mom cooked for the South African Defense force in the early 80s , and for me , every time I went there it was like being Alice in Wonderland! The pantry was my favourite place and I’d eat myself to death.
Q: Some advice from one AfriQueen to another?
My mom always said to us the more you give the more blessings you will receive from God. In the same breath she would also say: Don’t give because you expect something in return, but give because you are more fortunate than others. This can be a curse as well. Sometimes I will give away my last cent because I realise I am still blessed in more ways than others.
Q: Do you believe in magic?
Magic is always around us. We are just rushing through life and we all have to learn to just stop and enjoy it. There’s magic in sounds, flowers, people, the sky, wind, how a stranger just smiles at you. There is magic everywhere – even in the sound of your shoes hitting the ground and how a little breeze can make your dress dance.
Q: Finish this sentence. I have a love affair with….
I have a love affair with life, with people in it, the good, bad and the ugly. It has shaped the queen I am today
Q: The person/people that inspire you most in your career?
Oh, this is tricky because when it comes to my career I’ve been so blessed with so many amazing women and men who have helped shape me into the person I am today. Just to name a few: Matilda Baartman, my pillar of strength both in work and personal life and Pendra Dissell, Liz Bullen, Keah Bews, Lydia Mason, Debra Batzofin, Steven St Arnaud and Alan Shearer and mafungashe Nokuzola Oyiya.
Q: And your current projects?
I am a TV Producer which is both wild and rewarding. I have also been lucky to be part of the MTV Africa Music Awards Event Production Team this gave me the opportunity to travel through Africa. I am part of the Loeries Africa and Middle East Event team. This has been an amazing creative platform to be apart of. In 2015 I started the Vuyo Oyiya Foundation with the dream of creating a worldwide artistic community by collaborating with artists from all over the world. This is my passion project. I also support a couple of township initiatives, because I believe they need our support more so than big charity organisations.
Q: Words to live by?
Nothing is impossible if you believe in it.
Q: Whats your message to AfriBeings reading this?
Dance to the beat of your own drum. Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done. If you can see it, dream it, smell it and it keeps you up at night, just do it! You only live once. We never regret what we’ve done only what we didn’t do.
Dance to the beat of your own drum AFRIBEINGS!
If you would like to collaborate with Vuyo you can email her at email@example.com
CREATIVE DIRECTION: LIZA WESCHTA AND LINDI HINGSTON
PHOTOGRAPHER: JANE PRINSLOO
MAKEUP: CHANTAL JACOBSEN
WARDROBE: CLOTHING DESIGN BY VUYO OYIYA, JEWELLERY BY PICHULIK AFRICA, MAGIC WAND BY SHAKA LAND, EARRINGS FROM ARRIGATO BOUTIQUE