Lesego Maphanga (26) received a Youth in Business and Entrepreneurship certificate at the Sunday World’s Unsung Heroes Awards held at the Houghton Hotel on 24 June.
Unsung Heroes is a programme for innovative young achievers identified by Sunday World readers from their own localities in various categories. It has several categories that include youth in business and entrepreneurship, youth in education, heroes in communities or sports, arts, and culture and heroes of climate and sustainability. Maphanga runs a photography studio at Eyethu Mall. He started the company after he resigned from a cleaning job and decided to follow his passion.
He shares his story with OFN:
I wanted to go and study film, but, I couldn’t secure funding. I then started repairing computers and smartphones to save and buy a camera. After buying my first camera, I started my photography business and worked from home for a few months. When I recorded growth, I saw the need for growth. To try and solve the rate of unemployment in my community, I applied for space at Eyethu Mall so that I can locate my studio there. Soon after approval, I sought employees and didn’t require any experience, the posts were open to unemployed youth. I now employ two people and wish my business could grow so that I can create more opportunities for the youth of Orange Farm. The challenge is that everybody nowadays is a photographer and the growing quality of smartphones poses a challenge and threat to my business. I thank Sunday World for recognising me and inspiring me to do more.