- Player: Lesika Matlou
- Company: Ek Sê Tours
- Passion: Helping tourists (and locals) fall in love with Jozi.
- Contact: eksetours.co.za; +27 (0)11 024 1606
Weylandts is more than just a product range or a destination store. We chat to Chris here
Lesika Matlou is a natural born raconteur. The young entrepreneur left his village in the rural North West province to come to Johannesburg after he heard about the Awethu Project on the radio.
The programme identifies entrepreneurs with talent, vision and capabilities, but without formal experience and qualifications. It invests in them and ensures that they have the resources to drive business success.
With the support of Awethu, Matlou started Ek Sê Tours in August 2011. His company specialises in showing people aspects of Joburg that are out of the ordinary.
“I started the business with R6 000 that I got from Awethu, which I used to promote Ek Sê Tours at B&Bs in and around Melville and to take my first clients — two Americans — around the city. I didn’t tell them stories about crime and corruption. Instead, I focused on what is vibrant and different about our great city.”
In the first three months, he made a profit of R10 000. Soon after that he employed his first full-time tour guide. Today he provides work for six staff, takes more than 100 people a week around the city, and has recently secured a contract worth more than R1 million with Red Pepper Pictures.
“Our Soweto tour stimulates all the senses,” he says.
“We start by singing songs, and then we teach tourists how to do the Xhosa click. They get the chance to have coffee at the top of the Orlando Cooling Towers, from where they can view the whole of Soweto, home to about a third of the city’s residents.”
“We walk the streets of Kliptown and feast on mopane worms and kota. The youngsters in the area always join us and tell us their stories and experiences, which gives visitors some real insight into township life.”
Never having been a tourist himself, Matlou says that one of the things he loves most about his job is that he gets to tour the world through other people’s eyes every time he chats to clients.
And even more special? From a mining town that didn’t believe in entrepreneurship, Matlou is now a role model for youngsters from his own village, who believe they too can follow their dreams.
Alan Knott-Craig On Learning To Overcome Your Fears And Building Successful Businesses
After Alan Knott-Craig ran some of South Africa’s well known companies like Cellfind, iBurst and Mxit, he’s on a mission to broaden South Africa’s wireless internet network with HeroTel.
We interview entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig, who after running well known South African companies like Cellfind, iBurst and Mxit founded HeroTel, which is a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) and his strategy is to buy up smaller WISP companies to create a broader network.
Ian Fuhr Explains Why He Likes To Launch Businesses In Unfamiliar Industries And How He Made Sorbet A Success
Ian Fuhr, a serial entrepreneur is not scared of opening businesses in industries he knows nothing about.
We interview entrepreneur Ian Fuhr, who founded the Sorbet Group in 2005 which has now grown to over 200 stores in South Africa with stores in the UK. Ian is a serial entrepreneur who has launched many successful companies in industries he knew very little about.
How Pepe Marais Went From Bankruptcy To Founding Joe Public And Becoming An Entrepreneurial Success
After being bankrupt in 2009 Pepe, along with his partners, turned their business around to being one of the best advertising agencies in South Africa.
We interview entrepreneur Pepe Marais, who co-founded Joe Public, one of the biggest independently owned advertising agencies in South Africa. After being bankrupt in 2009 Pepe found his life’s purpose and not only turned his business around, but his entire life. It’s all documented in his booked titled Growing Greatness, which is a must read.