While most businesses were trying to remain afloat over the last few months, DJ Sbu (Sibusiso Leope) and his business partners at MoFaya were planning an expansion like one rarely seen by fledgeling township businesses.
Speaking at the grand announcement of MoFaya’s launch of 12 new carbonated soft drink flavours in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Leope reflected on how excited he was when his business partner, Siphiwe Likhuleni Shongwe, approached him with the idea for the brand.
In Leope’s mind, he would have been an instant millionaire within a year, however, as he has come to find out the hard way, it takes a lot more than that – even when you are one of the country’s most-loved personalities.
“It became the most difficult thing I have had to do in my life, but I’m glad I got into it. No matter how difficult the journey has been, I’m very blessed that I met this brother,” added Leope, before touching on some of the financial struggles that he and Shongwe faced in the early days.
Among those struggles was a hiccup that almost saw their business shutting down. Someone that Leope and Shongwe were planning to do business with allegedly absconded with R5 million worth of stock.
Leope refuses to name names, and claims to have never seen the culprit again, but says that the thief knows who he is and what he did and that that is enough for Leope.
“What we saying here in front is not the unique story of MoFaya, it is the unique story of a lot of small businesses in South Africa. It’s the unique story of a lot of small businesses in South Africa that don’t have a famous face, that are not based in Rosebank, that do not have relationships…”
Seven years later and the pair finally have some sort of security that allows them to look firmly into the future.
So, what’s next for MoFaya?
Along with their new distribution partners, Liquor On The Run, MoFaya is looking to make their way into taxi ranks, supermarkets and spaza shops across the nation.
Many of the names of both the soft drinks and the four main variants of the MoFaya energy drink, are an ode to artists like Brown Dash, Robbie Malinga, Mzekezeke (who has been theorised to be Leope’s alter ego) whom Leope has worked with in the past.
“I had to pay tribute to people that I’ve worked with because it’s my story, it’s my life story and they are a part of it.”
As a strong proponent of side hustles, Leope urged individuals and store owners who wish to become distributors and resellers to head to their website to find out where exactly they can get stock.
After unveiling their new soft drink range, Leope addressed the health community who have noted their concern with the amount of sugar in MoFaya drinks.
“Let me not forget to mention the health community, we’ve listened to you, we are currently working on your health products. We’re working on your sports drinks, we’re working on your water, we’re working on that health MoFaya drink for you. We listen when you guys talk.”
“We also don’t want obesity. Our sugar levels are just right. Low sugar levels, but still tasty.”
What’s next for DJ Sbu?
“Growth” seems to be the name of this chapter of Leope’s story as another one of his babies, Massiv Metro, has some new beginnings on the horizon.
After announcing a move to new premises in Randburg, Leope invited corporate and government advertisers alike to approach Massiv Metro to buy ad space as the business enters this new chapter with a better understanding of the solid audience they’ve built via their infiltration of taxi ranks and taxis.
Come December, Leope, in his capacity as a Massiv Metro DJ and co-founder, will be attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the longest broadcast of a radio music show in history.
The current record is just over 100 hours and he plans to do more than 300 hours between 15 December and 31 December 2020 in an effort to raise funds to establish a digital entrepreneurship academy.
Seeing as he is so passionate about entrepreneurship and imparting that knowledge upon others, we asked DJ Sbu to leave aspiring entrepreneurs with a few nuggets of wisdom;
He began by urging entrepreneurs to set their business/life up so that they can have multiple streams of income as they grow.
He also advised start-up entrepreneurs to look towards scaling up their businesses.
Above it all, however? “Start guys, just start, uNkulunkulu [God] will provide as you go.”
Kaunda is analogue girl navigating a digital world using the perspective provided by news. She has always had a desire to amass a wealth of knowledge on a range of varied topics and this is reflected in the content she produces. As a digitally adept social media user, you can always trust Kaunda to bring you up to speed on what’s going on in the world at any given moment.