|1st in Category Winner|
Paseka Lesolang’s (28) story is one of raw grit and fierce determination.
Raised by a single mother who held down three jobs, he spent the majority of his childhood at boarding school. There, he excelled at soccer and won four scholarships from four different countries while he played for a popular Brazilian football academy.
His formative years revealed an inherent talent for entrepreneurship, with one of his earliest ventures being a photo company that served 500 clients under his management. It was the beginning of a flourishing career. Lesolang, a pioneering commerce student at the time, invented a solution that would lead to the establishment of the Water Hygiene Convenience (WHC) Leak-Less Valve company.
It all began with his grandmother’s leaking toilet cistern, and a lack of funds to have it repaired professionally. Knowing little about plumbing, Lesolang got to work to understand the problem, conducting research online and consulting with several professionals.
The result was a conceptual toilet solution that combined a water-saving component with a hygiene feature. His water control mechanism prevents 70% of water loss (due to toilet leaks) when the toilet is not in use.
|The best advice I’ve ever been given was take care of your business and the business will take care of you.|
His solution seemed intuitively brilliant, but Lesolang’s journey to have it endorsed was an arduous one – one that would send him from pillar to post between different government departments. His breakthrough came when he was interviewed by Motswedi FM, where he spoke about his invention on air. Enquiries flooded in.
Today, his company is at the centre of South Africa’s green economy. Among other achievements, his product was endorsed as a smart solution by Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal in 2009. In 2010, Lesolang was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the University of Pretoria, and WHC was selected as one of 15 delegate companies at the 2010 Shanghai EXPO.
Lesolang also won first prize in the City of Johannesburg’s Green City Startup Awards in 2015, winning R1-million for his innovation – Leak-Less Valve™.
“I am humbled to know that my initiatives and efforts to solve this country’s problems are worthy of such honour and prestigious titles,” said Lesolang about his numerous accolades.
At a time when our most precious natural resource, water, is in such dire shortage, Lesolang is making a difference, one drop at a time.