At 19 years old, it’s evident to say that founder & editor of Apparently Magazine Umps Machaka, is on her way to a bright future. If you don’t already know, Apparently magazine is a culture magazine aimed at the youth, with the latest info on fashion, art, music and lifestyle. The recent release of issue 10 shows that the magazine has been a great success so far. Every issue has its own unique theme full of interesting and gripping features to read. I caught up with Umps on the day of her Editorial shoot for Issue 10, to find out the background story of how Apparently started 2 years ago, and a bit about herself. Umps Machaka is truly an inspiration with a beautiful mind and a great work ethic.This is her first ever interview! I hope you enjoy hearing more about her as much as I did...
What gave you the idea to start Apparently Magazine?
“Literally I was bored, and I’d just taken up photography. I was trying to send all my pictures out to different publications and blogs and all that but no one was really getting back to me but I was actually shit if I’m being honest. And I was just like well, fuck it? I might as well just post my own pictures on something of my own.”
How do you balance your time between editing Apparently and other priorities in your life?
“Sometimes it gets hard and you have to make sacrifices; most of my friends know that I don’t go out; like it’s very rare you will see me out, so you just have to make sacrifices. I mean I work as well but I’ve had to ask my boss to leave early just so I can reply to emails, it’s not even just putting the issue together its replying to the emails too. But yeah, sacrifices.”
How do you think the journey has changed from issue 1 to 9?
“Well we are currently working on our tenth one. It’s been…Surreal. You know when you have something that you personally think is just for you? And you still think its shit compared to everything else? But the way everyone has been responding to the magazine has made me feel like…I’m not that shit at what I’m doing, I’m actually doing fine. But yeah it has just been very surreal with all the support, all my friends. Everyone I meet has been very supportive and just helped out and told everyone about it; which is good because I’m not the type of person to force something on you; I’d rather you just like it organically. If you were tell one of your friends about it and they didn’t like it, that’s totally fine because the fact that you took your time out to say something about it or you even know about me, means a lot to me. Like I still get shocked when people are like ‘Oh you run Apparently?’ I’m like: How the fuck do you know about that?”
What kind of message do you want Apparently to send out?
“Just be young, care about something! Open your mind up to different things, don’t just read the same thing. Like fair enough, we do put fashion in Apparently, but there are different types of fashion. For example, now we’ve started going slightly more formal even though we are a very casual magazine, I pride myself on being causal. But just open yourself up to loads more because there is so much that people don’t talk about or that people don’t acknowledge because it’s not ‘cool yet’. You don’t need to listen to whatever’s cool? If you like it just fuck with it, that’s it.”
What has been a memorable event/show that you’ve been to?
“A Memorable event would probably be when Vice invited me out to go party with them for their depop launch and for one of their illustration art showcases. That was really cool, for a magazine that big that I actually look up to, to contact me and be like: ‘hey, we like what you’re doing, come out with us’ I was like..Ok! Yeah, that would probably be one of the biggest ones.”
Who have you had the most interesting interview with and what was it about?
“There’s this band called INC. They’re really really cool because when I was interviewing them, they just had this carefree sort of vibe about them. And it was interesting seeing someone in an industry where it’s so hard but they just go with whatever they know and are sticking to it. And another person I enjoyed interviewing would probably be Mikill Pane, because he was the first person I approached and he was so lovely about it. And even now we still kind of keep in contact, just check up on him and stuff. He was just really cool. You never know what a person is like until you actually ask them questions and it’s like ‘oh, okay’, starting to get to know them a little bit more.”
You seem to take a lot of interest in fashion and music. How do you keep up with what’s trending at the moment in such a fast paced industry?
“With fashion…well, thank fuck I have friends within fashion in terms of styling and stuff like that. When we first started out I didn’t have a big enough budget to actually book out a stylist, so I kind of learnt. So now because of that PR’s now send me stuff a season before anything drops out so that’s I know what’s actually going to come out and what’s on trend. Plus I mean living in London; you always have this kind of buzz of what’s coming out and what the next trend is going to be, simply walking down the road. In terms of music: Soundcloud, Last.FM; just scanning all of those. YouTube as well, it might be a little bit hard to find an artist, but just all the little videos they give you at the end of the song, just clicking on those. You never know, the songs might be totally sick!”
Any plans of expanding Apparently in the future?
“I mean yeah, it’s already starting to grow but just hopefully taking it a step further. I wouldn’t ever go to print but just having a bigger team, a more stable team, moving into a permanent office rather than working at home.”
So would you chose to be self-employed rather than working for a fashion/lifestyle magazine?
“Well, I’m still young so I wouldn’t mind working for someone else for more experience because… I don’t know what I’m doing. Like if I’m totally honest I don’t know what I’m doing I’ve just been faking it through, so it would be nice to learn a little bit more from someone who’s in it and just shadow them. But in the future I wouldn’t like to work for anyone apart from myself.”
Tell us a bit about your team?
“Quite a small team compared to every other magazine. I have my senior team or in other words my ‘main team’ which consists of myself, Baitong (Pretty Sickly), Joyce, Shannon and Cleo. Cleo is the in house photographer. I met her in sixth form where we both studied photography and she was really good. The way I first started Apparently, that’s like what she wanted to do so I was like, ‘if you don’t want to start your own thing you’re more that welcome to come join me and I’ll try and connect you to as many people as I know’. Baitong is the PR. She also helps me with trend spotting and stuff, especially when it comes to fashion. She also helps to spread the word about it. Joyce is like our part-time fashion editor and Shannon is head of business; he deals with all things like advertising. Even though me being me I’m just the type of person that’s like 100% involved in something, so I do mainly do all the work anyway, but I have them. I also have a lovely team of contributing writers and more are still welcome!”
Do you have any advice for people trying to start their own fashion magazine?
“Have tough skin. Be prepared for PR’s to say no, be prepared for booking agents to say no. Even though it is a creative industry, just know you don’t actually have that much creative free-hold or free-way in it, because obviously if you want to do a certain shoot, people will be like ‘no you can’t do it’ or ‘you can’t use this model’ even though they’d be perfect for it. And if you really really love it, just go for it.”
Who are your top 3 inspirations?
“My mum. Simply because she works so hard, and she has tried to help me out so much and she’s so enthusiastic. She’s probably the one who’s like, told all of South Africa about it! I also find myself looking at photographers mainly so Jeff Hahn, he’s an amazing photographer. Last one would probably be Mark McNairy simply because he just says ‘fuck off’ if you don’t like it. And that’s the type of person I’m trying to be. Even though I do hate saying no. There are times where you just have to be like ‘if you don’t like it, I don’t need you, I don’t need your support, shit happens.’ And that’s it.”
Issue 10 : cover of Apparently Magazine
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