The Education Ambassadors SA team caught up with Teboho Seekane, a 35 year old male who firmly believes that for black youth to grow their economy, bring forth job creation and reduce the high level of unemployment they need to be hands-on as entrepreneurs and never rely on the next person to do it for them. Read his awe-inspiring story below.
I am an ambitious, innovative and a pioneer, husband and a father of two beautiful angels. One word that describes me best is Aquarius. Where others see problems I see and find solutions. I am the third child and only boy amongst three girls. Our father passed away while we were still young and we were raised by our mother who under all the strain and frustrations that we put her through still managed to keep the family as a unit.
I studied at Ed-U-College Phuthaditjhaba where I was head boy and dux student in my matric year and furthered my studies at University of Free State Bloemfontein studying Geographical Information Systems but did not complete the degree as I found my passion to lie in the Information Technology field. I then moved to CTU (Computer Training Solutions) in Pretoria, Tshwane where I studied Graphic Design, Web Development and Design with an introduction to MCSD.
My interests are outdoors (nature), IT sector and media, reading, family, arts, property. I believe in being the difference that you want to see.
I grew up in a neighbourhood which had a lot of boys so those years were fun-filled as we spent our days playing which is what most children in ekasi do. There is no specific highlight that I can bring up because I would be unfair to myself as I enjoyed my growing up years. One of the biggest challenges I had was growing up without a father because I had so many questions to ask God and my biggest mistake was not speaking about it as it frustrated me everyday until I turned 19. On my way to tertiary (Vaal Technikon then) in the year 2000 January 10 we were involved in a horrific head-on collision car accident with my mother which left her semi paralysed and I again bottled everything deep inside as I blamed myself because hadn’t she driven me to school that would have not happened. I only managed to get rid of that inner bitterness and self-hate in 2006 when my son was born on the very same day we received the accident on January 10. I realised that I had been holding myself back for years and overlooked a lot of opportunities in life.
In 2003-2004 I worked for Jomele Consultants in Secunda as a Site Agent while being a computer technician in my spare time. In 2005 I moved back to QwaQwa where a few friends and I start repairing computers in our small town but due to the scarcity of computers during that period it was difficult for us to make a sustainable living. I then moved back to Secunda in May 2005 to be a manager for stores owned by Mr Joe Dlhamini on site at Sasol and while visiting home during November I was offered a job position by Free State Stars Football Club to be their IT Department Assistant Manager and Webmaster. In the late 2006 until 2009 being the IT Manager at that period I realised that my biggest potential was bringing to life concepts which grew the football club’s brand through communications, marketing, brand development and positioning.
In 2009 June I conceptualised an online business directory which was to be linked to social media (Facebook). I worked on the project for 6 months and in October 2009 I took the risk of resigning at the end of that year to follow my passion that drove me to start a business, little did I know of the challenges and joys that would come with the package. In January 2010 the project Biz Finder FS came to life but because of being from a nodal area and traditional marketing strategies in the Eastern Free State the project was short lived. In June 2010 I then followed one of my passions which is Arts and brought to life one of my dream projects and registered a company Creative Arts Talent Africa with business partner Manda Makhanya, in September 2010 a friend programmer, web designer & developer Mandla Makhanya put together a one-stop website for the arts sector where aspiring talent and established artists would be able to showcase their talent and maximise their exposure within South Africa and beyond.
With Creative Arts Talent Africa we opened doors in Free State and Tshwane where we were endorsed by the City Of Tshwane Arts & Culture Department, Tshwane Chamber Of Commerce and Industry (Arts and Culture Department Cabinet Leader – Mr Marumo Marumo), State Theatre (Mr Mahlangu), endorsed by Maluti-A-Phofung Municiaplity (Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation) for a project 365 Days of Creative Arts.
Unfortunately on 12 July 2013 I got extremely sick where I had to lay off work until November of the same year and during this period I conceptualised the project Free State Television www.fstv.tv which was initially MAP TV www.maptv.co.za together with Mandla Makhanya (business partner) which has been endorsed by our local municipality (Maluti A Phofung).
