On 11 May, young entrepreneur, motivational speaker and second-year Information Systems student, Tshepiso Malema was invited by the Merensky Library as a guest speaker. The event was titled ‘Starting Small While Dreaming Big’ where Malema addressed his audience on his path to success as a young gaming entrepreneur.

Malema started his talk by explaining the importance of “starting small while dreaming big”. He continued by emphasising the importance of using social media effectively, like he did when he shifted from posting inspirational quotes on Facebook to creating his very own blog, which assisted him in growing his brand.

Malema founded Gamers Territory in 2018 which has allowed him to be recognised by influential business people such as Emmanuel Bonoko, who believed in his dream from high school and later became his mentor. Gamers Territory, which is based in Ivory Park, currently works on existing games but Malema is interested in creating his own games, hence his choice of study. 

Malema currently faces multiple challenges such as being needed to foresee his business back in Ivory Park, Thembisa, which affects his studies. However, as the gaming industry is estimated to grow even bigger, he is adamant that this is a good investment. Therefore, Malema stresses the importance of one knowing their “why”, as this is what will prevent them from giving up on their dream.  

Malema values collaborating with people who share the same passion for entrepreneurship as him, and touched on the importance of building a network with people who align with your brand. His friend and partner, Elias Ngake, is the programme director for Sgelapreneurship, one of the projects started by Malema to bring entrepreneurship to the townships. Ngake described Malema as a multifaceted and compassionate being who acts on his thoughts and not just a dreamer. 

Gerda Ehlers, who is the coordinator and senior information specialist at the library, said she chose Malema as a speaker because she recognized all the work he has been doing and knew that she had to invite him as a speaker. 

The event was attended by a number of people both online and in-person and both Malema and Ehlers agreed that the turnout was even better than expected. Attendees included young entrepreneurs who study at UP such as Lebogang Mokgalaka, founder of the NalediStar Foundation, and Anna Sewela, the deputy director of the library. 

The session was very interactive, and attendees advertised themselves to each other as a form of growing their network. 

Watch PDBY’s interview with Malema here

Photo: Masehle Mailula

Londiwe Mnguni
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