In October 2014, Sibabalwe Sesmani and her former business partner Zuziwe Mkhwanazi decided to start the Unorthodox PR Media Group after struggling to find fulfilment in their jobs. Although they got their first client in 2014, the business was only registered in August last year.
“I was sick and tired of employment,” Sesmani shares. “I had been in three jobs in total and saw people being ill-treated. I didn’t have the freedom to do what I wanted, which I found very limiting. That’s when I decided to start my own company.”
The Unorthodox PR Media Group is a media relations company that supplies brand visibility to clients using platforms like TV, radio and print.
In time, Sesmani’s partner Mkhwanazi decided to break away to start something of her own. As the sole director of the Unorthodox PR Media Group, Sibabalwe now oversees an amazing team of three.
She believes that the number one rule for achieving female empowerment in South Africa is to be unafraid. “As women, we’re not used to having so much authority, and that’s across all races. The one thing I find that restricts us in business is that we’re fearful. We never go for what we actually want because it’s in our nature to be submissive.”
This was the driving force behind the launch of the Unorthodox PR Media Group and the Women’s Youthpreneurship Workshop, a regular breakfast hosted by the company.
The Women’s Youthpreneur Workshop was launched in September 2015 and initially the focus was very general. Lately, the breakfasts are more focused on empowering female entrepreneurs to achieve tangible results. “At the workshops, we engage in panel discussions on the barriers to entry into the business sector, we organise training workshops as well as look at the basics needed to start a business,” says Sesmani.
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Her dream is to eventually take the Women’s Youthpreneur Workshops across Africa, and to teach the world to do business the African way. For the next six months the workshops will be held in Johannesburg, thereafter in the rest of South Africa, and then beyond our borders.
“It’s hard being a young African woman in business in SA, but there are instances where I am needed. I see it as an opportunity either way, since there is an uncapped market for young women like myself.”
Sesmani draws strength from women around her, such her client Lynda Mabene.
“I learn so much from Lynda because at 31 she’s a force to be reckoned with. She’s a go-getter.”