The word “Faith” has many meanings and connotations in modern language. Its simplest definition is “a complete trust or confidence in someone or something”. In many African cultures, parents often give names to their children which they hope their offspring will eventually live up to. It comes as no surprise that, in showing the utmost belief in herself and following her heart, mind and vision through the ups and downs of her career, Faith Nketsi has certainly embodied the meaning of the name her parents bestowed upon her.
At 25-years-old, the Faith Nketsi is one of the most recognisable influencers in Africa, having made a name for herself as an industry-leading content creator for much of the last decade. She is also a successful TV star, on the verge of concluding a second season of her wildly popular reality show, Have Faith, whose season finale airs on MTV tonight (at the time of writing).
From taking the stage and indeed the country by storm under the moniker “Queen Twerk”, to establishing herself as a tastemaker and conversation starter online and even releasing music along the way, Faith has achieved what many twice her age have worked twice as long to try and emulate, without even getting half as far.
While others have secrets and tactics that they have relied upon to try and engineer success, Nketsi’s formula is much easier to understand (even if it’s much more difficult to replicate!). Her unquestionable talent and drive set her apart, but her secret weapon is something a little less tangible. Some call it belief, others might deem it hope, others still might describe it as conviction, or credence or confidence.
We choose to call it Faith.
A career built on Faith
Welcome to Moziak, Faith! We’re speaking to you ahead of Have Faith Season 2’s finale, which airs on MTV on Monday night. How does it feel to have been back on television for another season?
It felt great to be back on TV for a second season, I am super proud of everything we were able to do with Have Faith both for season 1 and season 2. So far the feedback for the second season has been great so I am glad that I’m doing something right and that I listened to my audience. It’s really going well!
The first season helped us get to know a side of you we didn’t already know. What was the objective with the second season?
I was definitely more open in season 2. People got to know me, my background, where I come from, my family and so many other things which I simply didn’t showcase in season one. Season 1 was more my friends and my life, but this time it was a lot more personal and closer to my heart.
How do you decide which stories will make it onto the show, and which ones to keep personal?
I think at this point there’s nothing that I can keep personal! I’m really just an open book, and I’m really comfortable enough with myself to be such an open book. In fact, the only thing that could have possibly limited me/us is the fact that we are limited to only 30 minutes per episode! But apart from that, if it was an hour, I would give you more. Aside from that, this season I was a real open book.
If all goes well, how many seasons of Have Faith would you like to see on television?
[laughs] um wow! I have always said that I would love to see this show get to season 10! I mean, I really love what I’m doing and this is a dream come true for me – and I thank MTV for the opportunity to do something that I love so much. I’m here to deliver the content and I just hope the audience reacts well to it. I would love to continue what we are doing, I don’t really have a number, but in my head I could go all the way to season 20!
You don’t need me to tell you this but: you have an incredible, diverse career and you’re still in your mid-20s! What are some of your big ambitions for the second half of your twenties?
My brand is one of the most misunderstood brands actually. I am forever going to be thankful for the fans who have supported and loved everything I have done so far, throughout the confusion and throughout the ups and downs because it has not always been easy to be honest. It’s not easy being such a public figure especially when it’s something you didn’t plan or anticipate. With it happening so suddenly, I had to kind of figure it out as I went. I have to give thanks to the audience and other brands who decided to work with me going forward.
As for my next few years, I don’t know what I see myself doing. I mean, I have plans of course, but I have not boxed myself to say “this is what the next half of my twenties will look like”. What I will say, I love business and I love working my way through this as a business and that’s something I definitely see myself doing more of. Tomorrow I could decide I want to be something else. I’ve been a rapper, I’ve been a dancer, I really just go with what my heart goes with at that time and I never want to limit myself.
We see the glitz, the glam and the gorgeous side of your life. Can you tell us a bit more about the work that happens behind the scenes that we don’t get to see?
People don’t see what really happens behind the scenes of the reality show! I’m talking about the amount of cameras that are always following every aspect of my life, it can be overwhelming for just about any person and it still overwhelms me today but I’m getting used to it. It helps that I love the production team that I’m working with.
Behind social media, to be honest, life is not always glitz and glam. Life is not always just the Instagram post you see and like and comment on. It can be sad, it can be difficult, and well, it’s real. That’s why Have Faith is so important because people get to see how I become who I am and the person you see on social media. But at the end of the day, behind every image there is a human who experiences everything.
Do you see yourself as a celebrity or do you not like to use labels?
I don’t see myself as a celebrity and I don’t even like to label myself as “famous” or a “brand” or anything like that. I am in the public eye, I’m an influencer but I don’t like using those labels. I don’t like calling people who support me “fans” – I don’t know why! It just doesn’t roll off my tongue comfortably. I do know that I play a role in the industry, and I do know that I have influence in my own unique way. But nah, no labels!
You used social media as a vehicle to fast track your career. What social media trends do you foresee in the coming years?
I feel like social media has shaped me to be the person that I am today, and there are negatives and positives that come with that. I feel like social media will be there for years to come for me and I will carry on keeping it at the heart of my content.
I don’t think I’m a trendy kind of girl. I don’t go with trends, I just go with what works for me and I stick to that so I don’t know if I can answer that, I stick to what’s good for me and what works for me.