How this entrepreneur used social media to create a flourishing business

26 April 2018 - 12:16 By Gypseenia Lion
Thato Mahlo founder of What’s Happening Polokwane.
Thato Mahlo founder of What’s Happening Polokwane.
Image: Supplied

Partying with a purpose has opened doors for a young entrepreneur from Polokwane in Limpopo.

Ramosweu Henry Mangwato, 23, affectionately known as Thato Mahlo, spotted an opportunity to turn his party lifestyle into a profitable business, after he found himself in dire financial straits after his aunt, who he lived with, died.

Mahlo, who discovered his passion for events in high school, founded What’s Happening Polokwane in 2015, a year after he matriculated.

What’s Happening Polokwane handles marketing, promotions and photography for events and businesses in and around Polokwane.

“I’d offer people advertising for free because of the followership I had on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook,” he said.

Mahlo supplemented his matric qualification by learning more business skills with Absa’s Ready to Work programme, but still struggled to find permanent employment.

“I spent some time at home. I felt like my life was over. I’d sleep during the day, and at night I’d stay up crying and asking myself if this was the end for me,” he said.

So he turned back to his passion, finding new ways to expand his company with Ramosweu Henry Thato Mangwato Business Solutions (RHTM), which offers business consultation services and products, graphic design and marketing. He has since employed four young entrepreneurs who are “bringing their own skills to the table”.

For Mahlo creating entrepreneurial opportunities for young people is vital “because jobs are scarce and where there are no jobs you are left with no choice but to create your own”.

Thapelo Mabotja, who has been working for What’s Happening Polokwane as a photographer for two years, said the company has given him an opportunity to express his creativity. “I can express my art and get customers at the same time, in that way it gives everyone an opportunity to put something on your CV,” he said.  

Although the companies are predominantly based and run on social media through Facebook and Twitter posts, Mahlo hopes to grow his influence beyond the internet. He is currently building an office space and plans to employ more young people.