Is big data the future of business?

31 year old, Thabo Nonkenge is the CEO & Founder of Singulum Data. Singulum Data operates in the Information Communication & Technology (ICT) industry. The company has a desire to influence the way business is done, demystifying big data, analytics & business advisory. Singulum Data seeks to instil and establish a culture of data-centricity within all business and public environments, they provide clients with dashboard tools and real-time analytics based on clients enterprise software licensing. We have a brief conversation with Thabo Nonkenge on business and entrepreneurship:


Thabo Nonkenge, CEO & Founder of Singulum Data


  1. How long have you been in operation? 

Unofficially it’s been 2.5 years, officially since the 1st of September 2018.

  1. Why is your service necessary? 

Companies will not be future proof without the service I provide.

  1. What’s been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur?

Accessing markets.

  1. What advice would you give to upcoming entrepreneurs? 

Start, whatever you are thinking of doing, and if you are already doing it, focus on solving specific business problems and find ways to innovate your product offering and creating value for your client.

  1. Is there any resource you’ve tapped into, that’s helped you as an entrepreneur? 

Yes, my network & leveraging those of others around me.


  1. If you would request one thing for your business right now? What would it be? 

I’m looking for data scientists to work with on a call basis to develop the longer term work and deliver on short term projects, SAS skills are important.

7.  Where can people find you?

Our offices are in Woodmead, Woodmead Estate, Johannesburg and people can visit our website on www.singulumdata.com


Stained Wines is here to disrupt the beverage industry!

Nozipho Hlophe, aged 24 and  Kamogelo Lesabe, aged 25 are the  co-founders for VertCo, which is a premium beverage company that owns Stained Wines. They operate in the beverage industry, with their current covering being in the wine sector. They offer premium boutique wines of Western Cape origin, forming partnerships in regions with the richest harvest, ripe for their customers best satisfaction. They also operate in the Youth Empowerment space, with both founders having a strong background in leadership and growth management. This is how the movement of #Wineversations came about: housing captains of industries and unique trailblazers, strangers to each other at each seating, to foster a culture of network expansion, viable collaboration, but most importantly peer knowledge sharing. VertCo has been in operation for 6 months on-book. We asked Kamogelo a couple of questions on their services, challenges and advice to other young entrepreneurs:


Nozipho Hlophe, Co-founder and Creative Director of VertCo

Kamogelo Lesabe, Co-Founder & Managing Director of VertCo



    1. Why is VertCo necessary?

We are at a prime time in our country and continent at large where we have a vacuum of youth participation in the economy and other spheres; the conversational and action-driven platforms we provide seeks to address the opportunities we can leverage off of through joint participation. Then secondly, the market, both domestic and international, is rife for products which are authentic and represent them across the spectrum. In a world where fabricated image is seen as perfectionism, we are redefining the notion by embodying a heightened sense of excellence through authenticity: which is a brand that can never be cloned.


     2. What’s been your biggest challenge as a business owner?

Funding for the start-up stage.


     3.  What advice would you give to upcoming entrepreneurs?

Start, then progress through trial & error. Secondly, be your biggest cheerleader: In the beginning it will be difficult and you may not get what you expect. But if you stick it out a little bit longer with an increasing passion and dedication, even the gated environments will issue invitations for your presence.


      4.  Is there any resource you’ve tapped into, that’s helped you as an entrepreneur?  

Following from our biggest challenge, the biggest (most difficult and most rewarding) resource we tapped into was Bootstrapping. Once we had exhausted all avenues of sourcing these, we rolled and stretched all we could to self-finance the vision, and from then onwards we have never rested to ensure that the fire burning inside of us seeps through and illuminates every client we provide our service & products to.


     5. If you would request one thing for your business right now? What would it be?

Brand awareness.


     6. Where can people find you? 

Email: info@stainedwines.co.za

Twitter: @WinesStained

Instagram: @stainedwines

Facebook: Stained Wines


     7. You mentioned Wineversations earlier on, when is the next event and how can people attend? 

The next Wineversations is taking place on the 26th of July,2019. Those that are interested that follow us on social media can indicate their interest to attend, and a postcard invitation may well be on their way for attendance!




Womandla, celebrating the power of women!

Womandla Foundation provides sustainable, relevant programmes in all spheres within technology, media, skills development, mentorship, and every sector they can use to empower women and young girls to live out their destiny. Womandla has been in operation for 4 years now, they officially registered in September 2018. Sam Gqomo, director of Womandla Foundation, says their biggest challenge as a NPO is, “securing funding for our projects and events”. Read more on our short conversation with Sam Gqomo on entrepreneurship, Womandla Foundation, their upcoming career expo and inaugural Women in STEM Awards below:


Director of Womandla Foundation, Sam Gqomo


1. Why is Womandla Foundation important?
We are solving socio-economic challenges by using our organization as a springboard for educating, training and equipping women with the resources needed to eliminate impoverishment and strive for excellence in various spheres

2. What advice would you give to upcoming entrepreneurs?
Pursue your passion and make sure it solves a larger pain point outside of just the industry needs. Make a difference in someone’s life.

