Image: Instagram

South African Formula E driver Kelvin van der Linde gets ready to represent Africa

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

History will be made on February 25 when the ABB FIA Formula E Championship takes to Cape Town city streets in what will be the first ePrix held in Sub-Saharan Africa. South African Formula E driver, 26-year-old Kelvin van der Linde is set to race, making him the first African to participate in the race.

The fifth instalment of this year’s 16-round series promises to deliver a high-speed spectacle as 11 teams and 22 of the world’s best drivers, including Mzansi’s own Kelvin, tackle a 2.94km circuit in the series’ ultra-fast Gen 3 racing cars campaigned by manufacturers such as Jaguar, Porsche, Nissan and Maserati.

Born & raised in South Africa, Kelvin started his racing career in Karting at the age of 8 in 2005. Since then, Kelvin has won multiple National and International Titles, as well as one of the Worlds biggest Endurance races, the 24H of Nurburgring.

In 2011 Kelvin became the youngest ever driver to compete in a National South African Circuit event at age 14 and then went on to become South Africa’s youngest ever National Champion at the age of 16 years and 128 days the following year.

2013 was a breakthrough year for Kelvin as he made even more history when he won his first International Championship. At the age of 17, Kelvin became the youngest ever winner of the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup and earned his place as a Volkswagen supported Junior driver for the 2014 season. Leading on from the previous year’s success, Kelvin wrapped up back to back European titles when he became the youngest ever ADAC GT Masters Champion at age 18 driving an Audi R8 LMS Ultra.

Kelvin’s success at a young age, promoted him to the role as an Audi Factory driver and since 2015, he has been competing as a Professional racing driver for the brand, winning some of the world’s most prestigious events.

South Africans and Africans at large are super proud of Kelvin for making it this far and have been showing him support since his participation in the race was announced, wishing him all the best.

Now that’s the true South African spirit!

Image: Twitter

Ozwane Mahlangu goes from being a domestic worker to a hotel manager

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

After completing her matric at the age of 38, Mpumalanga woman, Ozwane Mahlangu decided that being a domestic worker was not going to be her job forever, she was determined to climb the ladder in the hospitality industry – and she did!

Ozwane, affectionately known as Oz to her colleagues, was staying at ANEW Hotel Capital when she studied for her matric exams. Now, 12 years later, she has been appointed General Manager of the same hotel.

Growing up on a farm in Dullstroom, Mpumalanga, access to schools during her childhood was limited due to the rural nature of farm life. Ozwane started working for a family as a domestic worker, and as time passed, she realized that this was not for her.

After getting married, her family moved to a farm where she worked in the self-catering units, and guests would often rave about the services she rendered, hoping that her talents would not be wasted in cleaning alone, forever.

Ozwane started as a cleaner and an assistant to a housekeeper at Anew Hotel Capital, and after just three months, she moved to the kitchen as a waiter and ended up as General Manager.

With the more senior role, she realized there were more responsibilities and was determined to embrace them all. She also wanted to be fluent in the English language, through a lot of reading, she achieved this goal.

Ozwane did not stop her academic career at matric, she took on multiple courses over the years, including a wine course. Upskilling herself, mixed with the passion she has for her industry, and sheer determination is proving to be Ozwane’s winning equation!

Image: Instagram

Young Limpopo film director, Letlhogonolo Masipa’s film makes it big

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

In the past, South African stories were always told by others and not us, but this norm has been slowly dying as South African creatives are writing their own books, singing their own songs, making their own fashion and certainly making their own films.

One of the many young creatives who is paving the way in this journey is Letlhogonolo Masipa, a film director from the Limpopo province.

Letlhogonolo’s recent short film titled “Memories Last for a Lifetime” which was shot in his home province of Limpopo has been chosen as an official selection at Kalakari Film Festival. The short film was also nominated for the Kalakari Film Awards that will be hosted in Indore – India on the 18th of March this year.

In a recent post, the artist celebrated this achievement by thanking everyone invloved in this project, including his grandparents. “Congratulations to the amazing cast and crew this one is for y’all. To my grandmother and my grandfather thank you for allowing me to tell your story,” he wrote.

The Kalakari Film Festival is an exclusive event of INDIA for upcoming artist and thinkers. It is an award function and art festival by Rishi Nikam, and is the most prestigious awards for the film, animation, visual effects, photography segment across the Indian sub-continent and beyond, including South Africa.

Letlhogonolo has a dream of becoming an Oscar-winning filmmaker, and in his words, “the Journey of getting it truly begins here” – we’d say he’s off to an amazing, inspirational start!

Image: Supplied

Mandisa Matenjwa’s healing hands

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

Mandisa Matenjwa, 23, has hands that can transform any garden, and make it beautiful and serene. Growing up Empangeni in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province, Mandisa has always had a keen interest in agriculture, anyone looking for her as a child would find her in her grandmother’s garden, tending to it with absolute precision and care.

