Born and raised in Ha Ravele, a small village outside Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo province, Thiofhi Lambani is a 22 year old entrepreneur. Raised by a beautiful, hardworking single mom whom she loves dearly, her mom says she was a ‘why child’. She had a ‘why’ question for everything and exhausted her mom with how many why’s she would ask in a day.
Identified early on as a very bright kid, she was given a Sumbanḓila scholarship to pursue her secondary schooling at Ridgeway College. The Sumbanḓila Scholarship Trust offers high school bursaries to promising students who come from backgrounds of extreme poverty.
At just 20, Maemu Thiofhi Lambani started her own digital marketing agency, Fearless Trendz Digital Marketing. She believes that the African continent is undergoing the 4th industrial revolution – the digital revolution. In her view, her village and even rural South Africa as a whole was getting left behind relying on traditional marketing.
Fearless Trendz develops, creates and implements social media marketing strategies for businesses. This entails making sure:
- that content calendars are ready each month
- clients are given insights about whether monthly goals are reached and whether online marketing efforts are impacting sales, and
- admin work is done (finances, invoices and tax).
Recognition of her achievements came when she was selected for The ANZISHA prize 2017 (http://www.anzishaprize.org/fellows/maemu-lambani/).
Fearless Trendz is more than just a Digital Marketing Agency whose primary goal is to be a successful business, Lambani says it is her way of giving back to the community by giving local brands the platform they need to compete with national and international brands. Also, in a country with so many unemployed people she feels it is a responsibility to help create employment.
Lambani decided to venture into manufacturing as well and pursue her mom’s idea for creating dish-washing liquid. They are currently producing products in their kitchen and the market has been responding positively. The young entrepreneur has set her sights on Spotless becoming a big household brand.
She is very passionate about her home province Limpopo and is working hard to contribute to youth employment. Having grown up very poor, she started her first business with absolutely nothing except an idea and determination, and she hopes to inspire young people to start with what they have. She believes the common path of taking months to draw up amazing business plans and distribute them hoping to find seed funding should stop. She believes young entrepreneurs should take matters into their own hands and raise funds to start their own business. Funders will seek out success rather than support people who are waiting for hand-outs.
She knows it is easy to work tirelessly on a new exciting idea but she believes the secret is in having a concrete plan on how to get to a certain place and constantly keep at it even when it’s not exciting anymore. Her advice to young entrepreneurs anywhere is to have a plan and be consistent.
By Thiofhi Lambani