TSHEPISO MALEMA FROM IVORY PARK SECONDARY SCHOOL Has a vision worthy of your investment!
Written by Monica Kethwa
Photos by Tshepiso Malema
My name is Tshepiso Malema from Ivory Park, I am 16 years old doing grade 10 at Ivory Park Secondary School. I am from a family of 3 children of which I’m a second born.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, I lost my father in 2016, that’s when I started being independent and taking responsibilities. My entrepreneurial journey started at a very young age when I used to have a small business, selling ice on a hot day of school, from a young age I never saw money in a consumer’s perspective, in other words I don’t look at money and ask myself what it can buy for me instead I ask myself what it can do for me to bring more money. I even save my pocket money but not to starve myself at school.
As an entrepreneur I had identified a challenge in my community and came up with a solution. I realized that substance abuse on the young people has become the biggest issue. Most teenagers cannot find entertainment facilities in their communities; therefore they‘re left with very little to no option but to jump into unhealthy and dangerous forms of entertainment which could affect the rest of their lives.
I am a solution to youth unemployment.
Townships have the highest rate of unemployment in South Africa which adds to the overall hopelessness and fear of what awaits us in the future, so I also want to change that by providing jobs through this business.
I also noticed that my township (Tembisa) is near the airport but most of the tourists arrive at OR Tambo and go straight to Soweto for entertainment but not Tembisa, that’s what makes me strive harder to bring change and influence in the township lifestyle! We are closer to the airport compared to Soweto, then why aren’t we the first option for tourists’ attraction?
What exactly is this idea? To cut a long story short, my business idea is to start an entertainment (actual wording from Tshepiso is hidden to protect his concept) facility in my Township Tembisa, to attract tourists and ensure that they experience “Tembisa”. But also this concept will give Kasi (Township) kids from disadvantaged families an entertainment center of high quality so that they don’t have to travel to the Surbubs for such.
Business starts with a dream then becomes a reality.
My entertainment facility will provide an electrifying and first of its kind real experience. The facility will entertain customers with the best ambience which cannot be recreated at home. What influenced me to identify such an opportunity is that I realized that we living in the ever changing world of technology, however young people in Townships are falling behind not because we don’t have such tech, but because we focus on the wrong things this technology brings!
My concept will change that, by giving young people this experience but also create an avenue that both international tourists and the locals can interact over one common thing to break the ice.
My business future plans are to have this concept attached to malls here in Tembisa, airports, theaters and travel centrals. There are lots of people who tend to wait many hours at the stations/airports before traveling; we will focus on those people at an advanced stage of the business.
It gives an opportunity for parents to leave their grown up kids at the center while shopping peacefully. What keeps me going is that I need to change the poverty situation at home and bring change and influence in the kasi lifestyle by setting an example to the youth because there is a lot of potential in the townships. Should this concept succeed it will create job opportunities.
My journey has been good because I already got a mentor who is a successful businessman.
My message to the youth of today is that no matter where you come from success doesn’t need a Visa and success has no age definition.
And to the Government, here we are as young people willing to become a solution to the youth unemployment problem, the question is will you recognize us and invite us to the table without any political agenda?