Could Young Hustla’s Fresh Approach Be What Youth Entrepreneurship Needs?
All month long SME South Africa will highlight young entrepreneurs, innovators and influencers who are shaping the future, as part of our Youth Month 2017 coverage. Follow #YouthAmplified on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Andile Dube, a former property manager, gave up a corporate job to launch Young Hustla, an entrepreneurship comic book series.
Young Hustla follows the adventures of Tshepisang, aka T, a young go-getter from Soweto who is trying to work his way to the top. Tshepisang is a character that embodies what it means to be a young hustler, Dube said in an interview on the Mercedes Benz’s lifestyle blog, MBWorld.
“He has dedication, persistence and a belief in himself. He inspires me – it’s easy to succeed when you have everything; it’s much harder when you have to start from nothing and crawl your way up,” Dube tells the publication.
Dube says the inspiration for the Young Hustla comic book came from his desire to find a medium that could be used to reach young people, that could speak their language and be entertaining and educational, he says.
Young People Do Read
Dube is hoping to dispel the notion that young people don’t read.
“It’s not that South Africans don’t read. We do. We read stories that are relevant to us, to our lives, and we want to be entertained in our own languages. With Young Hustla we create content relevant to young people in South Africa – it’s entertaining and easy to read and understand. Keeping information short and simple is the formula for a comic book, and we can do that because we’re relying on images more than words to tell the story,” he says.
There are many challenges that stand in the way of success particularly for young black entrepreneurs, and access to business relationships is one of the most daunting, Dube says.
“There’s a lack of a strong network that you can leverage on – business is about relationships and everywhere you go you encounter gatekeepers. You need them to open the door for you. It’s my experience that life becomes easier if you know someone on the inside who can open a door for you. But even though you may not have a strong network, you shouldn’t use that as an excuse not to keep trying to succeed,” he says.