Young South Africans are bosses instead of leaders. It takes patience and understanding to be a leader, says Avelile Nontanda.
In light of Youth Month, TYI – Independent Media's youth-centric digital platform – will be sharing stories of hope that serve to inspire our young generation of leaders.

Here is Avelile Nontanda's story:

Avelile Nontanda who hails from Umtata is innovative, ambitious and more importantly a South African millennial leader.

Nontanda knows what struggle is, and he knows the taste of success too.

Nontanda’s journey began when he relocated to Cape Town in pursuit of a tertiary education at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

He studied Design Foundation and later majored in Interior Design. In the process of obtaining his Interior Design qualification, he envisioned a "one-stop" design brand that consisted of innovative, driven, passionate, young talented designers who were eager to learn and become future entrepreneurs.

Nontanda then established a company called Mayhem Design in 2011.

Here is Nontanda’s opinion on the state of SA’s youth and their great potential:

“In South Africa, our young entrepreneurs lack self confidence which results in failure. South Africa’s youth has extreme potential – with rich diversity and natural talent present.

We’re also a very angry and determined generation. We are not scared to fight for what we believe in and what we want.

We are socially and politically disillusioned.

This is evident in the past years of student unrest. South Africa’s youth have adopted an anti-establishment attitude, possibly due to the combination of their extreme potential that is undermined and socio-economic disillusionment.

They have a lot to give, but feel that the current systems have failed them. So they go against authoritative figures to do it their own way.

We, the youth, have to resolve this inner discord in order to mature into adults and leaders for South Africa.

A majority of South African youth have the drive to become entrepreneurs because their guardians gave them an opportunity to become whatever they desire to be. But they still need a lot of guidance and training in order to be successful.

The youth of South Africa needs to learn to ask for help.

The youth of South Africa need to get involved in educational programmes, entrepreneurship programmes and youth workshops.

Young South Africans are bosses instead of leaders. It takes patience and understanding to be a leader.

I am constantly looking for ways of understanding people in order to be a good leader. In this day and age one needs assistance and guidance from different platforms in order to operate a successful business.

Here is what I have accomplished thus far in the hope that it will inspire you, fellow reader, to go out their and live your dreams:

I was determined to succeed which meant that I had to break out of my shy shell and take myself seriously in order to build the empire that I always dreamed of.

I wanted to make a mark in Cape Town and show young entrepreneurs that anything is possible if you put 100% focus and determination in what you do.

I then decided to expand my business into the entertainment industry. But my vision was different compared to other entertainment companies.

I wanted to make a difference by creating a platform for young creative individuals who felt that their work was undervalued due to stereotype and prejudice.

This is when Mayhem Design and Entertainment (Pty) LTD and the Annual Event Black Fridays was born. The Black Fridays Event is a platform that provides opportunities to designers to showcase their work, inspire and network.

I was honoured and humbled to work with Southern Comfort, Mofaya, Scottish Leader and Hunters Dry who came on board as sponsors.

The Mayhem Team recently partnered up with the PR House of Creatives and Jack Daniels to host the Womapreneur Seminar in Cape Town. This forum was to help inspire and empower women.

The womapreneurs shared their stories which included challenges that they faced in the working environment and how they overcame them.

The Mayhem team assisted PR House of Creatives with marketing the event on social media and marketing material. The event was a huge success that left people inspired and ready to “take themselves seriously in order to be taken seriously by other people"."

Currently Nontanda and his team are working on Black Fridays IV which will be hosted in Cape Town in September.

* #StoriesofHope is a partnership between TYI and TPA, The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment.

Comment on Nontanda’s story of hope by following @theyoungindy on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

** For more #StoriesofHope, visit or submit your story to TYI Editor at