‘My advice would be for women entrepreneurs to start celebrating themselves and to do it loudly and unapologetically.’
During their time at university, Nomvelo and Simbongile noticed that the voices of millennial women of colour were missing in the media. And so Melenial Media was born in 2015 – a digital-content platform created by young black women, for young black women. It serves as a ‘vehicle and authority on all things Black Girl Magic and making alternative mainstream’. In 2016, they won the African Bloggers Best Youth Culture Blog Award, which they call a ‘great and humbling milestone’ to have reached in such a short time. Check it out at Melenial.com
On choosing to create Melenial Media:
Being young black women who were studying the ins and out of the media industry in our country, while also being big consumers of black American media, we saw a big difference in the way the media celebrated and talked about black women here and how they did over there. We always knew that we wanted to change the media landscape in South Africa and we knew we could not do that by relying on building careers at already-established media corporations in the country. We feel that we are young enough to take our time building a business that we love, and have a passion for, and that other young women can too.
On their startup concerns:
One of our major concerns, like many entrepreneurs starting out, was how we were going to monetise what we do and make it a sustainable business that would make a difference and contribute positively to society. Another concern is how Melenial remains relevant and unique, with so many youth-culture websites popping up every other day.
On what they love about the business world:
What is there not to love. The entrepreneurship space is not an easy field, and is definitely not for the fainthearted. There is a lot of sacrifice, long hours, and patience tested. However, all is rewarded in the end. I love that with Melenial, we can build something of our own, leave a legacy, be a part of something greater than ourselves, add value and make a difference to the spaces we find ourselves in. Business is about learning and giving, and I find great joy in that. What’s even more exciting is being able to be a part of the advancement and empowerment of black women in this space.
On advice for other entrepreneurs:
Be original, patient, resilient, hungry (ambitious), sure, passionate and have fun. In the end it’s your journey. Do what you love and kick ass.