Mokopane Ledwaba is a marketing consultant based in Johannesburg South Africa. He is also a facilitator mentor who specialises in branding, marketing, and communications. Mokopane is involved with training various entrepreneurs from various industries within the SMME sector. On an average day, he spends about two hours following industry news and learning about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to marketing.
He has a bachelor degree in Marketing and Communications from the University of Johannesburg. After completing his degree, he worked for 3 different companies consecutively where we worked as a marketing assistant, a sales trainer, and a facilitator respectively. He is a huge believer in developing characters that would develop businesses. He is nicknamed Great Kopi which is short for great Mokopane as he is obsessed with delivering Great Value.
He reckons that his life changed in 2014 when he prioritised the need to grow and advance small and medium enterprises businesses as this would challenge most of the socio-economic factors that are a setback in economic growth. He is also an author of a forthcoming book entitled “Golden Projects: A start from Zero Approach to Success which suggests that the success rate of entrepreneurship in South Africa can be immensely improved. He is often confused with a motivational speaker due to the fact that he encourages people to do and be greater than they already are.
Although his primary focus is developing entrepreneurs in Africa he does not limit himself to just his continent. In 2015, he was involved in facilitation activities in Niefern, Germany where the topic of discussion was the future of automobile and e-mobility. He is the founder and managing director of a marketing consultation company named Elephantic Communications. He has an attitude of a very aggressive attitude when it comes to getting things done and perceives failure as an important landmark towards success.
His biggest desire is to see a change in the way African businesses operate, “Africa should produce more” is the motto that keeps him going. His biggest dream is to see his daughter looking up to him as them who challenged the status-quo of African business.
Like many of us, Boipelo’s path has not been a very smooth one. Fortunately for Alexandra township’s very own Boipelo Mabe is now showing young disadvantaged girls from around the country that passion, determination, hard-work, and believing in yourself eventually produces desired results.
At age 23, Boipelo is a social entrepreneur, an English newscaster on radio and television, a political analyst, motivator, public speaker and a model. She holds a BA Undergraduate Degree in Politics and International Relations and a Postgraduate Honours Degree in Development Studies from the University of Witwatersrand. She currently pursues her Masters Degree in International Relations with her research interest broadly in International Development Organisations and Inclusive Development on the African continent.
As a former Miss Alexandra her passion has been in the progress of her community but has since extended her vision. Her mission is to contribute towards the development of South Africa, the African continent and people thereof.
She works with civil and faith based organisations to reach and impact young people.
Boipelo is currently a TOP SEMIFINALIST towards the running of becoming MISS SOUTH AFRICA 2017.
She can be seen delivering the prime time news, weekdays on SOWETO TV and can be heard occasionally on YFM’S Current Affairs show on Tuesday evenings, giving youth a political perspective on relevant topics.
She graced the cover of over 1 million copies of the September 2015 issue of the CLICKS MAGAZINE countrywide, as the new ambassador of the Clicks Cover Girl Competition.
Boipelo is a role model and a mentor to young men and women within and around her community. Over and above her public achievements, she is known for her hard work and commitment to what she does and most respected for her selfless and humble heart. .
To vote for this young, ambitious, outgoing, and inspirational- sms ’02’ to 45791 (sms costs R1.50) and a single phone number can vote upto 50 times. #BoipeloForMissSA
South Africa has a lot of socio-economic challenges that are slowing down the rate of economic growth and development. Inequality, increasing unemployment rate, injustices, and the widening gap between the rich and the poor are among the biggest societal issues that need we have failed to solve in 22 years of our democracy. Education has been the most promoted tool for combating poverty, the biggest challenge is how do you influence the youth to take that route when there is so many unemployed graduates? How does one believe education is the solution when many cannot even afford it?
Many are now starting to believe nationalisation of banks, mines, and land for agricultural purposes can result in a faster economic growth whilst at the same time eliminating inequality. Some however question the reliability and performance of the current state owned enterprises. Post Office, SAA, Eskom, and Transnet are some of the biggest state-owned enterprises that are currently surrounded by scandals and experiencing tough financial crisis, now the question is how will nationalising even more economic drivers be of a great benefit if the biggest nationalised companies are not doing well financially.
