Daniel Thebe (32) wants South Africans to own and produce the media they consume.
The entrepreneur founded Isidima Brands Multimedia, a brand communications firm specialising in 360° brand strategy services and overseeing the Township Film Festival.
He started the festival as a way of challenging the South African film industry’s insularity. “There aren’t any platforms in South African townships where local township films are screened, but also the industry is largely white and male-dominated. I wanted to change that,” Thebe explains.
The visual brand communication and business administration graduate aims to exclusively air local content in the next five years.
Isidima Brands Multimedia has since invested in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications sectors.
Their entities include Isidima brands Multimedia, Uhuru TV, Uhuru Phones (first and only African owned, controlled and managed smartphone brand in the world) and Uhuru Mobile.
At the end of the day, the Disruptor just wants South Africans to tell their own stories.
Q&A: Talking with Daniel Thebe
What inspired Uhuru Consumer Electronics?
To be the leaders in African Technology ownership in the world that is known for having strong quality products.
Describe yourself in three words?
Persistent / Forthcoming / Tenacious
How would you define leadership?
The ability to be steadfast in your belief and values whilst creating a platform for others to realise/express gifts in seeking one unified goal.
What are your strengths?
Creative, accountability, honesty, simplifier of complex ideas, EQ focused, curiosity, self- assured, optimistic.
What motivates you?
1) When someone tells me, “Daniel, you can’t or you shouldn’t do it, it’s too risky”.
2) Constantly exceeding the narrative of Africa and ownership
What entrepreneurial challenges have you faced?
* My business nearly going into liquidation
* Overcoming chronic depression
What will your legacy consist of?
I want my tombstone to read, “Daniel had the ability to make people believe in their own dreams and when he could assist, he would.”
Where and what have you studied?
I studied at UCT Graduate School of Business
How does your brand create value for customers?
By being the Robin Hood of Telecoms. Our high-quality products and our ability to include our customers in our supply/delivery chain. This means they get to make a profit.
How many employees do you have?
What initiatives have you ventured into this year?
Just remained and focused on one.
What are your words of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?
1) You don’t know everything
2) Speak with confidence
3) Project yourself to the person you want to be in the next 50 yrs then bring back the
values of that person to your current life and try and implement the non-financial costing aspects of that person.
4) Gain a balanced weight and always be clean (you don’t need expensive clothes to be
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Being an African telecoms brand that is active on a global scale.
What was the last book you read for fun?
The Qur’aan and The Republican Noise Machine.
What do you like the most and least about working in this industry?
* I like having control over the products that I’m developing.
* I hate travelling