By Mzukona Mantshontsho
O B TLALI LEADERSHIP ACADEMY is an institute for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Investment. The institute is on a mission to pull down the walls of poverty through job creation, skills exchange and infrastructure development.
I recently spoke to Founder Olebogeng Bosman Tlali about his personal, professional and entrepreneurial journey thus far.
Tell us about your brief history to your role today!
I was born and raised in Schweizer-Reneke, Ipelegeng Township. I matriculated at Ipelegeng High School. In history of Ipelegeng High School, I am the first chairperson of the SRC from Mathematics and Science Classes. I am a qualified Construction Foreman for Road Construction Engineering and hold a Diploma in Business Management from University of South Africa.
What are the most critical resources for your successful leadership?
My role as a leader is simply to renew and refresh the current status of our society including leadership, innovation and skills. This entails strategic thinking skills, active listening, and the ability to motivate and inspire others. I like to think I am a visionary and ethical leader.
What can we expect from you going forward?
My aim is to see at least 5000 young people getting access to skills development training in the following fields:
Business Administration, Information Technology, Agro-processing, Environmental Practice and Project Management through collaboration with Atvance Academy in the next three years.
I need to make sure that 50% of graduates from the above skills programs are getting access to Enterprise Development Programmes through partnership with Economic Development, SEDA, Department of Labor and NYDA.
There is a pending programme that we actual busy with together with Economic Development and Coca Cola to empower at least 25 local spaza shops owners or vendors in Cosmo City.
Since last December, we have engaged in implementing the Lokal WIFI in Cosmo City with the aim of providing young and old residents of Cosmo City with Cheap and fast WIFI as well as transforming Technical and Entrepreneurship Skills.
What are your words of advice for young people, particularly women to start small businesses?
At the moment we are sitting with 63.2% of youth unemployment, the percentage demonstrates that the futures of our country economy are in the hands of small businesses.
It’s time now for youth: “youth take advantage of the opportunities in our country and develop an attitude of being job creators instead of job seekers”. The youth should use the education as a springboard for creative and innovative solutions to advance their economic independence for themselves and families; they should also work towards in leaving a positive mark in the greater socio-economic and political landscape our country. We need future leader who will say; “Now we are going to move our country from good to great”.
What are your thoughts on Covid-19 in terms of small businesses?
As entrepreneurs we should learn to thrive under pressure, it is best not to complain and use what we learned to prepare for the next crises. The pandemic has also taught us how important it is to be able to adapt and keep business fluid to weather storms in the future.
What is the legacy that you would want to leave when you retire?
To build a world class education institution and infrastructure development company that will generate info-preneurs, innovators and investors that will generate young business leaders that will encourage others to step out of their comfort zone and help them to develop a talent they never knew they had.
How does your business contribute to the community?
In 2019, I was Programme Director for Nelson Mandela Day where I partnered with government stakeholders to assist youth and parents with social and educational issues.
In 2020 on Valentine’s Day, I led a programme called Show Love Back to School and my wife with her team led one called Act of Love, both programmes successfully donated to 131 learners and three schools in Cosmo City with school materials.
On the 13th February 2020, we addressed the pertinent topic of bullying in schools together with government stakeholders. We initiated the SONA School Debate where 10 learners from Cosmo City Secondary (1) who participated received certificates of participation from department of GCIS, the plan was to take it far but unfortunately Covid-19 happened.
On Nelson Mandela Day 2020, OB Tlali collaborated with Atvance Academy and issued 250 business administration scholarships for 12 months programme to youth between ages of 18-27 years in Cosmo City.
What have been your highs and or lows in your working career?
No matter how carefully we plan and prepared, there are bound to be some ups and downs along the way. It is important that we handle the good times with grace the bad times with perseverance and resolve. I use my past failures experience to create opportunities; I aim high to gain responsibility.
When you not at work, what do you get up to, and where can people follow you online?
First thing in the morning I will spend 45 minutes reading either a motivational, business, or financial education book or I will spend an hour doing research on my current n future projects. I am not much active on social media but they can catch some of my work on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Mzukona Mantshontsho is the founder of Nyakaza Media Solutions. Nyakaza Media Solutions is an organisation that was established to help community organisations, business entities, and schools to research, write, document, report, analyse, edit, publish newsletters or bulletins in hard-copy, on-line and maintain websites with the relevant content as per the editorial policy of that organisation, school or entity.
Nyakaza Media Solutions has a vision to promote and bring dialogue to communities, businesses and schools about issues that affect them.
Nyakaza Media Solutions is on a mission to develop and encourage communities, businesses and learners to celebrate the good, applaud excellence, welcome growth, strive to be better individuals, businesses and communities, want more knowledge, discourage bad and counter-productive behaviour as well as communities, businesses and learners that want to be great SOUTH AFRICANS.
Nyakaza Media Solutions is making use of Yo School Magazine as a platform that learners in all schools to make use of to write their stories.