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The rise of ’Real Housewives of Durban’ star LaConco and how she got into fashion and beauty

The 30-year-old who rose to fame in 2018 after giving birth to her son, whom she shares with president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Supplied

The 30-year-old who rose to fame in 2018 after giving birth to her son, whom she shares with president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 5, 2022

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“The Real Housewives of Durban” star Nonkanyiso Conco is one of the most talked-about casts this season.

The 30-year-old who rose to fame in 2018 after giving birth to her son, whom she shares with president Jacob Zuma, has created a name for herself in the entertainment industry.

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Better known as “Laconco”, the former Vuma FM presenter is capitalising on her fame by getting into the fashion and beauty industry.

In July 2020, she launched Laconco Naturals, a beauty, cosmetic and personal care brand.

Laconco describes beauty as something that has different meanings to every individual.

Nonkanyiso Conco in Xviii Victorian. Picture: Instagram/@xviii_victorian.

“The fact is when you become engrossed with what beauty should look like, defined by the world, it crushes confidence and affects self-esteem because you feel you’re not fitting. If you find nature, you find your belonging and where home is,” she says.

Following the success of Laconco Naturals, she expanded her brand and launched Laconco Apparel in April 2021. Laconco Apparel is a range of T-shirts and hoodies inscribed with her famous slogans such as “gugul me”, “weh shwele”, “saze sasha” and “mnge”, “suka demedi”.

“From my childhood, I’ve always been a being of terms. I would say a word from nowhere to everyone’s tongue. I’ve learnt that my presence, either on social media or on screens, has created a community that’s made up of amatemu (terms), being authentic and embracing self. I want to thank all of you for your kind words and the love you have expressed to me in all forms. Bo mnge Ngiyabonga (my friends, thank you),” she told her followers on Instagram.

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Laconco Naturals by Nonkanyiso Conco. Picture: Instagram/@laconconaturals.

This week, she launched the Laconco Apparel at Edgars Sandton City and was well-received by her friends and supporters.

“Public figures do become groupies too, and it’s fine! I have never hidden the love I have for her! I popped in at Sandton City to show my support! I am that girl who supports @la_conco. The excitement and warmth you gave me was overwhelming,” commented Phume Sibisi Khethang of Pastor’s Wives.

Laconco has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Growing up, she used to sell sweets and snacks in school for extra cash.

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She looked up to her mother, who had multiple streams of income to support her children.

“My mom was a seamstress since the early 80s. Today I am a qualified journalist through my mom’s hard work as a seamstress, knitting and hairdressing, being a domestic, while knitting on the other hand. She has shown me versatility and taught me about multiple streams of income at a young age," she told News24.

When it comes to personal style, she prefers not showing too much skin, as it’s something she learnt when she was still part of ehlolweni (where young women go for virginity testing).

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“I grew up old, I have an old soul. I was neat, covered my body at all times. At my ehlolweni, I was the one taking care of everyone and sharing food with everyone,” she says.

Laconco wearing Libo Creations. Picture: Instagram/@_laconco.

Laconco is big on supporting local brands. One of her favourites is Libo Creations, a Durban Fashion Fair award-winning brand owned by Sizwe Mncube. Mncube has been dressing Laconco since the first season of RHOD. He is the mastermind behind Laconco’s green number that she’s wearing on the cover photo of RHOD. He also created the white peplum dress that Laconco wore at last year’s South African Film and Television Awards.

Laconco is also the founder of Sikhanyisa iSizwe, a community organisation aimed at empowering the youth for a better future. She is currently hosting season 2 of Ingane Yam, a reality series on Mzansi Magic that tells the stories of people who would like to introduce their 'illegitimate' children to their families or partners.

This article first appeared in Saturday Insider, March 5, 2022

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