The Times of the Youth
Posted on July 15, 2014
The worst day in my journey as an entrepreneur had to be the day when my team and I got robbed. We walked out of our offices, late, after working hard on the launch of our newspaper: Times of Ulutsha. It was for our launch online issue. We had our laptops, phones and external hard drives on our persons. All of the content that we had gathered over the weeks, and their backups, gone…in one moment. We had to start from scratch!
Given that my story in this journey of entrepreneurship is fairly new, it is safe to say that: ‘having the stomach to keep pressing on, against all odds’ is one of the fundamental principles that I have learnt. That, and learning to understand the value that my ideas bring to the team, so that I can better harness their interests and skills to further the brand.
Times of Ulutsha is a product of the branding and communications company 4D Incorporate and Creative Nestlings. It explores the value of creativity in the market, connecting the business community network of young people (young professionals and the unemployed). The greater brand purpose of the company (4D Incorporate), however, is to provide branding and social media strategy services for startups in the townships of South Africa. It was started by myself and four other friends.
The business started three months ago. Although new, it has impressed me given the successes it has achieved thus far. We work with a team of twenty volunteers to help produce the self-published publication. The volunteer strategy helps drive costs to a minimum, whilst it also provides talented participants of the media and communications industries (from limited resource communities) the exposure that they need. That’s how we leverage the team’s personal interest to build the business, as every picture, article and illustration is credited.
Months before we started the business, I found myself in a challenging situation. I had decided to take a gap year, in order to feed my interest in communications. I was about to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Stellenbosch when I decided to do what my family had never expected: not go to school then find a job. The year wasn’t glamorous. I was rejected by over 40 companies for their internship programs, and soon, found myself staying at home…waiting!
In a conversation with my father, about my potential future, I had to face my fears. He suggested that he found me a job at one of the local retailers, as a cashier. From his perspective, all I did was cook, wash the dishes and then go back to sleep. My heart dropped. I didn’t want to end up with the typical township, unemployed, story. I wanted my voice to be heard. Looking back I realize that conversation gave me the impetus to apply for one more internship. It gave me the courage to learn more about the industry so that I can now have my own company.
The internship program that received me introduced me to radio, television and print communications. However, I only started on my own company when a friend of mine approached me with an intent to collaborate on something. He had a passion for communicating with visuals. I had a passion for communicating with words. Our interests allowed for a common purpose to be developed.
Today we have formed strategic partnerships which have allowed for the business to grow quickly – even if it’s only been around for three months. Times of Ulutsha has developed relations with leading entrepreneurial companies in creative environments to help quicken the development of the newspaper for its print launch in September.
I went from being unemployed, to being the face of a multi-media brand. I then allowed that knowledge to empower me to start my own revolution. Times of Ulutsha is not just a name, it’s embodies a creative moment, a movement. It embodies my movement.