A skill without hard work is futile.
This was the advice given to entrepreneurs at B-Man’s Lounge in KwaNobuhle, Uitenhage on Thursday night at the second edition of Business Conversations with Mfuleni and Friends.
Imbizo Group chief executive Motse Mfuleni, whose brainchild the series is, said hosting the conversations in townships was a deliberate decision as such initiatives often took place only in affluent areas, excluding the majority of citizens.
On the panel were Carax Holdings managing director Thami Xango, Bay TV executive producer Tumi Flask, The Herald and Weekend Post deputy editor Nwabisa Makunga, business banking head of Standard Bank in Port Elizabeth Ray Bibby, Nelson Mandela University professor Jean Greyling and Dennis Connect chief executive Darryl Dennis.
Property developer Xango shared his story of determination that saw him survive being homeless to build a property investment business.
Xango told aspiring developers that banks “want to give you as much [money] as possible but they just need to be comfortable that you can pay them back”.
Co-director of Bophelo Enterprise, Mongezi Lugodlo, said the youth of KwaNobuhle felt that training opportunities were more prominent in PE while no information centres were available in the township.
“Training always happens in PE. We need services right here and we also need incubators because we’ve all heard the outcry from the youth as it’s too far to travel all the way to Cape Road just to find out information when it could be done here. These services must come and be visible for all to use,” he said.
Responding to a call for the youth to be more conscious, Dennis said although he agreed, it was important to note the state the country was in.
“We live in a state where it’s politics of the stomach and not politics of the mind,” he said.
“People need to feed families and so they don’t make decisions with their heads. One cannot be conscious on an empty stomach.”
Poet Lelethu Mahambehlala, who performed at the event, said crawling before walking was a necessary journey to obtaining success.
The next conversation will be held at Ibhayi Tshisanyama in Motherwell at 6pm on Thursday August 24.