By: Kutlo Batshegi
Born and bred in Soweto, Naledi Thabo- popularly known in the streets as ‘Sista Ntwembu’- is a young black sister who is taking the creative industry by storm. Sista Ntwembu is a Nail Tech best known for her easily-recognisable style and alternative hand painted nail sets and stick on nails.
Naledi’s creative journey started out when she taught herself how to braid her Barbie dolls’ hair which gradually lead to her braiding her own hair and eventually braiding peoples hair for extra coins in her high school years. She slowly realised braiding as a medium of art and began doing editorial looks for her hair instagram page @braidedbygods.
After the COVID-19 lockdown hit South Africa in March 2020, and a growing desire to broaden her craft, Naledi took the plunge and finally bought a nail kit she’d been saving up for. She then used platforms such as YouTube and TikTok to self-teach, this was the genesis of Nailed Ntswembu as we know it.
Nailed Ntswembu’s biggest objectives has always been to merge beauty and art, making one of its hashtags; #WEARABLEART and urging the consumer to invest in their hands and nails the same way they’d invest in a painting or an art piece that interests them.
With its fashionable identity it was inevitable that we would soon start spotting Nailed Ntwembu on our celebrities, influencers, fashion campaigns and recently on a billboard in Braamfontein showcasing her recent collaboration with S.W.A.N.K!
She’s currently spreading her colourfulness and remarkable work at her Nail Tour in Cape Town that began from 1 – 9 October at The Hearty Collective in Woodstock and soon after, the BROKE store, leaving even those in Cape Town no reason not to be #NTSWEMBUFIED!Photography by: Andrew Mkize