Meet the beauty and brains package that is the identical twins Juliana and Juliet Mango. The pair, who call themselves the “twinfluencers”, and describe themselves as ambitious business women, entrepreneurs and event organisers are the masterminds and co-founders of Mango Bites Consulting and The Mango Twins. They are also award recipients of the Zimbabwe Achievers Australia (ZAA) Young Achiever of the Year for 2019. We had a chance to sit down with them and learn more about the Mango Twins.
We were born in Zimbabwe and left when we were very young. We currently live in Australia; we moved to Australia when we were 18 years old. We grew up in Auckland, New Zealand where we spent most of our childhood and youth. We have two brands, but they work jointly as one. Our Mango Twins brand is centered around being influencers, women empowerment and organizing events. The services we offer include event hosting, promotions as well as being brand ambassadors. We would characterize our brand as ambitious, fearless, very innovative and strategic. Our Mango Bites Consulting brand is our small business. It’s a digital media and design firm that we started in 2015 when we were 22. We offer services for graphic/digital design, marketing, social media, branding, content creation including photo editing, promo videos and event campaigns. We love working with small businesses and helping them grow. We also love contracting freelancers to collaborate with us. We aren’t all work though. We have a passion for fashion and hope to start our own clothing line one day. We love to dance and play musical instruments!
Growing up around family, lots of cousins and being around at the peak time when Zimbabwe was rich in resources. We had everything you can think of, our house in Houghton Park had a massive yard with fresh fruits and vegetables and our father owned one of the biggest transport companies back then so we would get picked up and dropped off in fancy transport vehicles.
Life in Australia has been nothing short of amazing. We have encountered many opportunities and reached new heights we never could have imagined. We were only 18 years old when we came here, so we’ve had the privilege of seeing ourselves and each other grow into the women we’ve dreamed of. We are based in Perth but we have travelled around Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne. We hope to see more of Australia in the near future.
We followed our passions and we both did a double degree in Digital Design and Media and also post-Graduate Diploma in Media Production at Murdoch University. This was over 4 years and it was during this time that our vision came alive and we knew where we wanted to go. In 2018 we graduated with a Masters of Social Work at the University of Western Australia (UWA) which was a huge academic achievement for us. When we were actually studying, we intentionally went into different units or subjects so we could share what we learnt with each other and found we gained double than our fellow students.
Being twins and business partners is such an experience. We aren’t like your normal twins, we’ve literally been together everyday since we were younger. Sometimes we actually don’t know how to separate being sisters and being businesswomen so a lot of the time we’re like “okay let’s talk about normal sister stuff.” Like let’s have sister time, let’s not have a meeting or business discussion. We’re both so creative, very focused and equally invested in our business so that’s always a battle. On the plus side there are many advantages as well. We can pick up each other’s energy and body language easily and that comes in handy during meetings or closing deals.
The biggest challenge was finances. When you start your own business there is a lot of expenses that you will go through before you even start making any profit. We worked hard and soon we were able to launch. Registering our business and deciding the structure we wanted was also a bit of a challenge as we had never opened an Australian Business Number or business account. Another big challenge we have encountered is being women in the events and entertainment industry. It’s a very male-dominated space and we have encountered many obstacles in getting to where we are and where we want to be. That is why one of our greatest passions is empowering other young women. We always try and endorse young women at the forefront of everything we do.
We are creative and passionate about what we do. In our design firm, from the conceptual phase to design we’re really passionate about growing brands and businesses. When thinking about design, whether its a logo, website or flyer our goal is to be a high-quality brand that also invests in your business. In our events our passion is bringing people from different backgrounds together to enjoy music, dance and create a whole energy. We are also passionate about wellness, mental health, women’s health, empowerment and helping people. We have ventured into wellness consulting as social workers and we will be launching a health and wellness brand that complements our existing ones, so stay tuned! We are always driven by the goal of being innovative and shifting the narrative for Africans.
This is an area we have only recently started looking into. Because we left Zimbabwe when we were very young, we had not yet realised our vision for media and arts. Now that we’re older we’re seeing a lot more opportunities for us to influence and somehow build something positive especially for the future generation. We must also say a massive thank you to Zimbabwean media platforms who have published about us and what we do. A massive thank you to the Zimbabwe Achievers platform for providing a great space for networking. We have received an overwhelming response to our recent award win. Also, a massive thanks to Divasinc for this exclusive interview and getting up close with us, this is something we don’t do often.
Our parents for being strong and sacrificing so much for us to be where we are today. They have always supported and believed in us from day zero. We admire their hard work and dedication to everything they do in life. They are phenomenal. Dr. Casta Tungaraza, is another one of our biggest role models. She is very kind, fearless intelligence and has such big vision for Africa in the Diaspora. She aims to empower and support young women like ourselves to achieve success and we’ve collaborated on some great initiatives.
Having someone who is always supportive of your vision, someone who has your back no matter what and is invested in your well-being. And of course, having a twin we always have so much fun getting away with things no other person can, like switching places or answering each other’s phones. We’re so alike but we’re so different at the same time we have this balance, we’re total opposites at times too but our balance makes us a unit. That’s how we figured out the roles in our business and all our endeavours.
Be fearless and don’t let fear interfere. If you have an idea, or a dream, if you have goals put your mind to it-no doubt you can accomplish anything. And if we can do it, so can you. Don’t ever be afraid of the word no. Don’t be afraid of the feeling of being uncomfortable, because all those things only motivate you and push you to the next level. Keep a very positive circle around you to fight that negative energy that can almost make you feel you can’t reach your potential. Support other women and get knowledge, skills and tips from those who know more than you. We didn’t grow up with a lot. We had to create our own resources and found mentors and role models who we learnt from so we are really grateful. Lastly, be your number one fan and celebrate every success nomatter how small.
Through our entreprenuship we want to inspire others to dream big and follow their passion. We want to show that young women of color can exist in creative industries that are male or white dominated and still be successful. We’re pretty much creating our own path and that is very important for us, succeeding in our own lane. We want to show that you can use your passion and creativity to make a career. Thats why its so important for us to share our story; we want to reach more young people, especially women and inspire them. We recently got an exclusive interview feature on a brand new show by CMG International Media Group in partnership with World Remit, celebrating incredible Zimbabweans excelling in their fields in and out of the motherland. As black entrepreneurs and women in business we value moments like this because it’s a space to connect and inspire!
We have no doubt that this dynamic duo is set and ready to takeover the world. We love to see women who are passionate about what they do. You go girls, we are definitely in your corner rooting for you all the way to the top.
By: Nyaradzo Ngoma