Mapule Ndhlovu is the undeniable Queen of fitness in South Africa, a titled she has earned through her determination, commitment and passion for the health and fitness industry, and her infectious energy, positivity and perpetual smile.
After landing her dream job at Virgin Active’s flagship Alice Lane Classic Collection Club, Mapule set to work growing her profile in the industry and has become one of the biggest social media personalities and influencers in the local fitness industry.
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Social media royalty
She took her first major step towards becoming an industry influencer when she entered and won the Women’s Health Next Fitness Star competition.
“That was when I created QueenFitnass, my online presence, and started posting what I felt was a natural and true reflection of my approach to health and fitness,” explains Mapule.
“It was totally organic. I simply tried to post something every day that I believed added value to my followers, which is an approach I still follow to his day.”
As someone who has never really conformed to conventional training methods, Mapule’s crazy workouts soon gained widespread popularity.
“I wanted to be different. I didn’t want to simply add another stream of normal posed content. That’s just not me.”
She stuck with her approach, and people responded. “I kept it real, with real sweat and real effort, and this realism resonated with people out there.” Today, Mapule has nearly 115,000 followers on Instagram.
Building her brand
During her career, Mapule has leveraged social media to build a formidable personal brand with various associations and partnerships.
Over the years she has partnered with and represented big name brands including Virgin Active, adidas, Shield. MedShield, and iStore, and is regularly seen hosting or attending fitness indystry events such as Fit Night Out and Saturday Night Fitness.
She is also a regular guest on TV and radio shows and podcasts, and now gets invited to fitness events across Africa, including the biggest fitness event in Africa presented by Verve Live in Nigeria. Her journeys have also taken her to Botswana and this year she is going to an event in Nairobi, Kenya.
Having achieved so much success, Mapule’s enduring message is that people need to know that there is more to fitness than just how you look.
“Fitness can condition the mind as much as it conditions the body, which will make you more resilient. The key is to find something sustainable that you can follow consistently.”