At the beginning of every work year we hold our annual #WorkShopWeek at SoulProviders. Featuring workshops presented by guests representing different industries, the second week of January was a chance for our team to be mind-blown, get inspired, plan their year and discuss topics and trends dominating the media landscape. Two of the speakers at this year’s event included Tefo Mohapi, the co-founder of iAfrikan and Bradley Kirshenbaum, owner of distinctly South African brands such as Love, Jozi and Eat Your Heart Out.
As a team member, I found that there were many lessons to take from all the sessions, which only motivated us SP Ninjas to work harder and smarter to achieve our dreams. This is testament to the power of storytelling, and how it can influence and change lives.
During #WorkShopWeek we were also treated to an exclusive preview of John Barker’s latest mockumentary. Barker’s film delved into the current state of politics in a humorous way, and at the end of the film, we were all given a chance to share our thoughts and discuss the film’s different narratives.. The big take-out for me was that you can achieve whatever you want as long as you work hard towards it and stay focused.
In light of racist comments surfacing recently on social media, one of the key workshops found us exploring on the issues of race, identity and culture in South Africa. Thembi, the facilitator, did a superb task of starting the privilege and race conversation through various group-based activities that got the team thinking, questioning and understanding. New skills were imparted and lateral thinking was employed to get everyone to see outside the box. I asked some of my colleagues for their highlights from #WorkShopWeek:
“I loved Bradley’s talk, I think young designers in general aren’t exposed enough to to the entrepreneurial possibilities of their craft. Too often, schools train students to be robots who churn out work for big agencies and not enough credit is given to these individuals who may aspire to grow beyond the four walls of your Ogilvy’s.”
Workshop week was inspirational and aspirational. The talks gave us a glimpse into some of the most creative and talented minds in S.A. It showed us that the people who make the difference or do something amazing are the people who don’t fit into boxes, who think outside the margins of their craft and push the line beyond what people are used to seeing. My highlight was the new mockumentary by John Barker – as an avid politico the film was exactly what every South African needs to see right now!
I was really inspired by the passion behind iAfrikan and the way in which they work with highly skilled content producers across the continent. I love that they cover what Tefo calls “boring tech” as this is the kind of life-changing innovation that will ultimately transform the face of Africa. I am always inspired by people using tech to solve basic social needs, and I am really glad that people like Tefo are telling these stories!
I found Tefo’s talk to be thoroughly engaging and intriguing. He had an in-depth knowledge of his subject matter and stimulated debate amongst our group. Listening to his journey in the local tech space was also extremely interesting . The screening by John was a humorous way to end the week but also spoke to our current political climate, so I enjoyed that one too.
What stood out for me was the Love, Jozi presentation. The sheer passion Bradley has is amazing and how his brands tie into one was quite nice.
Tefo’s presentation about the tech space was very informative and you could see how passionate he is about the industry by the way he presented. I also loved hearing about how he got to where he is now and the story of his start-up.
Bradley’s presentation on Love Jozi was a standout for me because it was very authentic and full of anecdotes. You could easily tell that he has spent his life building a brand that he loves working on, which I think is a big lesson to a lot of us millennials who don’t seem to know what we want to spend our lives doing. What stood out for me was the integrity his brand has kept over the years, how he was managed to keep running it as a business while still seemingly being picky about working with “the right” clients.
Bradley’s passion for what he does spoke volumes for me. From creating a powerful brand that encompasses the love for Jozi in one simple image, the skyline, was genius, to what the range is now. Also, he taught me that waiting around for opportunities is plain silly. Start your own movement and flourish (as he did with Market on Main).
Bradley is such an inspiration, he truly gave me that feeling that you can accomplish anything as long as your heart is in it. It is obvious that he is very passionate about what he does and that it’s not just business to him, it is passion.
Bradley’s presentation was quite inspirational because I got to see that if you’re passionate about your work and have your mind set on achieving something, you can achieve anything. Also loved his Love, Jozi work – this was very simplified but still able to communicate whatever message he intended to communicate.