By posing sexy images on Instagram, Londie London, whose real name is Londi Zulu, has built a brand that is bringing in an income, putting her in competition with South African celebrities. She calls it “Insta-modelling”.
Born in 1992 in KwaZulu-Natal and raised in Witbank, the Instagram model says she is now revamping her look because she wants to be taken seriously as a businesswoman.
“I had this little phase of going out to parties and posting pictures. The feedback was amazing. I literally knew which pictures followers liked. Pictures of my bum would get a thousand followers per day. Clubs started approaching me to host parties. That’s when I started my research on how to make money through Instagram,” said the 24-year old jewellery design graduate from the University of Johannesburg.
Londi Zulu has more than 100 000 followers on her page after joining the social media site last year.
On her timeline are sultry pictures of her derriere and sometimes a half-boob picture which seems to send her followers on a clicking frenzy.
While her fans were having fun, news quickly travelled to her parents in Witbank that she was walking on the “wild side”.
“I had to explain to my parents, because people called them and said that I was a prostitute. I need people to respect the Londie London brand. I understand that the South African culture is very different from the one in the US, but I want people to understand that Instagram was created for business and for celebrities to get their work out there.”
She added: “South Africa is not America. The culture will never be the same.
“People will never understand celebs like Amber Rose. Here, they just think you are a prostitute and you are selling your body for likes. Before I deactivated my page, I was in the process of starting a lingerie business. I was posting a lot of lingerie pictures just to create the hype, but people trashed it, saying I was selling my body on social media.
“So I had to think of another strategy to make money using my followers.” Londie London was a nickname given to her when she was in high school. She said her peers thought she looked as though she was from overseas.
Londi Zulu took advantage of the association with the international celebrity culture. Because of her sexy pictures, she was featured in L-Tido’s music video Dlala ka Yona. And she said that made her re-think what her image represented.
“I appeared there for literally three seconds, but at the end, when they are at the strip club, some people thought that some of the bums there were mine.”