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WATCH | Singing for your supper needs a plan B

Rapper ProVerb is reinventing himself as an entrepreneur

02 October 2021 - 23:59 By Maphamola Lebelo
Tebogo Thekisho realised he could not make a living from his music and media career forever, so he devoted himself to "personal growth and development". Picture: SUPPLIED
Tebogo Thekisho realised he could not make a living from his music and media career forever, so he devoted himself to "personal growth and development". Picture: SUPPLIED

Being renowned for busting rhymes and blazing a trail as an entrepreneur may be regarded as mutually exclusive, but Tebogo "ProVerb" Thekisho has shown that entertainers can also be savvy entrepreneurs.

Thekisho is best known for his music and his role as a television and radio presenter, but he also runs a property business.

The transition from hip-hop artist to entrepreneur was motivated by the need to reposition himself as a brand and to create a safety net for life after the limelight, he said.

"The professional life of an entertainer is very short. This realisation is what informed my decisions.

"I began to become entrepreneurial and thought a lot about which businesses I wanted to venture into. This entailed brand positioning and deciding what to shed, and creating the right associations to set my ambitions in motion."

Growth often means making sacrifices and shedding attributes of the old self, Thekisho said. "The downside to personal development is that you have to rebrand yourself, and this exercise is often met with resistance. Part of rebranding means making hard decisions and shedding a lot.

"This is often very challenging because your clientele associate you with a certain skill set. You almost have to reposition and reintroduce yourself and start from the beginning and build a new brand altogether.

"The hardest part was to politely decline and turn down business opportunities that spoke to the old brand. It was a very expensive exercise. However, what I have learnt is that there isn't a perfect point during a journey of personal growth and development to pivot from one point to another."

Watch an interview with Thekisho:

One thing is clear – personal growth and development are not a once-off event but a continuous journey, he said.

"An entrepreneur should be focused on developing and evolving because the world is changing so fast. You may be dominating in your space and be an industry leader today, but if you're not constantly developing yourself and evolving, you are running the risk of being left behind by shifting trends and getting caught in that space and becoming a one-trick pony.

"My advice to entrepreneurs is to constantly develop, to always innovate and look for new ways to add to your skills set and offering. Personal development and growth should be a constant motion."

Thekisho cites the example of Kodak, whose dominant position in the photography industry collapsed when it failed to adapt to the digital age.

He has applied these life lessons to his own life.

He has a certificate in sound engineering from the Academy of Sound Engineering and a certificate in property development and investment from the University of Cape Town and is studying towards his bachelor of business administration degree with a long-term view to enrolling for an MBA.

Personal development is multifaceted, he said.

"In my book, formal personal development refers to empowering oneself through partnerships, working with the right people, networking, creating and building new relationships and also furthering your studies.

"Informal ways of personal development methods entail reading up or watching YouTube clips, for example, but also studying and empowering yourself academically."


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