By Zintle C. Mnyaka
It all begun quite early in my childhood, I use to help Mambhele market her fat-cakes at school in grade one from the village of Khwezana in Alice, in the Eastern Cape where the African leaders producing University of Fort Hare is located.
This of course was for the benefit of getting the fat- cakes for free, this was payment in-kind, until my grandmother wanted me to stop eating these greasy lunch specials, she was a nursing sister.
I then had to now get money in return for my canvasing for customers. The entrepreneur in me was officially born in the early eighties..
I have always sold something at school whenever I needed extra money. In high school I started a tuck shop that taught me how to balance school work and work because there was no time to play between running a business and studying. Between planning, buying stock, preparing the things to sell for the day and carrying my school bag and the stock; travelling by train now in the city of Cape Town was no child’s play.
I had started to learn how to balance life from a very young age, making me ready to be who I have become in the business world.
What I had not told you was that I had become a teen mother at 17 (story to be told another Day) thus, I was balancing Motherhood, Student life and a Small Business. The most important thing to note was that I had all the intentions to succeed despite my challenges of roles that were not quite meant for a 17 years old then and even now.
After Matric, I worked as collection agent at WoolTru group, where I had the knack to get debtors agreeing to pay without aggression. This was whilst I attended Cape Technikon for a Diploma in Marketing Management. I then moved to Vodacom as a call centre agent to finally being employed by Telkom as a Corporate Business Advisor; all this before the age of 22.
Whilst at Telkom I got an opportunity to organise a business development event for Vodacom in Western Cape which was such a success that I decided to pursue a business in events & communication where I convinced my elder sister and a friend to partner with me and we became the mighty VOZ Evets Marketing Company in 1998 as my first registered company; we were known as the new black kids in the events business in Cape Town. This business grew into a turnover of R1.5million within the first two years of opening its doors from my bedroom in my parents house to the 10th floor at FNB building in Heerengracht.
I must say that the lack of financial assistance we experienced in 1998, where we financed the first 3 months of our business from my little pension fund pay-out and the silver credit card I had; is still the experience I had in 2018 but I still haven’t given up.
So over 20 years of entrepreneurship experience, I have owned or served in a number of diverse companies as an owner, partner or director but Communication & Hospitality remains my passion.
For your business to succeed you need to start something that you are passionate about. This will encourage you not to give up easily at the first sight of adversity. On the other side, I am also a change agent and I have set on executive committees of two NPOs and was actively involved in the Soweto based Themba Africa which is about Feeding , Teaching and Grooming young people and focusing on skills development.
We have since diversified because we are believers of becoming involved in our value chain when we are not able to get the service we require from the market or service providers. Now I am a Farmer on Stilettos also an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Practitioner and a Life Coach. My interest in on the well-being of human beings thus we run a Holistic Health Wellness Farm in East London.
Blissful Wellness Farm’s main services are Farming of Culinary Herbs, Wellness Health Spa, Private Restaurant and Overnight Accommodation. We host wellness retreats for different groups, companies and focus on Self Discovery, Restoration and Transformation.
The journey still continues and it hasn’t been smooth sailing but we are driven by passion and wanting to affect our nation with positive change. Remember if you believe in your vision and dream, then giving up is not an option!
Few things to note as you plan to embark on the Journey to Entrepreneurship are the following:-Planning ahead, Researching on the industry of interest and where possible get experience through employment from established companies to Learn the processes and the game. Please do pay attention to the 5Ws & H.
- What do you want to do & what need is it fulfilling? (The Vision/Idea)
- Why do you think it will work & sell? (Viability of Business)
- Where is it going to happen? (Business Base/Premises)
- When do you intend to start? (Time lines)
- Who would be your clients & investors ? (Market & Financiers to approach)
- How will you run your business? (Action Plan with Costs)
Once you have answered these questions at length, you have started your business plan. In addition it is very important to develop an SML (Short, Medium & Long) term plans on the running and maintaining of the business into generating a healthy profit and self-sustenance.
I am Phenomenal Coach Zie and I wish all the budding entrepreneurs, perseverance and great success with blissfulness in their business journeys.
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.