After passing her Grade 12 studies with very good grades (she was always an A+ student), Mandisa went on to pursue her Agriculture Degree at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, where she graduated in 2020.

“I was always interested in gardening and saw the importance of planting your own food from a very age. The decision to study agriculture was because I wanted to know more than just the upkeep of a garden,” Mandisa explains.

In 2021, Mandisa was awarded an internship at one of the biggest public trading retail companies in South Africa, Mr. Price headquarters in Durban. “I worked as an intern at Mr. Price the whole of 2021, where I took care of the garden. After they saw my dedication and passion for the garden, I was then offered the position to become the Agri-business manager – which means I’m responsible for buying the seeds, planting, pruning and just taking care of the garden. With the produce, I sell it to other employees, the canteen and restaurants,” she says.

“Mr. Price also helped me register my business, so the profit I make from selling produce helps my business. When I’m not working the Mr. Price garden, I offer consultation services to other people and business. Some people come to me to teach them how to take care of their gardens, so I first go check it out, then show them how to do just that,” Mandisa adds.

So, what’s the secret behind Mandisa’s healing hands? Pure love and water! “I use the same seeds, fertilizer and water that everyone uses. My only secret is that once you love something, it loves you back. I have passion for agriculture, I give it my all – I make sure I take care of those plants because I want them to take care of me, I want them to attract customers,” Mandisa reveals.

The most rewarding thing about Mandisa’s job is the number of opportunities it comes with, in a country where youth unemployment is sky high, she says she is blessed to have multiple streams of income.

The 23-year-old is currently busy with a business learnership, “I want to learn more about becoming a business owner, how to manage your business etc. I want to own farms in the future and be able to grow my own produce and sell to the whole of Africa,” she concludes before rushing off to another garden.

Image: Twitter

Actress Zikhona Bali’s inspiring poultry farming journey

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

You might know her as Asanda in Diep City, or Londiwe in Isi’thunzi, or even Lerato in Lakutshon’ILanga, but now Eastern Cape-born Zikhona Bali has added poultry farmer to her long list of accolades.

In this economy, no career promises to always be secure, so as an artist, Zikhona decided to start selling chickens. But because starting a business without capital is almost impossible, she joined a stokvel, and used her share to get started.

Zikhona’s entry into poultry farming has inspired many young people to be proactive in their careers, not be afraid to follow their passion, or even venture into new paths – you never know where gold is until you start digging!

The award-winning actress has been sharing her farming journey with her social media followers and has received so much support.

Next time you’re looking to buy a chicken for your Sunday roast, contact Zikhona!

Image: Instagram

Nzinga Qunta’s passion for journalism and little children

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

When it comes to women in journalism, South Africa has produced some of the best in the world! One such example is business reporter, Nzinga Qunta. Nzinga is a world class broadcaster. She works as a business news anchor with experience in radio and television, currently anchoring SABC 3 and SABC News’ daily business news show, On Point. 

She is a sought-after programme director for discussions, conferences, events and seminars involving heads of state, CEOs, entrepreneurs and social partners. 

Her work includes facilitating discussions at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2022, Davos Dialogues in 2021, capital market days for JSE listed companies, banks and organizations.

She facilitated discussions on two panels at the recently concluded World Economic Forum. This panel was titled ‘Realizing Africa’s Century’ and the panelists were the President of Switzerland, Alain Berset,
The Prime Minister of Tunisia Prof Najla Bouden, the Chairman of Multichoice Imtiaz Patel, and the Under Secretary of the United Nations Winnie Byanyima.

Taking to Instagram, the ever so stylish Nzinga wrote: “This is my second time moderating an Africa panel in Davos and each time it gets lit unexpectedly, it reminded me that our continent is diverse, vibrant and has many issues and opportunities. What a privilege to gain insights on how the debt crisis continues to cripple our continent, solutions and opportunities for investment and how innovation and partnerships with other countries can help us realize Africa’s century. It’s exhilarating moderating conversations on a global stage, this time with the support of the biggest public broadcaster in Sub Saharan Africa.”

When Nzinga is not being a media guru, she can be found writing books for little children. Her children’s book titled “Amari’s Adventures” is an interactive picture book about a little girl who goes on an adventure and encounters beautiful South African plants, animals and people. She encourages little ones reading the book to count with her.
Amari’s Adventures is available in all 11 official South African languages as well as Nama.

Image: Instagram

Here’s why Trevor Stuurman cracked the guest list for Beyoncé’s exclusive Dubai concert

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

Dubai recently hosted what many are calling the opening of the world’s most luxurious hotel, and a set of South African stars were lucky enough to be in attendance to see Beyoncé’s headline-making performance, including Trevor Stuurman.

