Transform SA Digital Issue 29 - Magazine - Page 41
MAKING A LIVING OUT OF TELLING JOKES
Every now and then we hear about successful stand-up comedians
and how much money they make. What we don’t know is that
most comedians in South Africa start from the bottom.
“Making a living as a
comedian is not easy.
Your family expects you
to be a lawyer or
something. And if you’re
based in Eastern Cape,
they don’t pay you
“Siyabulela Seya was born and raised in
Mdantsane, a township in East London. In 2000,
he relocated to Port Elizabeth in a township
called Motherwell, where kwaito music, at the
time, engulfed every part of the township. The
music scene in Motherwell inspired Seya to try
his hand in music. He joined a kwaito group
and they wrote a song, but when the song was
released, Seya’s verse was taken out. There and
then, he realised that he didn’t have talent in
How did you turn your passion into a business?
I had to distribute my DVDs on my own, mostly
traveling by bus or taxi. At night I will burn DVDs
and the following day continue selling. The more
DVDs I sold, the more people I reached with
my content. I later relocated to Joburg where
I met Skhumba who introduced him to David
Kau. I toured with David Kau in his shows. I also
toured with Skhumba. Even now I will be in his
show. In 2018 I was the Comic’s Choice Native
Tongue winner and also nominated as Best
Indigenous Comedian at the 2015 SATMA Award..
How is it like to make a living as a comedian?
Making a living as a comedian is not easy. Your
family expects you to be a lawyer or something.
And if you’re based in the Eastern Cape, they don’t
pay you that much. Sometimes they don’t pay
you at all. But I used to shoot a DVD and sell it
myself to survive. That’s how my comedy career
Who else is helping you in your business?
Right now I have involved my wife in my business.
She handles the logistics side of the business while
I focus on creating material for my jokes. We shoot
a lot of content and we are in charge of it. With
a career spanning over 13years, Siya Seya is still
going strong and reaching for higher grounds.
MEET THE FOUNDER OF AN ONLINE MALL
Diketso Setho (25) is the founder of Ghetto Heroes (GH) a mall that
integrates township retail shops into one space. GH mall is slowly
becoming a trusted platform for local businesses to sell accessories, local
art, clothing, and other things. Over and above that Diketso is a social
entrepreneur who is also involved with various nonprofit organisations.
TransformSA reached out to Diketso to learn more about his journey in
What inspired you to start your own business?
I started GH Mall because I was unemployed, I thought
since I am unemployed let me start selling various
products like Avon, Tupperware, and others. So I
thought I wouldn’t want to do this the hard way by
going door to door. I utilised my programming skills
to build an online mall. I decided to start an online
store where people can buy anything, anytime and
anywhere they are. One can say I decided to start an
Amazon in South Africa.
platform. This is because most of them
are not tech-savvy, they are still used to
selling their products door-to-door. The
other challenge was getting buyers to
use the platform, there were rumours
that people were not getting the right
products delivered to them.
“We help business
owners who want to
sell their products
online but can’t
afford to have an
e-commerce site built
When was your business founded?
My business was founded in February 2020.
What were some of the challenges that you have encountered?
One of the biggest challenges was getting small businesses to use the
Who are your clients?
Our target market is
township based small to
medium-sized businesses. We help
business owners who want to sell their products
online but can’t afford to have an e-commerce site
built for them. We are also looking towards working
What makes your business unique?
Our business model is not just an online store, but it
is an online mall. This means within our platform you’ll get many stores
selling different products. The same way, you’ll find various stores in the
bricks and mortar mall. The process of using our platform is simple: All
you have to do is register as a customer or a vendor. From there, you’ll
get approved as a vendor, and once you’re approved you can set up your
own online store within our platform..
Volume 27 • 2021