A Katlehong entrepreneur is fighting unemployment through creative entrepreneurship after struggling to find work since obtaining his qualification in public relations at the University of South Africa (UNISA) in 2015.
32-year-old entrepreneur, Sthembele Njobo, of Ext 3 Palm Ridge, Katlehong, was recently honored with a certificate of recognition from Inside Education after making it on the 100 South African Shining Stars 2022, under the category of Business and Entrepreneurship .
Njobo said he was nominated for his initiative called Taxi TV, which is meant for advertising, targeting start-up companies and entrepreneurs, and highlighting the successes and challenges township communities face on a daily basis.
He shared that he is currently ‘incubated’ under The Innovation Hub at eKasi Lab Kathorus.
“We are busy with the pilot idea and are almost finished with everything. It is a matter of commercialization and installing the screens in the taxis,” said Njobo.
He said Taxi TV is not only a great source of information and entertainment, but also a great opportunity for freelancers and graduates to gain work experience.
“I’m currently pushing the fundraising for the launch because right now it’s just a pilot idea, but we want to launch it officially. In terms of financial support, I have no sponsors, apart from the partnership with the innovative hub.”
Njobo comes from an artistic background. He is a former rapper who first rose to fame with a hit single titled My Rap where he featured on iFani in 2011, before switching careers to become an event strategist, TV producer and publicist and he is now a full-time digital entrepreneur.
“I was a job seeker who turned into a job creator. In May 2016, after a year of struggling to find work, I founded a technology-driven company to help small businesses and independent artists in Kathorus maximize their online visibility,” he said.
He initiated Naugh Media Communications (NMC) which provides data-driven social media results with an in-house media house.
It also offers a digital engagement strategy, content creation and copywriting for local SEO, paid advertising campaigns, media training, brand photography and video, SEO and crisis management.
He believes that search engine optimization guarantees success for companies and that when customers search for products or services you offer, you should rank high.
“Google’s search algorithm is the gatekeeper standing between you and your customers, so you have to impress Google first.”
Njobo also mentors creative entrepreneurs through a relaxation space he set up at his Palm Ridge home during the Covid-19 lockdown.
“I received mentorship from several people. In return, I pass that knowledge on to those in the creative space around me,” he said.
“Entrepreneurship is a lonely space. I empower young people to embrace mental fitness. I drive the story of proper breathing through meditation. It’s an organic way to deal with depression.”
Another initiative he started is the pop-up cinema that caters to early childhood development where he introduces children to media from an early age.
He said they work with film producers such as FDM Academy and the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) who have released movies, including animations.
“We use a projector, white background and tripod. We are creating the platform for children to be entertained and understand storytelling from a young age,” he said.
“It’s not just for schools. I realized that when it comes to self-development, it is wise to use storytelling instead of giving them information only in a form of books. Using references in the form of visuals and audio is also better and they can use it in the future,” he continued.
“We intend to create a digital library for children, so they can access those archives.”
He said the reason it was created was the lack of enough platforms for people to push what they produce in the township.
“My ultimate goal is to give young people a voice in the township so that they have their own voice heard through a black-owned media company from the township.”