For Lelo Boyana – known by her followers as Ms LeloB – life is one big adventure.

As a travel influencer, and host of the podcast CHICA Travel, our cover star gets her thrills from exploring everything that SA, and the world, has to offer. Always opinionated and interested in celeb culture growing up, Lelo first shot to fame in 2009 as the voice behind the Just Curious entertainment blog. Even before the age of influencers, she was influencing her devoted readers!

But, after tiring of talking about people online, she changed direction to build something more constructive. The result was the CHICA blog, and soon Lelo found that it was travel content that she enjoyed the most. This led to her launching her podcast, CHICA Travel with Lelo, in 2019. In it, she talks to industry experts and globetrotters and offers listeners essential tips on taking trips. Her social media content is also enough to make you want to pack your bags and see the world. It’s safe to say that she found her niche! 

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Another way that Lelo is spreading her love for travel started with a tweet in 2018. After asking her followers if anyone was keen to go on a shot-left to Durban, and getting an overwhelming response, she decided to organise annual group trips for women wanting to explore. The next trip was Thailand, followed by a local vacay in the Western Cape. Her goal is to open up the world to women who want to experience it in a way that is fun and safe. On top of creating content, she is also a mother and works a nine-to-five job, proving that if you do it all, you really can have it all. 

Shine Club Wine flew Lelo down from Jo’burg to Cape Town for a staycation-themed editorial shoot in sunny Camps Bay. The result? *Stunning* visual proof that you don’t need to go far to experience new things and create lifelong memories. We caught up with her to find out her confidence-building tips, how to live your best life and how to share the shine. 

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1. What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in life? 

Last year, I suffered a stroke. And I think coming out of that experience made me realise how short life is. That why it’s important to make the most of it and to grab hold of every opportunity you are presented with. 

2. What are your tips for building confidence and being your best self?

Self-confidence is something that we all struggle with. But the first step is to accept and learn to love yourself. Focus on what you’re good at and adopt a positive mindset. When you feel imposter syndrome setting in, recognise it and challenge those feelings. Also, as the old saying goes, knowledge is power. So being open to learning can also help to build your confidence. That, and loads of self-love!

3. What does sisterhood mean to you?

It means supporting your girls in any way you can. Whether this is helping to watch their kids, supporting their business endeavours or just being there to help and listen. When you’re not being a sympathetic ear, having fun together is also important to keep your bond strong. 

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4. What is your ideal girls’ get-together? 

My ideal girls’ get-together would have to involve good food, Shine Club Wine, great conversation and loads of laughter. And if there’s a beach, even better!

5. What is the best place that you have visited? 

It’s difficult to pick one place as we are so spoiled for choice in South Africa! But right now, I would say Arniston in the Western Cape. It’s a quiet seaside town which is still relatively unexplored, and it is *incredibly* beautiful. 

6. What’s one thing in your wardrobe you can’t live without? 

My ride-or-die item is a pair of black jeans from Zara. When I don’t know what to wear, slipping those on with a pair of heels always brings the magic. 

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7. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Just do it. Sometimes you don't have the whole plan, but you know what it is that you're trying to do. So just do it and the rest will fall into place. 

8. Who is the last person you texted? 

The last person I texted was my sister. She sent me pictures of something she just bought. I think she was showing off!

9. Which of your pics has the most likes on your Instagram feed?

A picture of me in a bathtub at a farm in Pretoria. People love seeing naked pictures on social media, so they loved seeing my exposed back!

10. What does sharing the shine mean to you?

Sharing the shine means spending time with your girls and uplifting them when they need to be uplifted. It also means not being scared to share the spotlight. There's enough room for everyone! 

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