Fast forward to 2014, I decided to re-brand and rebuild the media company I had registered in 2010, with the rebranding came the name change from Boikano Media to DigiMap Media Global and additions of new services to the company. We added Outdoor Advertising to our services as I had realised that less black entrepreneurs were up for the challenge in that segment. Again we added Events Management to DigiMap Media Global and we hosted our first big event (7 days) in August 2015, we brought the first arts conference (It’s Our Art Conference) to the Eastern Free State where we had various speakers providing workshops for our local aspiring talent. The conference also provided a platform for our local artists to share the stage with national artists.
Being an abstract art collector and artist manager a friend (Tebello Moeketsi) and I merged forces in December 2015 to gradually build an entertainment company New Art Chapter Entertainment (NACE). With NACE we manage 5 local artists (4 Hip Hop Artists – Gang Bam!!RSA, Musz, Napstar and Lil Dude and 1 RnB Artist Steezy).
We are currently working with a gifted music producer Ghaddo who hails from Bethlehem which is 87KM from Qwaqwa. As a company in its toddler stage we’re still building to compete in the music and entertainment scene.
I am personally involved in the day to day operations and gradual growth of 8 companies (Shadevo Solutions, Aisles and Smiles, New Art Chapter Entertainment, DigiMap Media Global, Paige Property Management, EvoMind, FSTV and BTV Group) which are all under an umbrella company TMSEEK GROUP.)
My business partners include a childhood friend, long term business partner, my wife, younger sister and 4 close friends. We all share the same vision and mission, I believe in loyalty with all of me and these individuals are not just business partners but are family to me. In all the companies I have mentioned I have been tasked not only to seek solutions and business avenues but to also do my best to get the companies as much experience as possible.
Thoughts on entrepreneurship
I am me and nothing personifies me better. I believe in myself and my goals and vision. Humility is vital in the world that we live in. The true explanation of people who go the extra mile to achieve their goals and ensure that sustainability is achieved for the longevity of success is what entrepreneurship is all about. It brings economic change to our lives and country. The struggle at the moment is that we have entrepreneurs not supporting one another and local big businesses not believing in us. We need more innovators and inventors instead of having 10 entrepreneurs replicating the same business model with no difference or specialty in the service they offer.
I am a firm believer of Support Black Business Daily & Black Business for Black Business I wouldn’t want to get misquoted or misjudged because being for black business doesn’t make me a racist. For us to grow our economy as black youth, bring forth job creation and reduce the high level of unemployment we need to be hands-on as entrepreneurs and never rely on the next person to do it for you. Entrepreneurship for a better, sustainable and financially stable life is here now and no longer in the future. Black child it is possible.
- We brought to life the first Internet TV designed, developed and maintained by young black individuals.
- Hosted the first Arts Conference in the Eastern Free State and we shall be running the second event in November 2016.
- Hosted Gala Dinner and honoured legendary author Dr. K.P.D. Maphalla with DigiMap Media Global in 2015.
- Seeing growth in Outdoor Advertising division.
- Working with the most creative and innovative young team who are determined be the difference and not putting money first. We are working on concepts when discussed people think we’re too big of dreamers.
To succeed one must have:
• Self Believe
• Daily reading / learning
• Stay away from negativity
• Keep like minded and self-driven individuals around you always
• Research about everything you work on and intend to work on.
Future plans and last words
I would like to see our business operating on continental level in the next three years.
I draw inspiration from 1 specific business individual from Qwaqwa Mr Tommy Makgatho. To me he’s a true symbol of black entrepreneur who built a brand that competes with continental powerhouses in Qwaqwa and still stands to ace the market. He once said “If you are able to master the market wa heno tseba hore ha o no hloleha”. He set his target, drove the passion home and still is achieving his goals.
In life, business or career you need to be mentally, spiritually and physically ready for a challenge. This is a journey filled with hiccups and pitfalls but trust me it is worth every minute of it. You need to equip yourself with all the ammo that you will need (research, education, mentor and everything else that you will require and always ensure that you are legitimate in all your dealings).
Remember to Always Do It Right or Never Do It At All – I live by this motto everyday.
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Thank you for sharing your inspirational story with our community,Teboho. You are a true inspiration. All the best in everything you do.
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