Some of the other reasons why the economic growth rate is below average is the low commodity prices and the decline in Asian markets. Would this be the case if South Africa was an exporter of end goods instead of raw materials? As a nation South Africa is slowly becoming more of a consumer and less of manufacturer. If the country has necessary resources, this means that there exists opportunities to produce goods that can reach the global market.
Our society is promoting communism and demoting capitalism. Investing in people who will build more private and drive more private businesses is one of the best ways to speed up the rate of economic growth. Individuals, particularly the youth must be taught to be motivated by performance. The spirit of dependency has to be vanished in the minds of all South Africans we need to be producers, manufacturers, innovators, and most importantly business leaders. It must be deviant to import simple products that we can manufacture ourselves.
It is true that apartheid has yielded wounds that will take time to heal and has given an unfair advantage to members of certain ethic groups over other groups. The solution to this cannot be protests and a biased redistribution of land and other means of production. Giving land to people who are not capable of managing it to its full capacity is as good as destroying it. People need to be empowered first before they can be given rights to any means of production. Redistribution can only the beneficial to our economy if the people who are put in authority are able to maximise production, generate profit, and open new market. Redistribution should not be about people’s view on politics or how poor they are, it should not be about what tribe you belong to, it should not be about one’s role in fighting apartheid or being a relative of an anti-apartheid veteran.
Capitalism is the social system based on the principle of individual rights. Production and performance are the economic drivers of such a system. Capitalism is a good approach however in a country where millions still do not have access to opportunity a bit of communism can be of great importance. Communism suggests common ownership of the means of production which could be constructive depending who those owners are. The biggest pitfall of communism is that it defies social class and aims to make people equal. People can never be economically equal as there are hard workers and there are slothful people. We should call for equal opportunity for all instead of suggesting equal right to finances. We need a deep capitalist economy supported by some communism rights to ensure that previously disadvantaged groups could also have equal opportunity to power. Everything should be about performance, hard work, and being innovative.
By Mokopane Ledwaba
Mokopane Ledwaba is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, socialite, and a market researcher.
For booking: 081 487 6025/ email@example.com
This year Johannesburg experienced an extremely cold winter, some motorists had to remove ice on their frozen windscreens before they could embark on their journey to their different work places. Regardless of the cold weather, people observed as business leaders slept on the streets of Sandton on the 18th of June to raise money for Girls & Boys Town. These brave business leaders had to pay a lump sum to book sleep on the streets. Over 240 CEOs from across South Africa braved the winter cold and took part in the 702 Sun International CEO Sleepout challenge in Sandton.
I, Thabang Ledwaba of Elephantic SPA was one of the spectators of this event; I was following it on radio weeks prior to the CEO Sleep out day. As an aspiring business leader, I was fascinated by the whole initiative but there was one story that really caught my attention. The story is about Frank Magwegwe, senior Executive of momentum Retail who went from sleeping on the streets of Johannesburg over uncontrolled circumstances to donating over R100 000.00 to sleep on the streets for one night. Frank agreed to speak to me about the journey to his success, from being homeless to selling vegetable on the streets. Now frank is an academic, he is a public speaker. Let me just cut straight to the Question and Answer session…
9+1 questions with Frank Magwege
9+1 Questions with Frank Magwegwe 1. What kept you positive when days were still dark?
• A great sense of “it shall come to pass” even though I didn’t know how. This kept despair at bay. A belief that I had a purpose and that purpose was not about being on the streets. Lastly, I strongly believed that my dream of university education had not died but had just been “deferred”. So dreaming about going to university and life after university kept me optimistic.
2. If Frank was an animal, which one do you think he was going to be?
• Eagle. I am fascinated about how majestic eagles are. At face value, given their size, it defies logic that they can fly. But they do and reach amazing heights. For me, this reminds me that “don’t judge a book by its cover” and that it is more important to belief in one’s own potential to achieve success. 3. What instincts or characteristics of this animal do you have?
• Great vision – they can spot another eagle soaring from far away.
• Fearless and Tenacious – only need to see them during storms. Whilst other birds fly away from the storm with fear, eagles spread their mighty wings and use the current to soar to greater heights.
