Johannesburg, South Africa, 19 June 2019. Vilakazi Street came
alive as it transformed into the epitome of youth culture hustle, echoing the
entrepreneurial and creative spirit of 2019, which celebrates a youth on the
rise. With the powerful backing from American Express, The Box Shop
June 16 Food Market celebrated its second year of the partnership.
The food market featured 30 stalls operated by young entrepreneurs. Of the 30 stalls, 17 were dedicated to food from African-inspired traditional cuisines, hot authentic beverages, as well as a display and showcase of local wines and ready-to-eat products. The remaining 13 talls were dedicated to fashion, accessories and jewellery products.
Under the theme ‘Uprising’, this year’s event recognised and celebrated “youth heroes who were remembered but never celebrated,” says Sifiso Moyo, co-founder of The Box Shop. The establishment partnered with Mbuyisa Makhubo’s family and the June 16 Foundation to commemorate Mbuyisa Makhubu’s display of heroism and bravery on that fateful day, when he carried 13-year-old Hector Pieterson (who had been shot by police).
The day’s line-up included a powerful knowledge sharing masterclass, seeking to upskill young entrepreneurs, and unpacking the reality of being an entrepreneur in South Africa. The session was moderated by creative entrepreneur Nandi Dlepu. Joining the discussion to provide insights was Sifiso Moyo (The Box Shop co-founder), Mpho Sadiki (American Express Executive Head), Candice Thurston (Founder and Managing Director of Candi & Co), and Palesa Mnyaka from Business and Arts South Africa (BASA).
Nandi Dlepu launched the session by saying, “We should be looking to the future and starting conversations about the realities of entrepreneurship.”
Executive for Card and Payment Acceptance at Nedbank, Mpho Sadiki, advised the young entrepreneurs on cash-flow solutions: “Cash flow is the lifeline of your business. It is important that you register as vendors with the service providers you want to supply, to prevent delays in receiving payments.” Sadiki also encouraged the youth to, “Think about how you want to get paid. Cash is an option but having a point-of-sale device is important, no matter how big or small your business.”
When asked for recommendations and suggestions
on interventions that assist entrepreneurs in the arts and culture sector, Palesa
Mnyaka, our Programme Co-ordinator, shared her words of wisdom. “As an
entrepreneur in the creative sector, you need to familiarise yourself with the
laws that protect you; the arts and culture policy that serves you; the
programmes, incubations and networks that provide opportunity. [You also need
to] lobby for arts education, which is vital for human wellbeing and [for]
creating an appetite for arts consumption in the future.”
According to Sifiso Moyo, the evolution of public markets in South Africa contributes positively to the country’s image. From a domestic perspective, such a phenomenon plays an important role in stimulating the culture of travel. The market is now perceived and understood in the context of the long urban tradition across South Africa.
The day was filled with live music and performances from local hip-hop and soul music artists, as well as DJs, dances, poetry, a pop-up gallery, a fashion show, and a live mural painting of Mbuyisa Makhubo, by artist Senzo Nhlapho.