For the past three years, Khumalo and Nhlanhla ran their own start-ups. She worked as a brand coach and inspirational speaker, while he focused on photography, videography and talent management. Earlier this year the pair decided to utilise both their skills and experience to launch Nkanyiso Media.

“Through our innovative and non-conventional media and brand communication services, we are hoping to give 100% black-owned brands an opportunity to be seen, heard and understood by the South African market,” says Khumalo. “We believe that this is a much needed change catalyst offering in an industry that has so many barriers to entry for black-owned brands. We aim to help companies professionally advertise, market and strategically brand themselves so they can fairly compete for a bigger share of wallet and reach a wider audience.”

Challenges and successes

When the couple launched their respective businesses they had no funding, so they leveraged bootstrapping and passive income strategies to grow their companies.

“I learnt that it isn’t necessary to wait for funding, but to rather start with what you have and those who believe in you will support you and help you build and grow. I also learnt to distance myself from people who were no longer aligned to my path and to open myself up to new people who could help me achieve my goals,” says Khumalo.

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Today Nkanyiso Media has 20 employees and has provided media and brand services to clients such as Old Mutual, Bonitas, Nike SA, the University of Johannesburg and Sasol.

The company was recently appointed as the media service provider to manage a national campaign for the National Gazelles, an enterprise development initiative by the Department of Small Business Development and SEDA that seeks to accelerate socio-economic transformation through empowering high performing SMEs.

Nkanyiso Media also produced visual media content for the Design Indaba’s Mboisa national campaign, which seeks to engage the country on what defines beauty beyond the visual and taste by focusing on design attributes such as social significance, economic impact, usability, sustainability and humour. Khumalo also published her first self-help book, titled Could It Be, earlier this year.

“My husband and I are a team. We are partners in building our family legacy and are therefore compassionate and supportive towards each other. I recently gave birth to my second daughter. My husband and older daughter play such an integral role in helping me strike a balance between my work, being a mom to a newborn and living a fulfilling life,” she says.

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Khumalo’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:

  • Take the leap. Don’t wait for funding, rather start small and bootstrap or crowd fund.
  • Believe in yourself, collaborate and find an experienced mentor.
  • Whatever business you go into, you need to be passionate. You must genuinely enjoy what you do.