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Meet the South African born UK-based pop star bringing colour to music  

Meet South African born pop-star, doting mom and ultimate boss-babe Moniqe Fiddes, whose is at ease churning out the catchiest melodies, as she is being a businesswoman and a supportive wife to one of the world’s most respected martial arts and fitness experts (Matt Fiddes), who counts the late Michael Jackson among his esteemed celebrity clientele.

In 2009 Moniqe got signed to an independent record company in South Africa and released her first album in 2010, called “Ek kan”. Her hit single “Tell me Y” reached over 230 000 views within the first 2 months.

Her husband, Matt Fiddes, is one of the most respected experts in the international world of martial arts and fitness. He has numerous celebrity clientele including actors, supermodels and singers.

Undoubtedly Matt’s biggest client was superstar Michael Jackson. Introduced to Matt by his close friend Uri Geller, Matt was Michael’s personal UK bodyguard for over a decade before his tragic death in June 2009.

October 9, 2020 marks a special date for Moniqe as she is set to release her brand new album, ‘Colourful‘, after having taken some time off between settling down in the UK and starting a family.

Moniqe has proudly thrown herself back into the music game and ready to shine like never before.

NOWinSA caught up with Moniqe who shares her love of music with us, and everything we need to know about Colourful, and more!

What do you love most about the music industry?

The variety of artists and talent we have out there at the moment, as well as how much of a difference they can make in the industry.

How would you compare the UK music industry to the South Africa music industry?

I would say both are hard work and both have their ups and downs, but it’s all about social media these days… People like to be a part of your everyday movements. In terms of the actual music industry, I think it’s pretty much the same just that the music types and genres are different. South Africa also has a lot of festivals whereas here in the UK there are only a few. 

What can we expect from your new album, Colourful?

A range of different songs – upbeat songs, slow songs etc. There is actually one song in particular that includes some Spanish lyrics to it, which I wrote as well.

What do you miss most about South Africa?

Oh my…. South African food is just the best!

What is your fondest memory of being/living in South Africa?

Family time as a child and I love the cultural differences embraced in South Africa.

Beyond work-life, what other hobbies do you enjoy? 

I enjoy watching Netflix series’ when kids are sleeping; playing guitar, drums and piano. 

I really enjoy taking photos/photography. As a family we are very active so I love going for a walk outdoors with the family, as well as making silly TikTok videos (haha).

These days I’m really enjoying cooking… lockdown has taught me a few things in the kitchen, well everyone seems to be eating all their food at dinner so I must be doing something right.

Tell us a bit more about your role as the Director of MF Martial Arts Academy?

I am a director of the company so I work alongside Matt and deal with some financial/accounts/posts.

It’s important for me to keep in touch with the franchises, and be available whenever anyone needs to speak to either Matt or any of the other members. Other than that, I am proud to be Matt’s right hand and support him behind closed doors in terms of being his personal assistant and of course, his wife.

Why is self-defense and martial arts such an important skill to have and learn in today’s day and age?

I think we are currently living in a very strange world…Yes, crime and bullying has always been part of people’s lives but it seems to have heightened over the last few years. Nowhere in the world is 100% safe anymore.Being able to defend yourself is very important, and with that you’re able to learn important life skills which educate you on how to escape an unwanted situation. 

Our martial arts classes don’t just help you defend yourself; it teaches kids to respect their parents and teachers and educates the learner on how to succeed in life. It teaches adults to be less self-conscious and to be able to mix with different people in new settings and make new friends as well.

Social skills are so important in everyday life if it’s to do with work or your personal life.

Martial arts keeps the student fit and healthy, and even the smallest of change can have a positive influence on that person. We have had numerous people compliment the Matt Fiddes Martial Arts Academy for helping them, in so many unique and different ways.

Respect is also so important in life. I have seen such a massive difference in kid’s attitudes and personalities since starting their respective classes.

What entrepreneurial skill have you adopted since working alongside your husband, Matt Fiddes?

I am learning each and every day from my husband. He had a great Mentor in the late Michael Jackson, who taught him about franchising. I have witnessed so much within the last 8 years being alongside him. Patience is a massive factor but it does not mean you should stand still and wait. You can still move forward whilst being patient. Work while others are sleeping, postpone their success to the next day. When you have an idea – work on it there and then, as it’s pure and full of excitement. 

What unique attribute do you bring to the MF Matt Fiddes Martial Arts team?

I am just me, being Matt’s wife. Behind every successful man there is a woman supporting her husband with the support, love and understanding he needs. By being such a big support of Matt’s I have been able to learn so much from him, and witness firsthand how his hard work and dedication has shaped him as a businessman. His ability to guide people and assist them in becoming more successful has allowed for his own business to grow bigger and better due to him being able to support his franchises, and of course, if it wasn’t for each and every single franchise and student the MF brand would not be where it is today.

It’s a family brand, we are all like family. Over 1000 schools around the world!  

We hope to set up MF South Africa one day too. We have had a lot of interest but Matt wants the right person to take over and launch this amazing brand over there. 

The amazing thing about Zoom is that you can actually take up the MF online LIVE classes and learn our Martial art and life skills even when you’re not in the UK or Australia etc. 

What don’t people know about you?

I love fishing. The last time I went fishing was when I lived in SA, but I really enjoy it. I love nature. I am scared of snakes and spiders, no matter how big or small they are.

I actually talk a lot; and I change a song half way through listening to it. I like to bath twice a day, I don’t do showers.

Moniqe’s album, Colourful, launches on October 9 on iTunes, Spotify and all other digital platforms.

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