I met Mpho Roberta Masondo, owner and founder of Ngola Consultancy ZA Hub (NCZA Hub),
earlier this year at a literary event. Her, my friend and I had a brief conversation after the
event, casually sharing our interests, ideas and views on certain issues. By the end of the
night we had exchanged contacts and agreed to keep in touch. I was pleasantly surprised to
later discover that she was in fact a community orientated business owner doing her bit to
lend a helping hand to members of society. With over ten years of experience in marketing,
public relations and advertising combined, she is using her skills and knowledge to empower
young women and the youth through art and culture.
Mpho’s discomfort with the black child’s place in the hierarchy of society, together with her
growing despondency towards the capitalist system, motivated her to start NCZA Hub; it is an
independent business that focuses on multimedia, cultural exchange, art and technology for the
youth and women in Africa. “I became conscious of the fact that a black child always has to
start from scratch and that there are more black people looking for work than creating it.
I was tired of hearing about unemployment rates in South Africa and not being able to control
my time. Most importantly, I became less afraid to die or take risks,” she explains.
This entrepreneur’s mission is to run a proudly South African company that supports local goods,
creates employment and provides opportunities for more women and young Africans to tell their
own stories. Through the development of uplifting initiatives such as the Soweto Street Cultural
Festival, Africa Entrepreneur Mentorship Week & Awards and Digital Art Women TV, Mpho is
courageously realising her selfless dream.
The Soweto Street Culture Festival, which took place in May, was a platform for
independent emerging artists and creatives to showcase their work. Africa Entrepreneur
Mentorship Week & Awards involves a group of young entrepreneurs travelling to townships
all over South Africa to share their skills and knowledge. Digital Art Women TV is an
online channel for African women to make their voices heard through thought provoking content.
According to Mpho,NCZA Hub’s initiatives aim to showcase that which already exists in
South Africa, but does not receive significant exposure. With the little that the company has,
it has also begun to invest in young female creatives through the provision of annual study grants.
Her inspiration comes from South Africa’s diversity and rich culture; “The fact that we can create,
craft & care while employing our authentic self, is genius.” With that said however, she is also
critical of the inequality that exists in South Africa’s art industry; “Not understanding each
other’s different cultures has led to hate and created a country which does not accept its own
identity. The game is not fair on black artists or creatives who own almost nothing. It seems as
though it’s a trap for artists to die poor,” she says.
As a business owner, she is often presented with opportunities to travel, meet a variety of
personalities and learn the psychology behind the many systems that prohibit individuals from
reaching their full potential. These experiences have opened her eyes to just how heavily South
Africa’s culture is compromised, leading to the suppression of a national identity. She believes
the promotion of art and culture can contribute positively towards nation building and preserving
heritage, creating a country capable of dreaming and developing its own aesthetic.
Mpho’s story is just one of the many ways that art and culture can be used to build better
communities. Over and above the entertainment and fun that are often associated with the two
disciplines, they are powerful tools for social development.
Organisations such as NCZA Hub spread the privilege of validity, allowing more voices
to be heard and more lives to matter.
NCZA HUB website
Published: 2016-06-30 - 10:14:44