3. Is there any resource you’ve tapped into, that’s helped you as an entrepreneur? What is it?
Canva as a graphic design tool, and human resources! Our projects are nothing without people (networks).

4. If you would request one thing for your business right now? What would it be?
We require our own office spaces or at least a shared space in Cape Town to operate from. We also would like pro bono assistance in terms of accountants that deals with the NPO sector, pro bono lawyers to assist in legal matters, pro bono graphic designer to build their portfolio and sponsors for stationary as a hard cost. Stationary includes paper, ink, 100 pens, 100 booklets and a Womandla Wall Banner.

5. Do you have any upcoming events? If yes, share more information on this?
Yes, the WOMANDLA Career Expo is a one-day only format being held on Friday, 12 July 2019. The Career Expo will be held at the Langa High School Hall and is aimed at exposing learners to various Career Expos.

We also have our Inaugural Women in STEM Awards coming up, see more on the link: https://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/701/192256.html?fbclid=IwAR3Zgpyk8v-tKcSbC9G9J4CRo3ltFU1la8M6Td-oWQUp57Wv8chBXOfMZZ4

To nominate yourself or others in STEM enter here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc-RRzp10YdPtVkJtSP5eRiXemUZ_SaDzeESvy1qbJYGkFJCQ/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1


Find all you need to know on Womandla Foundation here:

Website: www.womandla.com
IG: https://www.instagram.com/womandla/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/womandlaonline/
TW: https://twitter.com/Womandla1

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Maxine Gray invests her time in the future of our young ones

Maxine Gray is 28 years old, she’s a Board Member of imagine.nation (NPO) and founder of the Winter Warmer Initiative. Imagine.nation focuses on education and entrepreneurship in informal sector communities, particularly with a focus on Early Childhood Development (ECD). The Winter Warmer project is targeted at raising funds to provide polar fleece blankets to creches and other beneficiary organisations in need of assistance in keeping children warm while at school such that they can learn. Imagine.nation partners with a local supplier organisation who sources and makes up the polar fleece blankets. The Winter Warmer project started in 2010 as a personal project for Maxine and became an official imagine.nation project in 2015. Next year will be the 10-year anniversary for the Winter Warmer project.


We asked Maxine a couple of questions around the imagine.nation and the Winter Warmer project:


  1. Why is imagine.nation important?


We believe that education is the key to unlocking a better future for all and that if a child is given a good foundation, from an early age that he/she will be significantly more equipped to be able to develop, learn and grow into a successful adult. By providing a safe, educational space where children can learn from just a few months old to age 6 before entering primary school, it also enables parents to be able to seek employment and provide for their families thus promoting employment, higher income levels and assisting in alleviating poverty. I believe there is a direct link between ECD and alleviating poverty, using entrepreneurship to unlock economic potential.


  1. What’s been your biggest challenge in being a part of imagine.nation?


Balancing a full-time career and working in this space which I am so passionate about is difficult. Having limited time can make one feel despondent when progress seems slow or not at the pace I would have hoped, however looking back to where we have come from is always a great reminder of the compounded impact consistent work has had over the years. Also, funding and dedicated volunteers who are truly committed to the cause are always hard to come by.


  1. What advice would you give to other positive social change agents?


Always fuel your fire by consistently connecting with your passion, people that share your passion and surrounding yourself with people who support you in these endeavours. Never be too hard on yourself, set realistic goals based on your capacity and be consistent – a small amount of dedicated time, each day, compounds into great success over time – be patient and never give up.


  1. Is there any resource you’ve tapped into, that’s helped imagine.nation? What is it?


Family, friends, colleagues, social networks and fellow One Young World Ambassadors.


  1. If you would request one thing for the work you’re doing, what would it be?


For the Winter Warmer, with 2020 being the 10-year anniversary, my goal is to be able to raise enough funds to get 10 000 blankets distributed to children and organisations in need. As such, funding (donations) and support of the campaign, through social networks, family, friends and companies is required to be able to reach this goal. We are looking to raise R500k by June 2020 in order to achieve this.


  1. Any events coming up?


We run a program called “Parties with a Purpose” which we host once a month – the idea is to allow people to celebrate their Birthdays with an educational, fun morning at our Boitshepo creche in the Lanseria area. We are doing a Winter Warmer distribution at our Boitshepo creche on 7 July.


