News and photographic agency

Opportunity in the time of COVID-19

By Marvin Mashiloane

Tshwarelo Sebela in his photography studio, 2020. PIC: LEB13 MEDIA

While many have been left paralyzed by the uncertainty of Covid-19, young people across board are taking advantage of the situation by creating opportunities for themselves.

In one of his recent weekly newsletters, President Cyril Ramaphosa commended the ingenuity of young entrepreneurs who have seized opportunities that have opened up as the direct result of the novel pandemic – Covid-19.

“I am very pleased at the combination of foresight, creativity and business acumen displayed by a number of young South Africans who are coming up with home-grown solutions to the contemporary challenges we face,” Ramaphosa wrote.

One such entrepreneur who has heeded the call to uplift the economy of the country, which is currently, rated the fifth among the top Covid-19 infections in the world, and number one in Africa, is Limpopo-based Tshwarelo Sebela, mostly known as Chike Le Chakane.

While many businesses have had to shut their doors, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the public relations and marketing specialist saw an opportunity to rise.

When his artist management business went belly up because of the restraining lockdown regulations, which have impacted many artists, Sebela was compelled to reinvent himself.

“I had to resurrect an abandoned dream, which I had almost a decade ago,” he says.

With a couple of printing machines, a camera, unused photo studio equipment, a couple of friends and R40 in his name, Sebela revamped the old Namakgale Cinema into a business centre. This has since become the home for LEB13 MEDIA. The business focuses on photography and printing.

Tshwarelo Sebela is very proud of his printing business, 2020. PIC: LEB13 MEDIA

Sebela says the pandemic has been a cleansing period, which has brought new opportunities and challenges people’s mindsets.

“The world is on a reset. It is a test of character and courage. Those with longevity and good successions plans will remain steady while others fall from the sword. New businesses will emerge.

He adds that perspectives on various elements will change, and most importantly, not only Artificial Intelligence will come into play, one needs to be emotionally intelligent too to thrive.

LEB 13 PHOTOGRAPHY and LEB 13 PRINTERS have received great support from the community and local businesses. His photography business has been gaining traction, as he has no competition thus far.

“These kind of businesses are usually found at cities. We’ve also designed our packages with the township economy in mind to ensure that our clients afford our services,” he says.

Sebela has been fortunate to have worked as a communication’s specialist in government, as he was exposed to the business environment. He also had a stint at the University of Limpopo as a photographer, while he was studying towards a media studies qualification.

By taking advantage of the changing times and being innovative, Sebela hopes that he can help more young people like himself by providing employment opportunities.



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