Spotlight on South African entrepreneurs: Bheki Kunene
The entrepreneurial bug has well and truly bitten us here in South Africa and this is evident in the continuously growing numbers of entrepreneurs exploding onto the scene on a seemingly daily basis. South Africans are nothing short of innovative and industrious, and with their drive and passion to achieve something great, there’s really no stopping them in the world of business.
One success story after another shows us that with hard work, commitment and creativity, you can make your dreams become a reality. We’ve decided to honour some of the country’s movers and shakers through a series of blog articles, each shining the spotlight on an inspiring entrepreneur doing amazing things with their small businesses. First up: media mogul Bheki Kunene.
Beating the odds and proving everyone wrong
Bheki Kunene was always seen to be a trouble-maker, a boy up to no good and someone on the “outs”, destined to go nowhere in life. Throughout his teenage years he was in and out of juvenile detention and after attacking a teacher at school, he was expelled and stripped of the right to attend any government institution in the country. After tirelessly searching for a school that would agree to take him, he finally managed to return to school and complete his matric.
Kunene would go on to face greater challenges such as being accused of murder (for which he was later found to be innocent when the real perpetrator was caught) and suffering horrific injuries after a serious car accident. Despite the odds being against him and peoples’ lack of faith in him, he was determined to prove everyone wrong and make something of himself – and this is exactly what happened.
The birth of MindTrix Media
In 2009, with just R600 to his name, no business knowledge and a single computer, Bheki Kunene launched his creative design agency from his bedroom. Specialising in branding and web development, MindTrix Media has flourished over the years and gone on to become a booming business with clients on four continents across the globe. The Gugulethu-based company is the first of its kind, employing over 40 permanent staff and delivering impressive work to its international clientele.
Having studied web and graphic design, Kunene struggled to find an internship position required to be completed as part of his course – this prompted him to take a leap of faith and start his own business. Whilst branding and web development is the main focus, MindTrix also offers app development services as well as marketing material printing.
Kunene believes that part of being successful means giving back. He’s dedicated to helping those who wouldn’t necessarily have the opportunity to study web and graphic design through his academy that offers previously disadvantaged people a free tertiary education in this field. He wants to provide the support people need to make something of themselves and because he’s a living example of someone who has done just that, he’s a constant source of inspiration. In an interview with The Legacy Project, Kunene provided some words of wisdom to all those people with a dream to succeed: “Keep trying and trying. If you don’t succeed, keep trying again and again. Take a break if you need to; cry if you must. Just never ever give in.” He believes that to be truly successful in business, one has to be resilient, have a thick skin and have the ability to bounce back when set-backs happen – because they will.
Onwards and upwards
Bheki Kunene’s achievements have been recognised numerous times, with him receiving the Youth Recognition Award from Stellenbosch University’s Africa Centre in 2013, as well as being named one of Africa’s most promising entrepreneurs under 30 by Forbes Africa. He has been lucky enough to have mastered the art of the hustle and is a shining example of what can happen if put your mind to achieving your goals, no matter how big or small. No doubt there is much more to come from this bright, young entrepreneur, and all we can say is that we can’t wait to see what he does next.
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Featured image: http://blogs-images.forbes.com