Joburg-based Shirley Mabiletja has a fascination for branding and advertising. Tasked with marketing Jameson and Irish whiskeys, as well as Absolut vodka, she started at Pernod Ricard SA in 2011.

Shirley Mabiletja
Shirley Mabiletja
Image: Hayden Phipps

The one indulgence you would never forgo? In a quest to satisfy my inner wanderlust, travel.

The grooming staples you are never without are… La Mer Crème, it keeps my skin hydrated and supple.

Your all-time favourite gadget? My Russell Hobbs blender has been a life saver for healthy smoothies by day and cocktails by night.

The single object you would never part with? My first pair of Converse All Stars that my brother got for me on my 28th birthday.

I did a multicity
tour of Italy
and my
last stop 
was Venice

Your favourite drink? A glass of Jameson Select Reserve whiskey over three blocks of ice.

The restaurant you frequent most 
I always try to explore different eateries and I recently discovered Gemelli in Bryanston. I love how you can share and sample from each other’s 
plates … I suffer terrible order envy, so this helps. My go-to in Cape Town is Kloof Street House. 

Your personal style signifier? There is something about a good-quality white shirt.

The last thing you bought and loved? A Maasai necklace and a Maria McCloy clutch bag, and I recently acquired a rose-gold tinted lantern from @Home.

Your favourite timepiece and why? A Tommy Hilfiger unisex watch, 
which I bought during a holiday trip to New York City.

An unforgettable place you’ve travelled to in the past year? I did a multicity tour of Italy and my last stop was Venice. There are no cars or roadways, just
canals, boats and gondola rides, truly magical.

The book on your bedside table? I have been intrigued by Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, and to keep me motivated and driven, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.

The last meal that truly impressed you? During an R&R session, I was treated to a weekend away at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and had the most exquisite culinary experience: a five-course dinner prepared by Benjamin
Conrad. Nothing has topped that since!

The thing you are eyeing next? Drake’s album, If you’re reading this it’s too late.

The best gift you’ve given recently? My best friend recently graduated with an MBA from IE Business School in Spain – no better way to celebrate than with a bottle of Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Rosé Champagne.

And the best one you’ve received? A black leather Ted Baker shopper that literally fits in everything, including my notebook.

The place that inspires you and why? My hometown, Johannesburg. I love that people greet each other even if they have never met, the can-do attitude of the citizens, the drive, ambition and sense of style.

A recent special “find or discovery”? Lush – fresh, handmade cosmetics store at the V&A Waterfront, where you cherry-pick different ingredients to make your own soap, shampoo, shower gel, etc.

The last item you added to your wardrobe? A pair of silver Gavin Rajah shorts that I got for next to nothing at a sale. They are so versatile – good for a night on the town or lounging next to the pool.

Favourite city and why? New York City – the rush, fashion, buildings, yellow cabs and every street/building/place has been referenced in some movie or another.

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