We had an exclusive interview with the Publicist and Social media enthusiast, Melanie Ramjee, popularly known as ‘Hypress’
– interviewed by Sandy Nene
WOW, my first interview with well thought out questions with research done, love it. Thanks for the opportunity to be on your platform.
– Where were You Born and How was your life growing up?
I was born in the sunny friendly city of Durban about 25 years ago (okay that lie is getting old now). Growing up was great. We moved a lot, back and forth to Johannesburg for my dad’s work, so friendships were always uprooted and had to be restarted elsewhere. I guess it helped me make friends quickly which became a benefit later in life. High school was awesome and I wish I could redo it all over again.
– We Know That U Studied Fashion Design, why didn’t you Just Continue with Fashion? what made u choose doing PR and Marketing?
After high school I was really confused about what I wanted to do. I studied Fashion cos it was the obvious choice really. I was good at it like my mom and grandmother who made most of our clothes. It was the easy option to be honest, nothing more. I got great marks but my heart was never in it. I finished my course and even did an internship for Clive Rundell, but then decided to do something I loved rather, dealing with people. My boyfriend at the time and I started Eargasm Entertainment. The rest is history as they say.
– What was your first HUGE Deal in Social Media and PR?
There are quiet a few actually, ones while I was employed and others when I decide to go solo and run my own business. One of the first and most memorable was the Brutal Fruit campaign a few years back. I was approached by a friend and mentor Bonnke Shipalana who runs The Communication Firm. He offered to pay me to tweet for an upcoming campaign for Brutal Fruit. I was in shock, like seriously hehehehe! My favourite clients include YFM and Hush.
– Tell us about your parents reaction when you chose to take a different route from the one you studied for?
Wait, my parents still think I’m unemployed LOL. My parents never understood the PR game and still don’t understand how I get paid to tweet or party. I guess initially they were NOT happy at all. I mean every parent wants their kid to be a doctor or lawyer (imagine me a doctor). When we started Eargasm Entertainment, they realized I was serious about what I was doing. Our first office was my bedroom in my parent’s house. They might not have been happy but they were always mad supportive, and have been ever since. My mom is super proud of me and has every magazine I was ever featured in filed and some framed even.
– You’ve worked with Major Artists Like Trey Songs, Usher and More. This is something That many people wish for! How does That make u feel?
I am sure many people do hey. People assume it fun to hang out with these people. They are just normal people with extraordinary lived to me. For me it’s all work work work, I don’t see the fame and not in awe of it. This helps me get the job done a lot easlier.
– Is PR all glitz and Glamour as it seems?
OMG NOOOOOO. Any serious publicist will tell you it really isn’t. As an example last week I worked with Heineken for the James Bond Skyfall premiere and we brought out the Bond girl. I was constantly behind her at the afterparty carrying the train of her dress, so she doesn’t trip, not glam at all. A good publicist does what he/she gotta do to make the client look GREAT.
– You are a Mother to the cutest thing On Earth Right Now “Lil Musa” our Future President, Tell us about your relationship with him.
I adore him. He is my whole life right now. I had a few miscarriages since I was 25 but I knew Musa would arrive when HE was ready. And I also needed to find the right daddy too, who I adore as well by the way. Musa is just the happiest and most tjatjarag baby ever. He was even born 6 weeks early so he could have things his way. I think he wanted to go to the Lil Wayne concert and was so angry I didn’t go that he decided to enter the world so early.
– You are everywhere, Different Cities on Different Weekends. How Much time do u usually spend with your son?
I work from home so he is always in the next room from me. So tea breaks, lunch, toilet breaks, I am always checking up on him, give him a kiss and show him mommy is around. I try take him with me on trips as often as I can.
– How do u juggle work and Family time?
Easily. Working from home helps a lot. My husband is a workaholic which makes my work life a pleasure. Weekend is family time.
– Tell Us about the Twitter account you created for Musa (@LilMusa) he can hardly even type a word and already has more than a hundred followers which many struggle getting… what inspired u to open up an account for him?
The endless sleepless nights, I was bored. Also Musa seems to have so much on his mind and couldn’t say it. Shame his dad is jealous cos he doesn’t even have 50 followers.
-There are many people in SA who Love what u do (Including me) what advise would u give them to follow in order to make it to a successful life?
Thanks Sandy. First and foremost study PR. I didn’t and it has taken me 17 years to get to where I am now. I know if I studied it, I would be here a lot quicker but I chose the long and windy road. I believe in paying your dues as well. Success doesn’t come overnight so please don’t be fooled young people. Persistence is key, keep trying to learn and grow. Have drive and believe in yourself always. There is a thin line between over confidence and believing in yourself, so know your limits.
– Hush is your Baby, for how long have u been working with them?
Hush is 2 years old. I have been with them since they opened.
– What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing PR for a Club?
Disadvantages include late hours, time away from my fam.
Advantages: FUN environment, great people to work with, meeting new people, direct exposure to the market I work with, more clients potentially.
– What’s the 1st thing that u do before waking up?
Check on Musa to see if he is ok, then tweet tweet tweet
– Are u a Political person? if Yes what’s your take on the DA/ANC debate
NO no and no, not interested. I leave that to my hubby and Musa. I am sure I will know and hear plenty about it when Musa is president in 40 years or so.
-Name One Destination you would love to go to that u’ve never got a chance to visit?
– Which SA celeb does it for u at the moment?
Right now Minnie Dhlamini, so proud of this young lady. I have been proud of Bonang for ages and she continues to fly. Im also watching Dineo Moeketsi. Love this 3 ladies.
– Who / what inspires you?
Everything around me and also my parents, my husband, my son.
– Complete Sentence> Social Media is………..
– Which other international Artist would u LOVE to work with?
– Khuli Chana Or AKA?
I simply adore Khuli Chana since day 1
– What are You future Plans?
Right now, plan Musa’s 1st birthday. After that focus on growing my Tutone business. Doing good things always. Be the best mom I can possibly be.
– You last words to all the aspiring PR/Social Media Moguls ….
BELIEVE and make it happen for YOU.