By Thandeka Mthethwa
A Vaal graduate, entrepreneur Thula Trevor Vilakazi, (27), from Pongola, KwaZulu-Natal, was raised by a single mother. However, at the age of 14 he decided he wanted to be a renowned entrepreneur but at that age it is hard to make your dream a reality so he studied for a different career that saw him become a control and instrumentation technician at General Electric, a global company from the United States of America.
What does the word “entrepreneur “mean to you?
It is about having a business or starting one, having the courage to go where many fear to take the route but all wish to be an entrepreneur, taking financial risks and all done with the aim of gaining profit.
How did you start The Ground Entertainment?
I have always wanted to own a business from an early age but having a business idea is different from starting a successful business. I had to do a self-introspection to discover what I like and what I don’t like incorporate with the idea of where I see myself in the near future so that it can be in-line with what I want to achieve. I then came up with a map that will help me reach my business goals. I had to go to the Vaal University of Technology to further my studies in Electrical Engineering so I can save up for my startup capital.
I did all of this so that I can be financially independent or have financial freedom. Also, to assist and uplift people who want to be on the same venture to be an example, tell people that nothing is impossible. It also based on that I want to be able to help needy people achieve their goals/dreams as I am an executive member in a Non-Profit Organization (NPO) called Indima Yethu and bringing change to my community in Pongola.
It’s quite inspirational that a boy from a small town can have such big dreams, where does the passion come from?
I was raised by a single parent and I am the last born from my mother, so looking at her studying until she became a school teacher while raising her children, was encouraging. I then realised that the life of working for someone or a particular organisation was not what I wanted. I told myself that I need to create my own wealth and take control of my finances so I would live the life I want and be able to leave a legacy for my bloodline.
For a 27 year old, one can only wonder, when was the business born and what is the main focus of the business, what do you guys do?
The business started in 2016, we do events planning and organizing weddings, concerts, company events. We also do catering, decoration, photography, finding talent from rural areas in the form of art or music/poetry and transportation.
What challenges have you had to overcome ever since your career took off?
I have a 6:30 to 16:30 job from Monday to Saturday which makes it challenging to meet my company targets at times but when you are driven by your visions you have no choice but to work overnight which makes a day so short. Sometimes you wish a day can be extended to 36 hours just so you can push (laughs). Another challenge is finance, but as a dreamer you don’t complain you just find a way and time to meet potential clients because most things happen during the day and on weekdays.
Read more: Indima Yethu: A Cry For Help Parade
What sets you apart from other similar businesses out there, the thing(s) that makes your business unique?
I was expecting this question (laughs). I am more focused on growing with other people who don’t want to grow alone. Encouraging economic dependence to those who want to be a part of it, give back to the community. I do not do things my way, I do it your way because you are the client and lastly every entrepreneur wants money. I don’t want to chase it, I want money to follow me because of the quality of my work.
That is very profound, so if people want to use your services, how can they get in touch with you?
They can reach me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org, my cellphone number: 073 680 8268 or on the Facebook page at: The Ground Entertainment.