It’s the start of a new week, and today we draw our inspiration from Lucky Nkhoma from Soweto, Johannesburg. His greatest highlight was being his own boss as well as realising his full potential to push himself daily in order to change the stigma that’s surrounded black and successful business men. Read below.
I am the only son to a loving woman who birthed me under trying times in the late 1980’s but ensured that I had all the necessities to become a great man someday who loves relentlessly. I grew up in Klipspruit which is a stone throw away from the famous “Orlando Towers “at the heart of where the University of Johannesburg Soweto Campus is situated. Then raised by a courageous and loving woman my (my mother’s sibling) who showed me love and gave to me all that I have and am today as an entrepreneur and more. I started school at JS Mpanza, in grade 3 I got a bursary that led to an opportunity to be integrated into a multi-racial school known as Jim Fouche Primary in 1997. I excelled in High School and did a lot of sports and in my matric year was chosen to be the School’s first black deputy head boy in the history of the school in 2005. I was supposed to be the first black head boy but the powers that be were not ready for this kind of radical change in the new South Africa.
I endured many self-esteem battles about how good enough I was as I would compete ferociously but lack that extra will power to do well. I would always observe the support structure other kids had especially those of other ethnic groups not from my own background during sports days or even at rugby games. I always had to work extra hard to get recognition because there was no one who would vouch for me. Or even take footage of me whilst I showcased my gifts.
I started university right after my matric in 2005 as I got a rugby scholarship at the University of Johannesburg APK Campus. I enrolled for a Sports Administration and Marketing course and after completion did a Diploma in Communications Science and Public Relations Management. Post my studies I commenced work at Burson – Marsteller Africa and served for two years. I would say I am a communications director and my job daily entails strategically aligning key messages with relevant segmented audiences across the following platforms i.e. print, electronic, broadcast. My job gets even more intriguing with the digital climate growing ever so rapidly across the globe. I run a communications agency Soweto Brand Communications and have been consulting in my personal capacity from May 2013 whilst working full-time until I decided to focus on the company solely from October 2016.
The greatest challenge has always been capital to sustain the business as I don’t believe in owing anyone money so a lot of my work has been self–funded that entails forgoing a lot of my pleasures so that the business can see progress, I don’t regret a single moment though as that has helped me grow as a business man and also contributing to meaningful change to my clients as well as some of the people I get to pay from time to time so that they can in turn sustain their families. As the most senior executive in the business one tends to shoulder all the responsibilities because of the passion and love they have for producing quality work no matter who the client is and that may lead to fatigue as well as stress but I release through lots of reading and some leisure time at home. I have also embarked on empowering a few people closely to carve their skills out like an architect for them to have a shot at this wonderful world of communications.
Running successful campaigns for clients and seeing the value in what you do daily translating to great revenue for their businesses. My greatest highlight was being my own boss as my earning potential is limitless and I get to push myself daily and changing the stigma that’s surrounded black and successful business men for the longest time. I am proud to be a black man who pays it forward by supporting fellow black men and women. I am passionate about social development and I make it my problem to contribute meaningfully whether in kind or through resourcing or equipping through knowledge.
I am pushing myself to start running strategic advocacy sessions throughout the country where people are empowered with knowledge that consists of stats and facts. It saddens me that many South Africans still don’t know where to go to get adequate and credible information about any topic. To alleviate this lack, we need to teach and inform them on any topic that may be of interest to them. I see myself playing a role in the politics space using communications to enforce messages that will build our society and bring about positive and meaningful change. Hopefully also tap into other business streams as I am one to jump at new business opportunities.
If there was anything you could do differently, what would it be?
I would have definitely not left after two years of working for what I believe is the best agency in SA and Africa for the past 5 to 7 years consistently (Burson – Marsteller Africa).
I have great respect for Burson-Marsteller Africa’s CEO and Chairman Robyn De Villiers as she really epitomises the modern age communications specialist who transcends with the times.
I draw inspiration from the laymen on the streets of our country with no formal qualifications but are running successful businesses and doing well for themselves.
I also draw inspiration from my late mother who when I decided that I am starting my business four years ago took me to a Game Store and bought me a Laptop with a top of the range bag accompanying it. I will always be indebted to her for the sacrifice and support she gave to me. She unlocked the creative thoughts that were chained in my mind for far too long.
I am at an advance stage of launching a cause for humanity as I am passionate about empowerment known as Radical Change Movement, this will be a platform that seeks to answer many questions that the current youth in South Africa are asking about the way forward in this Political, Spiritual, Financial, Socio – Economical as well as Physiological turmoil. I believe through some of the skills harnessed over the years I can put something together that can help our country going forward as I believe we are still alive with plenty of opportunity.
I always have been the change I wanted to see because of many interactions with many diverse people in society. Always mirror your life with that of great leaders that have walked before you. Chris Hani and the likes of Steve Biko are my greatest influencers and I observe a lot of my peers who are doing well for themselves and learn a thing or two about their manner f approach to certain things. No man is perfect but bits and pieces from others will definitely make you a better person.
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Thank you for sharing your inspiring story with our community, Lucky. We wish you all the best with all of your future endeavours.
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