I had the most amazing day today. I got to take photos of some extraordinary and very energetic and inspiring people today as they met and travelled around Johannesburg and Soweto. 3 Virgin Media Pioneer entrepreneurs from the UK came to South Africa this morning and met up with 3 South African entrepreneurs associated with the Branson Centre in Braamfontein.
The Virgin Media Pioneers are Ashley-Rae Tapping (creator of Loud Culture clothing which was launched this year and already has a celebrity following), Amman Ahmed (creator of a7records and his labels include EasySleepMusic, RelaxingRecords and Relaxmydog) and Jade Carlisle (founder of Global Moguls who focusses on promoting and developing emerging artists across various genres between the UK and SA). The Branson Centre entrepreneurs are Lesego Malatsi (Mzansi Designers, and he’s just come back from showing his clothes at London Fashion Week), Freda Sebolai (who designs beaded jewellery) and Maakaplan Mchunu (creator of Ouleik Records and Soweto Internet Radio)
Everyone met up at the Branson Centre in Braamfontein and told a bit of their stories…
… before we headed off to Lesego Malatsi’s studios in downtown JHB.
By then we were running late, which was a huge pity so we didn’t have time to stop at the Walter Sisulu Square in Soweto, and instead we went straight to Sakhumzi on Vilakazi Street in Soweto where we had lunch. I think the noise in place was a huge shock to the visitors who only arrived this morning… LOL!! It was loud and very very festive in there!
We then did a tour of the Mandela house. I’ve actually never been there before, and it was so very interesting!! Hardly any of the South Africans on the trip had actually been there before, and we all commented about how much we enjoyed it. The memorabilia in the house is just amazing, and the stories told by the tour guides about the bullets and walls and how the house had changed was interesting. I did however leave feeling that it was too clean… by this I mean that the structure of the house is there, but everything else around it has been upgraded, and it’s a pity as I felt they’d stripped the character and the story out of it.
And then we went to Maponya Mall to visit Lesego’s shop
And tomorrow is even more exciting… I’ll be taking photos at the Branson Centre again, where Richard Branson is speaking to entrepreneurs and launching his new book, Screw Business As Usual, in South Africa… and then there’s a gala dinner that I’m also attending.
If you want to follow the day on Twitter, the hashtag is #sbau (Screw Business As Usual)… and I’ll be posting there and on Instagram as I go along. I’ll be tweeting as much as I can between taking photos