The journey so far: Themba Ndala, director, Ritevac Media

Themba Ndala

Themba Ndala is the director and founder of South Africa-based Ritevac Media, a multi-platform media company that specialises in digital media with a focus on marketing, social media, advertising, film and video production.

1. Tell us about one of the toughest situations you’ve found yourself in as a business owner.

In 2017, my company Ritevac Media was appointed to manage two major events in South Africa: Standard Bank Joy of Jazz that took place at the Sandton Convention Centre; and Essence Festival Durban that took place at the Durban International Convention Centre.

These two events happened to be on the same week and I was suddenly faced with the challenge of capacity. How do I split my team into two great teams, with each having a leader other than myself?

So, I had the task of finding new talent to add to both teams, and being a creative, I’ve always been surrounded by creatives who were just as good as me – if not better. I brought them on to the teams and we managed to execute both events successfully, which resulted in both clients being satisfied with the results.

This definitely taught me that success is not a one-man show, it’s teamwork. When you collaborate with others to accomplish something, you can achieve so much more than you could by yourself.

2. Which business achievement are you most proud of?

Building a digital media agency that has a portfolio of signature events and international brands.

3. Describe your greatest weakness as an entrepreneur.

Being a perfectionist. Sometimes it has caused me delays in delivery time. I’m still trying to work around that, however, I have a great team that understands my standards of work.

4. Which popular entrepreneurial advice do you disagree with?

There’s a lot of models or systems being created on the best way to run your business. But I believe that what may have worked for others may not work for you, so I strongly believe in creating your own business model that works for you and your business.

5. Is there anything you wish you knew about entrepreneurship before you got started?

To be honest, there’s not much because I believe that all challenges faced in entrepreneurship builds one’s character. If someone held my hand in the beginning, I don’t think I would have learned all the lessons through the mistakes I made. All the mistakes I’ve made and challenges I’ve faced have groomed me into the entrepreneur I am today. They have successfully impacted the way I run my business.

6. Name a business opportunity you would still like to pursue.

That would be Agripreneurship.

I see potential in this agriculture-related sector because it not only creates opportunities for employment, but also guarantees food security. Agripreneurs are able to identify an opportunity within a market to produce food stuffs such as vegetables, fruit or grains directly through using innovative and sustainable methods.

These entrepreneurs are also at an advantage because they can tap into other agribusiness opportunities within the extended food system that can include packaging, processing, cooking and recycling to name a few.

This, in my opinion, is a diverse sector that offers immense opportunities for entrepreneurs along the African agribusiness value chain.

‘The journey so far’ series is edited by Wilhelmina Maboja, with copy editing by Xolisa Phillip, and content production by Justin Probyn and Nelly Murungi.