In celebration of Women’s month, we’re featuring pioneering women in music, fashion and art, and who’ve lent their voice, influence and skill to pave the way to those following in their footsteps.

To kick us off - we’re putting the spotlight on Phola Ayanda Gumede, also know to you as Loveslavephola. The DJ, content creator & co-founder of Homie.Lover.Friend, lives by a simple motto - and that’s to do everything from a place of love. It’s this belief that gives her the drive to live out her dreams and do what she loves.

Where does the Loveslave in your name come from? Are you an eternal romantic like it implies?

Yes, I’m 100 per cent a romantic! I love love but most importantly, I want love to inform everything that I do. The history of my name come about from a childhood memory. I used to listen to music with my brother a lot and every time a song came on I’d declare how much I loved it. So when the time came for me to come up with a name for myself, I came up with Loveslave, and obviously Phola is my name so I wanted to integrate the two.

You’ve been DJing for a while now. How did that journey start, where has it taken you and what does the horizon looks like for you now?

So a good friend of mine taught me how to DJ & at first it wasn’t something I took seriously. I wanted to learn purely for my love of music. As time went by, word went around in my circles and I started getting booked. My first big gig came when I was the resident dj for The Wknd Social and the rest is history.


You wear many other hats, outside of your DJing, one being an influencer and a tastemaker in several lifestyle categories. How did you manage to carve out that lane for yourself?

I think for me it’s been a journey of self-confidence and self-love. It’s been about coming into myself; knowing what I want to give to the world, what I’m good at and going for it with all I’ve got.

One would argue that women dominate the SA music scene, especially with the rise of Amapiano. Are you of the same opinion? Do you feel well represented as a female entertainer?

I definitely think so. If you look at the likes of DBN Gogo and Uncle Waffles they’ve taken over the South African amapiano scene. Their presence represents us coming into our power. For so long we’ve been told that men are the ones who are usually superstars and it’s been a lovely revolution of us just breaking free and owning that power, dominating that space, and being confident in it.

Similarly to sneaker culture, especially here in SA. Do you think women have an equal footing in terms of opportunities, visibility and the offerings we get?

I would’ve said no a couple of years ago but right now I believe women own the space just as much as men. Currently, most of my favourite sneakerheads are women. There are many more of us and we’re probably doing it much better than the guys if I have to say so myself.

What significance does women’s month have on you, especially as a woman a women in entertainment?

It’s not lost on me that there are women before us who’ve fought for our rights. And I think for me, paying homage to that is by being our best, taking up space and being unapologetically ourselves.

It’s been nice to see, from the outside looking in, this sense of sisterhood and community that’s formed with female musicians and DJs. Do you think that’s the case too?

There’s definitely a sisterhood and camaraderie with women artists. When I started, I was one of very few black female DJs back then so it’s been great to see how it’s progressed as the years have gone by. There are so many more women taking up space & expressing themselves through music and entertainment while remaining authentic to themselves. It’s beautiful to see.


We obviously love your sets and taste in music. So can you put us on to any artist/band or song that’s on heavy rotation right now?

Right now I’m listening to a jazz band called Kokoroko. I’m also enjoying a local artist by the name of Sio who just dropped a single, & Venna’s latest project is really dope.

Back to sneakers. You have an enviable collection. You’re not afraid of playing with colour but for those new to Loveslavephola, how would you describe your taste in sneakers?

My sneaker taste is rooted in comfortability and that goes for my general style as well. I love to play with colour - I love blending different colour palettes to see how those come together. I also like classics & those are usually my go-to styles


What are your top five sneakers?

I’m a really big fan of Nike Dunks high-tops. Yeezy’s are right there at the top too. I still love Adidas. They’ve got really good silhouettes. Nike Blazer high-tops and Converse high-tops are classics that I’ll always love.

Analog or digital?


Vinyl or Mp3?

Vinyl any day.

Converse or Vans?


Designer or Streetwear?


Low tops or high-tops?

This is pretty obvious by now but I love high-tops

Collab or Retro


Yeezy or Jordans

Yeezy's all the way!