BOSS BABE: FLEX MAMI
Lillian Ahenkan or FLEX MAMI as she is known by her moniker, is one of the most influential and interesting people on social media. At ELLE EFFECT HQ, we first came across her at MECCA-Land and have been watching her ever since...Aside from being a beauty-junkie and avid wearer of fluro eyeliner, Flex Mami is a DJ, TV presenter, Podcaster and Influencer. She uses her platform to explore everything from pop culture, entertainment and "Whatever I want" which also happens to be the title of her new podcast. And she invites her audience to join the conversation, no matter how uncomfortable it is...
Preaching self-love and liberation and female empowerment, Flex Mami is a breath of fresh air and the ultimate millennial boss babe.
How did you come up with the name FLEX MAMI and what does it mean?
There’s no special story unfortunately. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything either. 5 years ago, I decided I was going to become a DJ, and as we all know, every DJ needs a moniker and social handles to match. ‘Flex’ is a colloquial AAVE (African-American Vernacular English) term that means to look good, stand out or show off. As you can imagine, the username @flex was taken. It’s very popular in the fitness, chiropractic and paper industry. So my friends and I held a quick round table and needed something to chuck on the end.
Mami it is.
How did you get your start?
Being a door girl at a club, which led to me making friends with people who ran events, which led to me becoming a DJ. That led to FBi Radio, MTV Presenting, Podcasting, Influencing and running my own business Flex Factory.
What’s the best part of your job?
Getting paid to be myself.
Can you tell us about your career journey so far?
It’s been a lot of me thinking big about what I would like to spend my time doing, and figuring out how to monetise it. High risk, high reward.
Can you describe a “pinch me” moment?
I’ve been pinching myself from the absolute beginning. Making the transition from a Social Media/Digital Communications manager to a full time DJ is a huge feat.
You recently launched a podcast “Whatever I want” tell us about it?
It’s a place for me, by me, to discuss whatever I want, whenever I want, with whoever I want. I lend my voice and opinion to a lot of brands and organisations, speaking on behalf of them or having to follow their rules. Starting this podcast was an exercise in claiming a space for myself.
What is your biggest beauty regret?
Big, blocky eyebrows.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
Things won’t happen if you don’t apply yourself.
What does your day-to-day look like?
As a freelancer, it changes dramatically. As of September 2020, I’m working on a top secret project with a very popular music/podcast streaming service. So i’m in the studio pretty much full time.
Wake up at 7, take a shower, do my 6-step skincare routine, skip the makeup, get dressed then jump in car. Get to the studio, work until 5pm. Get back home, scoff down some dinner, then get to my emails and start executing all my other work. Sleep at 3am, wake up at 7am and do it all again.
The modern world is a busy one! What is your version of self-care?
Sitting in front of Netflix while DIY-ing something.
What three things would we always find in your beauty bag?
Lip balm, concealer and blush (that i can also use as eyeshadow)
If you could have any five women sitting around a dinner table with you, who would they be and why?
My best friend Grace, Bobo Matjila, Solange, Rihanna and Issa Rae.
What is the last song you listened to?
Somebody Else – 1975.
Parting words of advice for being a #bossbabe in work and life?
Focus on doing everything as best as you can, and don’t forget to enjoy yourself.