• “Have their feet on the ground” – thy soar to high altitudes but are able to swiftly land on the ground and remain connected to the found 4. Kindly take us through a short story of your journey from being homeless to being a business leader.
I “beat the odds” and “escaped” homelessness through selling fruit & vegetables on cnr Plein & Wanderes Streets in downtown Joburg. I became homeless after the family that I briefly lived with on arriving in Joburg as I searched for work couldn’t offer me shelter as I struggled to find work. I had arrived from Joburg from Kirkwood, Eatern Cape, where I had been a barman at Kirkwood Hotel and was fired for drinking on the job. The fruit & vegetable business became very success, I employed 3 people at some stage and this allowed me to spend more time at the Joburg Public Library on Simmonds Street. One day I met Mrs Zimmerman, bless her soul, and she helped me to apply for a place at Wits University and bursaries. I was successful in both and graduated from Wits University with BSc Honours in 1997. Thanks to empathy, resourcefulness, being positive in face of obstacles, resilience and being driven picked up during life on the streets, I gradually move up the corporate ladder since 1998, when I started working. There are many people, who helped me along this journey – I don’t believe in the narrative of self-made people! I must mention that I have always strived for being better everyday so I invested significantly in personal development, completing my MSc, part-time and many professional qualifications. I also took quite a bit of risk with my career growth and this paid off. For example, after having managed small teams and ran my own business Foremost Futures, that failed, I left SCMB Securities for a business development position at Coronation Fund Managers and had no direct reports. After 3 years, this decision paid off handsomely with a senior position at Investment Solutions and later Momentum. So, I guess taking some calculated risks and more importantly a mentality of never “arriving” also played a major role in my leadership journey.
5. What motivated your public speaking path?
• Gives me an opportunity to share my story and inspire others to overcome obstacles that life throws in our way. It is really about inspiring belief – belief that within ourselves, we have potential to overcome challenges and achieve greatness! 6. As an influential business person what is the biggest challenge that you have?
• Not enough time to do all the things that give me energy. In particular, having many young people that I formally mentor on a one-on-one basis. Have had to limit this to 6. Also, despite what I do to change people’s lives, being constantly faced by unemployment and poverty in communities like Orange Farm where I spend quite a bit of my time since I chair a school council for a school there.
7. Seeing that you are a very busy person, I just want to know; do you have time to fulfil you personal needs, what is your perception of having fun?
• I have opted to not search for the illusive work-life balance. Rather, I went for work-life integration and this works for me.
• Spending time with my wife of 17 years, (and was varsity sweetheart), my 2 girls aged 15 and 12, gym, reading, sharing my personal finance knowledge, writing and blogging.
8. What message can you send to start-up entrepreneurs like me who are still finding it difficult to find their own feet?
• Find your life purpose
• Dream big,
• understand that success and failure are 2 sides of the same coin, and that all truly successful people have failed at some stage
• be clear on your definition of success. For me, it is about the impact I am having on people’s lives, communities and South Africa 9. Now that you are an influential business person where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years from now?
• I want to have used my position, and networks in the corporate world to make a greater contribution to solving the challenges South Africa faces, especially youth unemployment
• I run a small registered NPO Inspire Belief whose vision is social transformation through education. We give Inspire Belief Scholarships at Masibambane College in Orange Farm. I want to have grown this significantly.
• In 10 years, I want to see my girls as 25 and 22 year old active citizens. 10. Final question Frank, this one is a bit too direct. From reading our recent blog post, what do you personally think of Elephantic SPA?
I believe that, given the challenges South Africa faces, business must make a huge effort to help overcome these challenges in addition to making money. This starts with a business clearly articulating its purpose. I like your business’ purpose “Elephantic SPA exists to empower entrepreneurs and create a network of intelligent individuals who will be market leaders and assist in overcoming socio-economic issues that are affecting South Africa.” This is music to my ears and is aligned with active citizenry (corporate), one of the pillars of the National Development Plan.
Thabang (Me): Thank you very much Mr Frank Magwegwe, See you soon! I am glad that we are on the same mission. Ours is economic growth and solving socio-economic challenges.
