Johannesburg raised Felix Mlangeni shares her journey
#Zazise – Tell us about yourself
My name is Felix Mlangeni, born and raised in Johannesburg. I’ve been in the entertainment industry now for 21 years, working both behind and foreground scenes. I’m a singer, songwriter, MC, TV host, actress, content creator and entrepreneur. Today I have my own entertainment company (Phat Head Entertainment), and I manage all my gigs via the company. Something fun or interesting about me? Tune in to my YouTube channel (Miss Felix) to find out. There’s a lot of interesting things underway.
Where were you born and how did you start your journey in the entertainment industry?
I was born and raised in Johannesburg. Growing up in Soweto and Alberton. My journey in the entertainment industry started when I was 8 years old, doing children’s theatre. And theatre was the order of the journey, before being introduced to television. But since my first stage performance, I never saw myself doing anything other than entertainment.
At what stage did you realize that you wanted to be a singer & MC, what motivated you to take this career path?
Interestingly enough, being an MC became a part of my career journey only in 2012. But my first MC gig was when I was 5 years old, at crèche. I was quite a outspoken child and the creche principal decided to make me MC for the graduation. Never really saw anything in it at that stage, nor did my parents. But the bug bit in 2012 and I’ve never looked back ever since..I guess it’s true when they say “when things are meant to be in our lives, they find their way” lol. As for music, I started singing at the age of six. At home we had a piano and this one cousin of mine loved playing. So this one day he was playing a familiar song and I just sang along, surprising him and myself with my vocals. From that day on, I knew I wanted to be a singer.
Do you have any role models? If so, who?
I honestly don’t have a particular person or people that I look up to. There are so many people, especially women, who are doing great things and that’s where I draw my inspiration from. Good deeds, humility and hard work motivate and inspire me.
What have been your major highlights/achievements in your journey in the entertainment industry?
MCing for Cartoon Network in Mauritius. Red carpet inserts for E!Africa. Working closely with Anthony Hamilton, Kenny Lattimore, Eric Benet and Joe Thomas, in the events space working as production manager for their tours in South Africa. Not forgetting TV commercials I’ve featured in as a lead, for multiple brands. Starring in a Mzansi Magic movie, as well as scoring a cameo role on Etv’s Scandal. Gosh I hope I’m not leaving anything out.
You recently gave birth, Congratulations. Can you share with us what that means for your career?
Thank you so much. Motherhood is so beautiful and it’s such a boost in my life’s purpose. If anything, my career is going to take a more meaningful direction, because entertainment is a very cutthroat industry and one can easily give up when the tough gets going. Even though, quitting is never an option for me, now that I have a child I have a to keep fighting for victory. She’s my daily motivation. I see growth in my creativity as well. Thanks to my little motivation.
What are the challenges that you face in your industry?
Male dominance in the industry is a major challenge. I’ve come across situations where clients will book me and change their minds, opting for a male artist instead. This has happened to other females that I know as well.
As a woman entrepreneur, do you think that gender inequality in your industry is being addressed or is there room for improvement?
I think it is being addressed, but that’s as far as it goes. Actioning improvement in this regard would really start to bring about change. We need more women in senior positions.
How do you think South Africa can help in the fight against GBV?
I think that there’s noise around GBV awareness only when incidents are publicized. When nothing is in the open, we keep quiet. I think the more noise we make about this issue, the more women, who are suffering alone in the shadows, will come out and bring light to the culprits. Also, we need more men to support this fight against GBV by calling out their friends, brothers, fathers, cousins, colleagues etc, who are abusing women out there. The justice system also needs to revisit its prosecution authority. Because at the end of the day, without help from the authority, public noise can only be just that…noise.
What advice would you give to Student Living women readers wanting to enter your industry?
Be absolutely certain you are passionate about being in the industry. If you want to be in it for fame and fortune, you are setting yourself up for failure. Have thick skin, discipline and mentors who will help steer you towards the right direction. Most importantly, go in with the mind of an entrepreneur, not just talent.
Please give motivation and closing remarks to our readers.
Being a woman is not a weakness, it’s a strength. Don’t ever sell yourself short, not to a man or anybody. Stand by your moral compass and never change your values to please anyone. Be the captain of your ship, because if you are just the passenger you won’t be happy with the destination. So if you are the captain, you will steer your ship where you want it to go.