Since its South African launch in June 2007, CLEO magazine has featured a bevy of international beauties on their covers. The syndicated title, which hails from Australia and has sister publications in New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, has consistently showcased sexy, strong celebrities who serve as role models for their 20-something readership. Now at the tender age of four, the magazine has decided to look closer to home for inspiration.

“We realise this is not the first local cover to feature Bonang,” says CLEO’s editor Natalie Pool, “But we’ve had our eye on her for a while and truly believe she is the very epitome of a CLEO girl. At 24, Bonang is the same age as many of our readers, and like them she is hard working and ambitious, and shoe-obsessed!”

The social-networking queen, who has over 80 000 Twitter followers and over 200 000 Facebook fans, is a Lifestyle brand ambassador, and is a savvy media personality who has a slot on YFM, co-hosts SABC1’s Live and has her own internet reality show B*Dazzled, on “She’s living proof that girls really do run the world and that’s what makes her so appealing to young South African women,” says Pool. “If she can do it, why can’t we?”

Bonang graces the October issue of CLEO magazine, which includes a four-page spread and revealing interview with the young businesswoman and style icon who spoke candidly to the magazine about just about everything. Here’s just a sneak peak of what she had to say:

Bonang: bite-sized!

On being a Twitter queen:
“I’ll tweet while waiting for interviews, or during a shoot, but I do most of my tweeting at night when I’m in bed. That’s when I can answer fan questions.”

On dealing with haters:
“I now have a second Twitter account; I literally had to delete my first one because I was being attacked every day. I’m not the kind of person who argues; I don’t fight back, I just ignore it.”

On her reality show B*Dazzled:
“It’s either I do it, and I do it properly, or I don’t do it at all. If I want people to celebrate me, it must be all of me, but in a controlled manner. I won’t show viewers my mother’s house, or my very personal life, it’s more about what I think they’ll find interesting.”

On relationships:
“I’m like the one on Red Bull in a relationship, so I need someone who brings me back down to earth.”

Lifestyle brand manager Amanda Dlamini comments, “We are really proud of Bonang. She epitomises everything a young, confident woman should. She has promoted self-assurance to young school girls with Lifestyle’s ‘carry yourself with confidence’ campaign and she is enforcing that even more by showing that South African women can do anything they put their minds to, like being the first to grace the cover of a phenomenal magazine such as CLEO.”

As for ‘Queen B’ herself? She simply says, “The idea of being the first local girl on the cover of CLEO magazine is such an honour for me since I’m involved with the Lifestyle brand which celebrates young fabulous women in terms of fashion, lifestyle and beauty just like CLEO magazine.”

For more with SA’s own It girl on being too skinny, looking older and posing for Playboy magazine, get the October issue of CLEO on sale on 19 September. The Generation Y handbook is also packed with summer fashion and beauty, a body section, and the always saucy ‘sextion’, this month getting to grips with his likes and loathes between the sheets. Follow CLEO on Twitter and find them on Facebook.

For more confidence and style tips from Bonang, follow Lifestyle SA on Twitter and find them on Facebook.