Men's Month

Men’s Month: Let’s celebrate the guys who are giving back

In Men’s Month, let’s celebrate South Africans like these four KwaZulu-Natal entrepreneurs who give back to their communities.

Men's Month

In South Africa, July is regarded as Men’s Month, a time when the country ought to celebrate and honour men. So let’s celebrate young men who are movers and shakers.

These four KwaZulu-Natal men all promote entrepreneurship and give back to the community by uplifting other young people.

How about we give them a shout-out so that men get some positive attention for a change in this country?

1. Bright Hlongwane

The 23-year-old self-made entrepreneur hails from the township of Umlazi and is co-founder and CEO at Isimangaliso Group Pty LTD, a branding, media and communications company.

Hlongwane is involved in many projects and initiatives that aim to promote entrepreneurship and youth involvement in key areas and strategic positions in South Africa.

For example, he delivered a speech at the 2019 United Nations Economic and Social Council Youth Forum in New York in April 2019. Then, back in 2017, he won a KwaZulu-Natal Young Achievers award in the entrepreneurship category. The public administration graduate also is nominated for the Young Business Leader Award at the Prestige Awards hosted in London.

2. Ayanda Njapha

Njapha is a video technology graduate currently working at SuperSport. He is co-founder and chairperson of the NUL Diversified Youth Organisation, a non-profit organisation working in the semi-rural area of Umbumbulu, south of Durban.

“Our team is made up of 20-plus year olds who are passionate about community building and believe in making a positive difference in other people’s lives,” Njapha says.

“Our organisation seeks to discourage the use of drugs and alcohol and expose young people of Umbumbulu to various entrepreneurship opportunities they can take advantage of.

“We also aim to assist a minimum of 100 pupils with registration in institutions of higher learning by partnering up with local schools and businesses.”

3. Simiso Mthembu

Mthembu, popularly known by his stage name Shaka, in 2015 co-founded Verona Walls Music, a record label in Umlazi.

“Our aim is to help people discover their talents and gift in the entertainment industry,” Mthembu said.

“We provide upcoming artists with a chance to use our recording studio and equipment and we also have DJs, models, dancers and graphic designers under our company.

“We’ve also worked with other artists who discovered their talent and passion late in life — just like Sphuzo Sabantwana, T-Spoon Mkhize and the legendary Masala Kunene.”

Mthembu and his team have helped many young people quit drugs. He wants to continue the fight  so that they can help save other people’s lives through the work they do.

4. Kwenzokuhle Masinga

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Masinga is a second-year video technology student at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) who started a production company, Lakka Productions, when he was 19.

His company is based in Durban and shoots corporate videos, as well as music videos for upcoming artists. He also works closely with artists from surrounding areas, especially in KwaMashu.

“I was inspired by my mom who is a graduate but has never been employed and has been able to make ends meet through entrepreneurship,” he said.

Sometimes Masinga shoots for free because he says he is not profit driven, but wants to make a difference and help.

“I’ve started transferring some of the skills I’ve gained so far from my institution to the community as a means of empowering others.”