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5 Minutes With Naqiyah Mayat, Owner of niQi

A content creator for her lifestyle brand, niQi, and online retailer at Shop niQi, Naqiyah Mayat shares her style secrets and travel favourites with us.

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Describing herself as a wife and mother to four children, as well as 'a content creator for my lifestyle brand niQi and an online retailer at Shop niQi', Naqiyah Mayat is a style force to be reckoned with. We spent some time chatting to her about her go-to comfort foods, her travel essentials and her top tips for places to experience in her home town of Johannesburg.

Naqiyah Mayat | House and Leisure

5 Minutes With the Owner of niQi, Naqiyah Mayat

Tell us a bit more about the niQi brand?

niQi is about abundance, celebration and an insatiable drive for perfection.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?

I like what I do because I welcome people to gather around my proverbial ‘table’; a table where bonds are reaffirmed and where breaking bread helps break down barriers.

And what's your least favourite part of it?

The worst part of my job is having to find a balance between being a wife, a mom and a creative.

What's your view of social media?

I use social media to change the dialogue, and to support other women. The best thing that women can do for one another is to appreciate – not judge – each other’s choices.

Style-wise, what are you into at the moment?

I’m currently obsessed with ultra-feminine frills, ruffles, neck scarves and bandeauxs.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I used to think that I’d be a fashion designer, a doctor or a pilot.

Where is SA's best view?

From the Four Seasons’ View restaurant in Westcliff.

What's the best advice you've ever received?

To have the mental freedom of not caring what anyone thinks about you. What you give power to has power over you if you allow it.

What are your go-to comfort foods?

Freshly fried samoosas and masala tea. In general, I think people love to gather around a table with platters and bowls of good food. It seems to connect our bodies and brains.

And your everyday kitchen staples?

Boiled lentils that have been portioned and refrigerated (for easy weekday meals and to layer in a breyani), and a tub of Kiri cheese, which we love to smear on hot paratha with honey.

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What do you never travel without?

A curated wardrobe, my Glampalm hair straightener and an itinerary based around the restaurants at which I want to eat.

What's the one place you have travelled to that you'll never forget?

Bali, last year. It was the first time that we experienced not one, but three earthquakes and aftershocks. It was very unsettling and even though I loved the overall experience, I was so happy to return home.

Do you always bring home souvenirs from your travels?

Yes – I always bring back grocery items like tea, interesting sugar moulds (Canasuc from France is my favourite) and good-quality chocolate.

Where's your next dream holiday spot?

I want to revisit Morocco (for the third time) to experience it from a perspective that is more educated on how to travel.

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What are you reading?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, to my nine-year-old.

And listening to?

Sympathique by Pink Martini.

If you could change one thing about South Africa, what would it be?

To have access to more halal eateries that focus on serving excellent restaurant-standard food.

What should no-one leave Johannesburg without trying?

A Citrus Sunrise breakfast pot from Tashas for breakfast, butter chicken from Al Hamra for lunch, prawn tagliatelle from Saint for dinner and ice cream nut cake from Pigalle for dessert. And my hidden gem in the inner city is freshly baked simit from Galata in Braamfontein. It’s delicious with cucumber, labneh, dates and figs, and drizzled with honey and some dukkah to dip on the side.

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