  1. For more information check out these pages or email Maxine:


Instagram: @imagine.nation_insta

Facebook: Imagine.nation

Email: maxinegray.imagine.nation@gmail.com


Nkululeko Msomi provides clean water solution through his company, Ki-Agua

Nkululeko Msomi is 25 years old and is the founder of Ki-Agua (Pty) Ltd. Ki-Agua is in the health, wellness and water industry and supplies organic water filters and glass dispensers. The company has been in operation since January 2018 and caters for individuals and organizations who take extra precautions to ensure their water is clean, safe and without any plastic waste (bottled water). The Ki-Agua Activated Charcoal Sticks have been tested and found to remove nasty toxins from water such as traces of chlorine, lead, copper and mercury. Ki-Agua Activated Charcoal Sticks are also an economical water filter since one stick is biodegradable and reusable for up to three months. The biggest challenge faced by Ki-Agua team is getting the product easily available to customers.



We asked him a few questions regarding entrepreneurship, what they currently need as a business right now and where you can find them:


  1. What advice would you give to upcoming entrepreneurs?


Firstly, find something you are really passionate about, try find a away of making money out of it and then overcome the fear of failing. Secondly, start. You must start. You don’t have to have it all figured out from the beginning but keep the blueprint in mind and begin. Begin selling and offering your products and services. Thirdly, keep having fun. Having fun doesn’t mean there are no challenges along the way to success.


  1. Is there any resource you’ve tapped into, that’s helped you as the founder of Ki-Agua? If yes, what is it? 


Yeah. I can’t say it’s money (yet) because Ki-Agua was started with my bursary allowance mostly. Priorities. I don’t think it’s anything new. I read and researched a lot about my industry. I’m a networker so I knew a few people of which I really studied their success and failure stories. Learn to listen and listen to learn. My Chemical Engineering studies have contributed greatly to the success of Ki-Agua.


  1. If you would request one thing for your business right now? What would it be?


To have more brick-and-mortar stores in South Africa to stock our products. Our online platform is a work in progress, however, our customers would appreciate walking into a zero waste or health and wellness store and buy our products from there.


  1. Where can people find you? (offices, website, social media handles)


We can be found on www.kiagua.co.za  that’s where all the information and how to place an order can be found and done.  Our email and social media handles are:


Email: hello@kiagua.co.za

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kiaguacharcoal/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/kiaguacharcoal/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kiaguacharcoal

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHV-gLugyCY

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/35451418/admin/


To hear more about Ki-Agua (Pty) Ltd follow them on all their social media platforms. They will also begin with blog posts next month to enlighten their customers about healthcare and wellness. Share post to create more awareness on this cool business.

#RT #SupportYoungEntrepreneurs #TheYoungCatalyst #TheYoungCatalystEntrepreneurs


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#KnowTheirNames: 4 young South African leaders who are heading off to the Commonwealth Youth Forum happening in London (16 April to 18 April)


In April 2018, the UK will host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) where leaders from 53 member countries are expected to gather in London and Windsor. They will come together to reaffirm the commonwealth values, address the shared global challenges we face and agree on how to work to create a better future for all our citizens, particularly young people. As part of this meeting, there’s the Commonwealth Youth Forum which is also taking place during the same period. The forum will see young people discussing the most vital issues and opportunities facing young people today. Approximately 500 youth leaders from the Commonwealth countries have been chosen and these four South Africans made the cut. Learn they names and read on how they are helping change the narrative for young people in South Africa.


Know her name: Farai Mubaiwa, 23 years old

1. Who are you?

I am Farai Mubaiwa from South Africa. I’m excited to attend the CHOGM youth summit as an Africa Matters, South African and One Young World Ambassador.

2. What’s your initiative?

I am the Founder of the Africa Matters Initiative. We are a youth-led organisation that is committed to empowering young Africans through skills building and mentorship to change the narrative by leading their communities. We have won two international awards for our work – Queens Young Leader Award and the One Young World Leading South Africa Award.

Website: www.africamattersinitiative.com

Instagram: @africamatters2015

Twitter: @africamatters15

Facebook: Africa Matters

3. What are your current aspirations for Africa Matters?

Africa Matters is currently in a period of growth. We are upscaling to four more African countries – Zimbabwe, Namibia, Rwanda and Kenya – to ensure that we reach even more African youth in different parts of Africa. To upscale, we launched an Ambassadors Program which is a one-year leadership program that serves to equip young Africans with skills, tools, and mentorship through online training to run four impact projects in their communities. We will be announcing the Ambassadors on the 6th April, and we have selected 9 incredible applicants from a total of 540. Our hopes for 2018 are to run a successful Ambassadors program where the selected Ambassadors collectively impact 6000 African youth with new skills in different fields.