Now if you don’t know who Trevor is, you should! He is a globally recognized, award-winning visual artist who specializes in photography, blogging, and styling. He has travelled across the globe because of his outstanding taste in fashion. In the year 2012, he got his breakthrough when he won the ELLE Style Reporter Search award.

Most recently, he received the most coveted invitation to Queen Bey’s performance at the grand reveal of the new Atlantis The Royal in Dubai.

As expected, Trevor looked stylish as ever! He stunned in a full denim on denim Gucci look with Gucci accessories to match.

It’s not the first time Trevor is being recognized by Beyonce; in 2020 he was part of Beyoncé ‘s film, Black is King, and in 2018, Trevor was one of the photographers selected to take pictures for Bey’s Global Citizen performance, which she shared on her website.

Trevor’s journey is proof that talent and hard work can lead to you to heights beyond our wildest dreams!

Image: LinkedIn

Lethabo Malesa becomes a commercial pilot at 21

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

Previously, it was very rare for a woman, especially of color, to become a pilot, but over the years more and more women have been breaking stereotypes and reaching for their wildest dreams.

At just 21 years old, Lethabo Malesa, a woman from the Seshego township in Polokwane has obtained her license to become a Commercial Pilot – so next time you’re in the air, listen to the pilot, it might just be her!

A commercial pilot is a pilot who can display a minimum level of skills and understanding to a licensing authority and has earned their commercial pilot license, which allows them to be remunerated for their services. They can also legally fly for hire.

Growing up, Lethabo always knew she wanted to be a pilot, and in 2020, her journey began at an aviation school. After qualifying, many people and organizations took to social media to congratulate and celebrate her achievement.

Lethabo’s journey and achievements are an inspiration to many, young and old across the globe.

Image credit: Instagram

Drip founder, Lekau Sehoana, shares his experience of owning a chicken business before starting Drip

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

Most entrepreneurs say they’ve always known that they needed to start their own business from the very early stages of their lives. Although most business owners struggle to get their companies off the ground at first, with perseverance and proper research, they thrive.

The story of Drip Footwear dates back to 2003, when founder Lekau Sehoana had to make the most out of what he had, which sparked innovation and creativity. Growing up in an informal settlement of Ivory Park, Lekau Sehoana, didn’t have any shoes to wear.

He then saw an old torn sneaker and redesigned it using Denim and Polyurethane. This sneaker became a local hit and led him to enter the shoe-making business, and exchange pain for profit, for the next 5 Years of his High School life. A few years later, Drip was born, and it has been one of South Africa’s favorite shoe brands to date.

Lekau recently took to Twitter to share how just six months before starting Drip, he was running a chicken business that wasn’t doing so great.

“These pictures were taken exactly 6 months before I started DRIP. I learned so much from this journey. Running a business and bleeding money every day, literally. Each day when it came, I went further into the negative. This business tested me in so many ways,” he wrote.

All the testing was clearly just a path leading him to greater heights, and what Lekau has done with Drip is commendable and inspirational – just the motivation we all need to kick off 2023. This is your sign to go for that dream job, start the podcast, and don’t be afraid to reach for your goals. The fear of failure will only hold you back from greatness.

And in Lekau’s words: “One thing about entrepreneurship, you must never panic. Even in the midst of the worst storms, stay calm, think of solutions, and move.”

Image: Instagram

Loyiso Manga is making waves with his Ubuntu Extra Virgin Olive Oil

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

If you’re a fan of olive oil, you might be familiar with the Ubuntu brand of extra virgin olive oil. The brand was started by Loyiso Manga – a bright and innovative budding entrepreneur who saw a gap in the market related to the accessibility and appeal of Olive Oil to the broader South African market.

He searched for over two years for an Olive Farm to partner with, and despite being unemployed while searching for funding for his dream of a healthier South Africa by bringing Olive Oil to the masses – Loyiso never gave up.

Loyiso was unemployed before finally being employed as a call center agent, but even then, he knew he had a different path to follow. Now his brand is taking over shelves at Woolworths and this is just the beginning for the Eastern Cape-born entrepreneur.

After researching the benefits of olive oil in food, hair, and skin, Loyiso knew this was a dream he could not afford to let go of. “The brand was established from a desire to connect people to the benefits of olive oil in a way that is fresh, positive, and attractive, and that exudes the uniquely African philosophy of community and sharing,” he writes on the brand’s website.

Ubuntu Extra Virgin Olive Oil has won Gold in the New York World Olive Oil competition in 2019, Silver in the New York World Olive Oil competition in 2021, and Double Gold in the New York World Olive Oil competition in 2022.

Speaking to GQ Magazine, Loyiso said, “We want to serve as inspiration for young people who are starting their small chakalaka business to encourage them, that if Loyiso can do it, so can they,” and we couldn’t agree more!

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