Online influencer Constance Hall mobilises Australian ‘queens’ to help save Kenyan kids
Her penchant for crass language, tattoos and nude selfies make her one of Australia’s most polarising online influencers, but Constance Hall is too focused on saving the lives of African children to worry about criticism on social media.
The Margaret River-based social media influencer rose to fame after Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher shared one of her blog posts about how her sex life had changed since becoming a mother.
Hall then wrote two best-selling books, launched a clothing line, and amassed a following of more than 1.2 million Facebook fans who she calls “queens”.
In 2016 Hall and her queens made headlines after raising $200,000 in two days for Kenyan children’s charity Rafiki Mwema.
Today, they are celebrating raising more than $500,000 — almost half of which was personally donated by Hall.
“It’s funny because people say to me all the time ‘you must be really proud of yourself, what’s it like having everyone wanting a piece of you?'” Hall said.
“No-one wants a piece of me, they want a piece of my community.
“My community is everything — I’d have nothing without them.”
Constance Hall addressing her “queens” at an event in celebration of their fundraising efforts for Rafiki Mwema. (Supplied: UAVisuals)
Ignoring the trolls
Hall said she no longer managed her own social media accounts due to the overwhelming number of messages she received, as well as the constant criticism from online trolls.
But she said her fundraising was proof that social media could be used in a positive way.
“I think people are inherently really, really good and they really want to do the right thing,” she said.
“I think a lot of media outlets set us up for failure.
“They write things that are suggestive and that make you want to argue.
“When it comes to something like Rafiki Mwema and what I do on my page, it proves that people want to do the right thing — they don’t want to fight, they want to support each other.
“When women decide to support each other, instead of working against each other, amazing things happen.
“We’re saving children’s lives.”
Sarah Rosborg with some of the children at Rafiki Mwema in Kenya. (ABC North Coast: Samantha Turnbull)
Rafiki Mwema provides safe houses for Kenyan children who have been sexually abused.
It was co-founded by Australian woman Sarah Rosborg, who feared the charity would fold before Hall offered her support.
Online influencer Constance Hall refers to her followers as “queens”. (Facebook: Constance Hall)
“I would say since Constance Hall has come on board we’ve doubled the amount of children we help, we’ve built more buildings, and without her I’d still be struggling every month to cover the costs of the children we did have in rental houses,” Ms Rosborg said.
“It shows there is huge power in the internet, but people also have trust in Constance and they have a real connection with her, because she’s the one saying ‘give this money to these people’.”
Hall recently visited Kenya to see firsthand the results of her queens’ fundraising efforts.
“When you’ve been there and you’ve met children who are victims of torture and abuse, it’s hard to find any interest in anything else,” she said.
“My day-to-day life has changed now forever, my daughter sponsors a kid and it’s so important now to raise my kids with humanity and realise how privileged they are.
“I’ll be working for Rafiki Mwema and helping these kids for the rest of my life.”