This article seeks to explore the opportunities that might exist should certain rocks are to be turned around. The main focus is South Africa’s economic growth and how individuals, organisations and public organisations can take one step at a time in making South Africa even greater than it already is. The infrastructural part of this article is based on a qualitative research and observations conducted in a Karlsruhe, a city located in the central part of Germany.
Exploring South Africa’s Economy
With the best infrastructural developments in Africa, South Africa’s economy is regarded by the World Bank as the second highest in Africa. The economy has been unstable in the last two decades and world economists predict even a more significant economic growth in South Africa; however there are still some economic challenges that as a country we are dismally failing to overcome. These challenges include the rising unemployment rate and the growing gap between the rich and the poor which is known as the economic inequality. Although inequality is an inevitable part of economic development, keeping it at a minimum is very imperative as growth becomes easier when all social classes are satisfied. Globalisation has aided a way in which local and international businesses are being operated; for instance, now it is vital for organisations to invest in Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS), which refers to a business practice that involves participating in initiatives that will not only benefit organisation but also the society at large. Part of the CRS initiative includes coming up with solutions to overcome or better the socio-economic challenges that exists. Something that Karlsruhe citizens, public and private companies managed to do successfully through electro-mobility and infrastructural developments.
Lesson from the Developed
Karlsruhe is the second-largest city in the state of Baden-Württemberg, in southwest Germany. Within the Karlsruhe, there is a partly state-owned enterprise named Karlsruher Verkehrsverbund (KVV). KVV has made a name for itself world-wide with the Karlsruhe model which focuses on transportation and infrastructural developments in the city. They always have a strategic plan of how Karlsruhe city can be developed; they oversee tomorrow’s challenges and come up with long-term solutions today. Their main objective was to solve traffic problems since as they realised that it was indeed a huge strain for their economy. To date, the city now has less than 5% unemployment rate, and for the past 15 years they have managed to close reduce income gap. Problems I wish we had in Johannesburg or South Africa as a whole. Their advice on the development of South African cities is that we should not set short-term goals as infrastructural developments take time, every plan has to be sustainable in the sense that it will benefit the society in the next 20 years or more.
Motivation for South Africa and Cultural Analysis
As South African business personals, we owe it to our people to be greater than we are. We need to start thinking from a strategic point of view rather than focusing too much on today’s profits. Allow me to stray from the topic a little: from personal observations one thing that really challenged my intellectual is the fact that there are fewer sports cars in Germany as compared to South Africa, but then again, they produce- we consume. Perhaps that is what makes their country’s nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) one of the highest in the world. Within two decades of establishing democracy and ending apartheid South Africa managed to create a diversified economy with a growing and sizable African middle class. It is now ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank. Socio-economic challenges are only slowing down the economic growth rate. Forecast economic growth could be greater if we instil within ourselves a mentality of producing more than we are consuming. We need a strategic plan that will shape our future position today. Should we invest 75% more in the sectors of manufacturing and infrastructural developments then I foresee an exponential economic growth which will put some of today’s socio-economic challenges in the history books.
Imagine if we can develop our South African cities in a way that we align our developments with the future needs of the consumer. Imagine if every business in South Africa had a vision of making South Africa greater than it is already. It is possible, it can be done. Let us change not only our working habits but also our mentality towards production. Like the Germans we can also be known for production in future. Fun fact: After the second world-War, it took the Japanese markets only 10 years to catch up with the already established Americans; they did this by planning ahead, believing in themselves and adapting a quality workforce culture. #WeCanWeWill
Vote of Thanks
Special thanks to the Department of Science and Technology (RSA) through Technology and Innovation Agency, IBA Global, Karlsruher Verkehrsverbund (KVV), the e-Mobility team of South Africa (Vula 100), and everyone who has a vision of making South Africa greater than it already is.
Thank you for making time and monetary investments in empowering, training, and providing knowledge to individuals who have got what it takes to change our economic landscape through Eco- and Electro-Mobility.