4. What are your hopes going into the Commonwealth?

Going into the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Youth Summit, we hope to achieve two important things. First, to critically engage and shape policy that affects the commonwealth countries from a youth perspective. The voices of youth are often neglected, and considering the large percentage of youth in the Commonwealth this needs to change. Second, to network with incredible young people from around the world, and particularly Africa and the diaspora, to share visions of a powerful Africa lead by youth and to seek organisational synergies.


Know his name: Khanya Mkoto, 26 years old

1. Who are you?

My name is Khanya Mkoto. I grew up in a single parent household in a township called Kwamagxaki in Port Elizabeth. I currently work as an Analyst Model Developer, direct this initiative (The Young Catalyst) and I am also a part-time MSc Mathematical Statistics student at Wits University. I am very passionate about young people and the power we have to achieve our dreams. To date, I have represented South Africa at the second international mathematics olympiad which took place in India (2006) and the One Young World Summit which took place in Colombia (2017).

2. What’s your initiative?

My initiative is called The Young Catalyst. The Young Catalyst places it’s focus on three pillars: Education, Entrepreneurship and Employment with its extension pillar being young leadership. As an organisation we intend to mobilize young South Africans to join us in making a tangible difference in these areas. Visit: www.theyoungcatalyst.co.za to see more.

Instagram: @theyoungcatalyst

Facebook: The Young Catalyst

Twitter: @young_catalyst

3. What are your current aspirations for The Young Catalyst?

I pray that this organisation truly serves young people in a tangible manner. I declare Isaiah 61 over The Young Catalyst.  “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness the prisoner…”. We have two events coming up which I am excited to share with everyone. One of them will be in support of the YES initiative launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa this year.

4. What are your hopes going into the Commonwealth?

My hopes going into the Commonwealth is to pay attention and learn. I want to grow from my interactions with other young leaders and see what I can bring back to South Africa to share with my peers. #ThumaMina


Know his name: Tefo Manase Mokhine, 25 years old

1. Who are you?

I am a brother to five and a mentor to many young people, I hail from Zebediela in Limpopo province. Being an entrepreneur is something I was born to do, and I identify as a leader through my way of living. Currently, I am a fourth year Mining Engineering student at Wits University, and recently, I completed the Entrepreneurial Generator Programme at Wits Business School. As a leader, I went as far as being the Chairperson of ABSIP Wits and was then recognised as the National ABSIP Student Leader of the Year 2016. I have represented South Africa for the One Young World Summit in Colombia. P&P Mentors is my passion baby, I am the founder and managing director of the initiative. I also run a start-up company called ClayMade Enterprise(CME) that is building a franchise of convenience stores in the townships

2. What’s your initiative?

We believe in the power of having someone more experienced and knowledgeable guiding the other to leverage on the experience and social capital of the more senior person, hence we founded P&P Mentors, which runs mentoring programmes. Our daily strive is to educate South Africans about the importance of mentorship and to encourage these relationships. For more information visit our website: www.pnpmentors.co.za .

Facebook: P&P Mentors

3. What are your current aspirations for P&P Mentors?

We are looking to adopt more mentees with support of volunteer mentors especially for students from townships and rural areas. We are also inviting people to blog with P&P Mentors. Our main topics are leadership, personal development, and entrepreneurship. See current articles here: http://blog.pnpmentors.co.za .

4. What are your hopes going into the Commonwealth?

In anticipation to attend the Commonwealth Youth Forum in London, I am looking forward to intense and robust engagements that would empower me intellectually, in addition to that I am eager to meet with other great young people from around the world with prospects of collaborating and sharing key resources.


Know her name: Didintle Letlape, 28 years old

1. Who are you?

My name is Didintle Letlape, I hail from the platinum city of Rustenberg. I am a passionate and driven young lady whose passion lies in the financial and economic development of Africa. I also have an intense love for education for children.  I’ve been a strategic analyst for ABSIP UJ campus, vice president of education for Toastmasters and currently, I am a One Young World Ambassador.

2. What’s your initiative?

I am the founder of Bokamoso Ba Rona, an organization that is set to disrupt the education system and help further develop children beyond the classroom with entrepreneurial and technological skills. My organisation further empowers and educates parents with the hopes of providing employment through work readiness programs.

3. What are your current aspirations for Bokamoso Ba Rona?

My hopes for my initiative is that the African child despite their background can have equal opportunities and a great education that will bring forth better opportunities. The materials required to ensure that this initiative is a success include old books that can be donated to the children, human resource skills that can provide the parents with work readiness and in the bigger scheme of things, funds that will enable us to have a center where training will take place.

4. What are your hopes going into the Commonwealth?

My hopes going into the Commonwealth are to harness my leadership and entrepreneurial skills, to create long lasting relationships throughout the commonwealth and to do more work post the commonwealth summit.


All the best young leaders. We look forward to watching you grow and become all that you are destined to be. Fly the South African high 🇿🇦. You make us proud #Catalysts.