21 Jun Helping A Stranger – One South African at Time – Tebogo’s Social Entrepreneurship story
An avid biker and a fan for ubuntuism (humanity), Tebogo “Pin-Pin” Kgethe, a social entrepreneur, is a true resemblance and embodiment of the notion of giving yourself in service to others while having fun and finding fulfilment in your own life.
“To me, Help-A-Stranger (#HAS) is more than just helping South Africa be a better place by showing compassion towards less fortunate people but it is about empowering the very same people whom we serve to become better, to thrive and create opportunities for them.”
“I believe in helping out fellow human beings and this is the culture I would love more people in our country and the world over to embrace. Everyone was born with the spirit of Ubuntu embed in them, our job is to ensure we revive back that spirit so as to help heal our society and move our country forward. At #HAS we lead by example by showing people what they can do to bring happiness and help protect the dignities of the lives of other people who are less fortunate.”
“To help us out, one can join us for an hour or 2 and help us distribute loaves of bread and packets of soups to people living in the streets. Even better, we accept donations and inkind sponsorships, this can include clothes, shoes, sanitary towels, school stationery, toys, dolls and non-perishable food. We donate these to independent charitable homes, children-headed homes, vulnerable children and people living in the streets.”
You can also support the #HAS movement by purchasing our merchandise including snap back caps, T-shirts and hoodies. 100% profits made from such sales goes towards supporting underpriviledged children.
Tebogo believes that BLESSED is the hand that gives.
The #HAS movement started in the streets of Thaba Nchu, Tebogo’s hometown and has spread throughout the country. The logo of the movement was inspired by a man living on the streets who was glaring at the horizon in anticipation of a brighter future. This picture is used as our foundation’s LOGO and on all our #HAS merchandise such as Caps, T-shirts, Beanies, Bucket hats and Hoodies…
The gentleman on the right is actually the main beneficiary of the Foundation however no event has been hosted in his honour because we felt that the time was not right. We are working toward organising a charity event in Thaba Nchu to honour him.
“Yes, I’m an introvert. No, I’m not shy.
No, I’m not stuck up and NO, I’m not antisocial.
I just listen and observe. I can’t stand small talks…but I’ll talk about life stories for hours.
I would rather be home with family or close friend/s than among a crowd of acquaintances.
Don’t scold or embarrass me in public, just respect that I’m reserved and don’t open up to anyone easily.
If I finally decide to open myself up to you, I’m not giving you ammunition to use against me whenever you want to hurt or distroy me…JUST know that I opened up to you because I thought you were a very special person to me!”
Looking forward to what the future may bring, Tebogo is very poised about his entrepreneurial ability to gather masses and has since started planning for his next company, Blacq Lifestyle Group (BLG) to provide shuttle services, accommodation, spa retreats, models, motorcyle accessories, etc, to name just a few. The future does look bright…
“I worked for retail banks for a several years… ABSA, Capitec, Standard Bank, doing credit until I got to the small business department, mostly dealing with informal businesses. We were financing the unbanked market. That is, Spaza Shops, Salons, those who are selling kotas, shoe repairers, etc. I realised that while I was working for the banks on a fulltime basis, people on the street were actually making more money than me on a daily basis. And the most sad part of the story is that I am the one who’s helping them make that much money.”
“As time went by, I decided to start my own thing. I started a distribution of bulk airtime to spaza shops and businesses eKasi. I had my own machine and used to take orders during the day and at night I’d print that airtime which I would deliver the next morning.”
“Reality taught me that I was actually making more money selling airtime than my take home salary. I then decided to add a cigarette distribution package that goes with the airtime sales. I followed the same process as that of airtime distribution. Doing airtime and cigarette distribution and eventually I resigned from my job at ABSA, my last employer. I focused on building my business. In that period I ended up owning two salons, a catering corner. I was trying to go in the same direction as that of my previous customers at the bank because I realised where the money was. “
“The catering business was a partnership and didn’t go well, it then closed shop. The two salons also followed suite as there was no proper management for it and I had little time at hand. The boys at the salon were chowing the money. “
“I then decided to focus on the airtime business. I worked tirelessly on finding cheaper suppliers and learnt that there is more money in simcards than airtime. I was taught that airtime is a service and the simcard is a product. But I never pursued that idea.”
“Oneday, my shop was robbed and everything was taken, R80 000 worth of cigarettes and more than R100K. This was such a big blow to my entrepreneurial career. I then decided to try the simcard business. The rest became history. I never looked back from that day. I’m doing well today with my simcard distribution business specifically focused on rural and peri-urban areas. We doing great.”
“My next entrepreneurial venture is the Blacq Lifestyle Group and I’m never gonna look back…”
Get in touch with Tebogo on +27 (0) 60 683 2646 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also learn more about his work at www.hasfoundation.org.za