– by Lindelwe Moyo
One million Rand – to many high level entrepreneurs, one million Rand may not sound like very much. But to a young man in the township of Kwadabeka, Durban, it was a dream that he intended to reach, and beyond. Andile was born into a country in which one in four of his young adult peers were unemployed. Not only that, but South Africa has one of the largest disparities between the wealthy and the poor, in the entire world. His odds were not in his favour. Everyone was looking for work—any job to help put food on the table— making the competition in the job market high; but Andile had a different plan.
Armed with a camera rather than a CV, Andile had an eye for photography and a creative mind. He searched for whatever he could get his hands on that would sharpen his business skills as he dreamed to build his own media company. From a young age, he spent many of his days playing with his father’s Nikon film camera and Sony video camera. But like many, he gained the technical knowledge, but didn’t quite know how to turn those skills into a thriving business. He knew how to shoot photos, record videos, and edit footage, but how does one market a business, manage cash flow, keep proper records, and budget successfully? These were the vital skills he needed in order to launch his one million Rand dream.
The hard work began
After registering his company in 2011, Andile finally found what he was looking for—an entrepreneur development programme that would give him the foundation he needed. Not only that, but he was able to benefit from having a mentor through the programme – a local businessman with a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with Andile. He also received a micro-loan through the programme, which gave him a jump start in his business, and he was able to pay back the loan in full. After completing his 18-week Paradigm Shift training experience, Andile was armed with the practical business knowledge that he needed in order to really see his business grow. He knew the next step was to find a proper office to work from, and through hard work and diligence, he managed to get accepted into a local entrepreneur incubation programme.
From dream to reality
From his one little cubicle space that he was able to rent, Andile and his one employee made Nyachengos Video Productions a reality. Although their revenue remained small, they sought out more funding and loan opportunities, as well as more mentors to glean knowledge from. In fact, having mentors has been a key component to Andile’s success.
“Having a background of no one supporting you, and now you have to pursue this dream from really nothing, from nothing at all, having a mentor really helped me. Mentors keep you on your toes; I tell you, it’s quite hectic, but they are really helping me,” says Andile. Andile’s sharp mind has helped him continue to take his business to the next level. He received funding to purchase all new equipment for his company, including a drone. His company now rents out equipment, in addition to their other services, and Andile has film and production companies now approaching him to join ventures.
Watching it grow
Nyachengos Video Productions was able to eventually rent out two cubicles, and today they have an entire office space of their own, with five full-time employees, and five contractors they employ. They even won a “Best Information and Communication Technology” award. Since 2012, Andile’s business revenue has steadily increased, and he has even bigger plans for the future of his company:
“I actually have a much bigger vision than this. In fact, I see myself having a media training school that will help people develop their skills in video production and photography. But mostly, my main focus is video production. I’d like to see more people getting these skills, opening their own businesses, and also working for other companies within this sector. I would also really love to see our company operating without the owner, so I can look into other ventures.”
Hard work pays off
Andile sometimes passes by the little cubicle that he used to rent, the humble beginnings of his aspiring business, and is reminded that the hard work isn’t over yet—there is still a long journey ahead. But as a father with children to provide for, his perseverance has enabled him to not only utilise his gifts and passions, but to put food on the table, pay school fees, and support extended family members. The work he has created has brought economic possibility to himself and his family, as well as to the families of the people he employs. Today, five years later, due to Andile’s hard work, perseverance, sharp mind, and patience, Nyachengos Video Productions has reached their one million Rand goal. If his journey thus far tells us anything, it’s that Andile is just getting started. There are even greater things ahead for Andile and his business.
Hope for the future Andile not only credits his journey to firstly the grace of God, his long standing passion for digital equipment and technology and his background in Business Management, but also to the development programmes in business management and entrepreneurship he had the privilege of being a part of. One such journey was the Paradigm Shift programme that Andile was a part of through the Westville Baptist Church in Durban. Paradigm Shift equips churches to offer business training, discipleship, mentoring, and microcredit to launch entrepreneurs like Andile into seeing their businesses thrive and grow. These key components combined have the power to transform the future of an entrepreneur, giving them hope for tomorrow. If you would like to see a similar programme launch at your local church, or support a programme financially, please check out: shiftingparadigms.org
LINDELWE MOYO is the Executive Director of Paradigm Shift, an oranisation that seeks to address poverty in South Africa and other developing countries. Visit www.shiftingparadigms.org for more information.
JOY! Magazine (June 2018)