Some people have a dream of going to school, getting a job and having a family, which is sadly the basic human need. Game-Changers do not live by that rule. They believe they were not born to just work, pay bills and die. If there’s one thing I like about life is that it gives you the ability to choose. You decide your own destiny. The choices are rather simple but challenging if you have to think of ‘future regrets’.
You have to choose between being a Game-Changer and working for one. When you work for one, you will pay bills all your life. When you decide to be one, you will have to make risky decisions all your life. Decisions that can either build or break your life. When you work for a Game-Changer, you have to admit that the person is your provider. He shelters and feeds you and your family.
Game-Changers are in modern formal English referred to as business owners or entrepreneurs. As a Game-Changer you need to be innovative, as innovation drives change. Game changers will tell you that you owe it to yourself to be great. The future for South African Game-Changers is looking brighter than Rihanna’s forehead. More and more brave game changers are entering the business sector like Mexicans entering the United States.
Just a few months back a guy named Melford who works at Standard Bank shocked his managers with a very complex business idea that might change the game for a lot of South African small businesses. Melford is the co-founder of the revamped Elephantic SPA (PTY) LTD which was established in 2014 as a completely different entity to what it stands for today. We have projects like the HookupDinner, where we get to meet other Melfords and assist each other in changing the game, as South African Game-Changers we will change the world. We are evolving faster than the Rand dropping.
There is a trend that we identified as we were doing our research about SMME’s that co-branding is a successful strategy. Working together does wonders for us. Shout out to management of the following: Hookup Dinner, LTT Civlils, Dikopane Arch Designs, Pexa Brand, Oriole Entertainment Studious, GL Mole Group, Elephantic SPA, Tshwane Electrical, Intrax Investments 28, and G Class Constructions. Most important shout-out goes to Melford Matsobane Ledwaba, we value your dedication and visions!
A brave young girl from Alexandra Township approached and asked a group of men who are probably in their late twenties as they were chilling next to their sports cars, drinking expensive liquor. These men are referred to as the ‘cool kids’ by members of the community. They ignored the question and thought the 11 year old will stop at one. Few minutes later the girl asked the cool kids again, this was when they realised how serious this girl is about getting the answer. After noticing that she finally got their attention she looked at them and told them that her name is Mahlatse, she also added that it means luck. The cool kids saw Mahlatse as an untidy child who was way too uncool to have a chat with them, so poor Mahlatse was told to play as far away from them as possible.
A couple of hours later Mahlatse went back to the guys and made it clear to them that she will not stop until she gets the an answer to her question. A business owner named George was amongst the cool kids and he was furious as he felt like little Mahlatse was trying to intimidate them. So he had to prove to everyone that he got the power, he told the girl about his fortunes and ended up telling the little Mahlatse that she will never have what he has.
The brave young girl continued her quest to finding an answer as she asks for the 5th time “so, are entrepreneurs born or created?” At this stage, George was reaching for his belt and his fellow cool kids were shouting “beat her up already!” she sobbed out in distress until one of the cool kids, Bruno began feeling remorseful for her. Bruno took Mahlatse by the hand and started asking her questions relating to her identity. Bruno was shocked to see that the girl had a goal of changing the world through entrepreneurship.
Bruno then told her that entrepreneurs are created. After she got the answer she started crying louder than when they wanted to beat her up. She then told Bruno that her father told her mother that entrepreneurship is more than just a lifestyle it is a blessing that only a few posses. When she told Bruno her mother’s name, Bruno did the math and the answer was unbelievable but true. Mahlatse is the daughter of George, one of the most gifted innovators that the world has ever seen. Unfortunately due to greed and selfishness wealth changed George from being selflessness to being proud and ignorant. His destiny was to change lives but he focused too much on changing his. He was destined for greatness through collaborative work with other and empowering others but being a cool kid turned him into a multimillionaire. His employees get so little, he lives in a multimillion rand mansion. He buys cars he does not need to impress people he does not know. George was born to be an entrepreneur but he ended up being a proud millionaire who puts his needs before everybody else’s. George had neglected his girlfriend and child when the beast inside of him was awaken by wealth.
Listen because the story that I am telling is true, I was there as a cool kid and I was irritated by the little girl too. I know you want to know if George knew that Mahlatse is her daughter but that is not the reason I am telling you this story.
Moral of this story:
Some people are blessed with the ability to inspire the new generation through their innovative thinking. The world would be a much better place is people where not too selfish. We see people spending millions on cars, luxury cruises, private flights, expensive watches, etc. All in the name of showing off! Being rich and powerful is not the only route to happiness. Try touching people’s lives and changing it to the right direction. That is why the bible says it is easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. I am not against rich people I am just urging them to focus on the most important aspects of life. I salute every man who is driven by change instead of fame. If my neighbour does not afford shoes and I spend a lump sum on shoes just to show him that I am better, then I am evil!. Is money meant to free us from starvation or to show starving people that we are better than them? If you feel like this story is about you, then you probably right.
Elephantic SPA is a semi Public Relations business that exists to empower entrepreneurs and create a network of intelligent individuals who will be market leaders and assist in overcoming socio-economic issues that are affecting South Africa. Not only do we assist entrepreneurs or businesses with their professional documentation but we also strategically develop long-term mentality that will assist these entities in future. Such mentalities include company positioning, proficient writing, effective presentation and any other business related query.
Why Elephantic SPA?
The service that we offer is not only superb; it is the new level of public relations and business administration that have never been explored before. Whilst PR companies focus on creating, managing and maintaining relationships with the public that their client serves, we go furtherer than that. Our marketing and communication experts will ensure that they assist you in building durable relationships with your stakeholders. We offer numerous services in respect to consultation with the aim of creating a powerful economy driven by innovative, energetic, and goal-oriented business people. Elephantic SPA keeps businesses in a good light with the public and with private entities that could be beneficial to their businesses.
Here are some of the services offered.
We do counseling management at all levels in the organisation with regard to courses of action and communication, taking into account their public ramifications and the organization’s social or citizenship responsibilities.
• Producing Press Releases
• Report writing
• Event planning
• PowerPoint Presentations
• Strategic Conceptualization
• Professional advisory
(We always add value or an innovative feel to clients’ documents)
We will assist your business with setting objectives, planning, budgeting, recruiting and training staff, developing facilities — in short, managing the resources needed to perform all of the above
• Training on communicating value to customers
• Business solutions
• Redefining current or prospective market segment
• Perfect elevator pitch
• Business plans.
• Business proposal
Most of our work is based on thorough research.
Researching, conducting and evaluating, on a continuing basis, programs of action and communication to achieve the informed public understanding necessary to the success of an organization’s aims. These may include marketing; financial; fund raising; employee, community or government relations; and other programs.
• Primary: surveys, interviews, observations, and ethnographic research
• Internal Research
Our success is determined by the long term strategic success of our clients. For enquiry contact Thabang (Communication Manager) on firstname.lastname@example.org and Lucky (Marketing and PR) email@example.com
New Company Declares Pictures Orate Louder Than Words
The Oriole Entertainment Studios officially launched on the first day of the youth month attracted hundreds of youth with its ability to expand and grow at a rapid rate. A few weeks after its official website launch, Oriole Studios now has 3 celebrity endorsements including YOTV presenter Merica Monamodi, few models under their label and is set to reach even greater heights by exposing South African youth to the artistry business.
The Studio is owned by Molato “Mo” Phakwago, who holds that vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. “Our goal is to showcase artistic talent and expose the skills that young South Africans have to the whole world” says Mo. Changing people’s perception of art through photography is one of their primary goals. This is why they offer quality photographs ranging from Lifestyle (Food, Clothing, Cars and Fashion), Corporate Events, Weddings, Parties and Nature. As an independent entertainment production company, Oriole Entertainment Studios also specialises in high quality filming, television, and artistic management.
Could this movement be the solution to our highly criticised black filming industry? Could it be that empowerment through entrepreneurship is the solution for the unemployment problems encountered by young South Africans? The answers are only explored by having an experienced and extremely gifted crew, through that Oriole Entertainment Studios has been able to bring unique and relevant stories to their relevant audiences. Oriole entertainment Studios Head offices are in Johannesburg, 24 Hampton Ave, 2092. Find out more at http://www.oriolestudios.co.za
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