Johannesburg - We first noticed him when he played a bad boy named Nicholas ‘Nick’ Nomvete on SABC 1’s Generations a few years ago, nowadays Thato Molamu appears as a sweet but serious prosecutor on Mzanzi Magic’s hit drama series The Queen.
Apart from his successful acting career, the 33-year old is also a radio and TV presenter. Having graduated for the Cape Peninsula University recently, the big-eyed Thato also has a very prominent business side.
DRUM caught up with the actor to find out all about his business ventures.
Congratulations on your graduation from the CPUT, can you tell us what you were studying?
Thank you very much for the wishes. I was studying Entrepreneurial Skills Development funded by Bank SETA, which is a short extensive course that focuses on teaching future entrepreneurs to look deeper into their business and confront their flaws in order to create sustainable businesses. In Mzanzi we have a high rate of small businesses closing doors because many startups start without proper planning. “If you fail to Plan, you Plan to Fail.” The key focus is to create financially viable businesses that can contribute to the economy of South Africa.
Why did you choose to study that particular course?
Coming from a family of business minds I was taught the concept of never letting your future to be in someone’s hands. As a person you need to be in control of your fate. As a person and as an entrepreneur it is important for you to educate yourself, inform yourself and increase your skills in business operations. You need to understand the importance of managing risks, doing due diligence to avoid collapsing your business and most importantly it teaches you how to see opportunities by learning from case studies of failed businesses. One of the biggest problems for startups is Financial Management and this course assisted many aspiring entrepreneurs that were brave enough to start something to learn how to keep their companies afloat financially, shaping you in financial management of business and to become funding worthy. I studied this course to increase my understanding of trends, business models and to understand what it takes to become a global player by doing a deep dive into your SWOT analysis of your business.
Is the course related to your career in any way?
One of the things not known about me is that I’m great in developing great marketing campaigns which we have done for the past 4 years. I have worked on some huge communications campaigns below the line and above the line. Advertising is a great passion of mine and now this short course is not related to my career as an actor but more related to my growth as entrepreneur and my sector focus is in the entertainment industry.
I have a Media Company and its core focus is 360 Media Solutions and customer experience. Gateway Media Pty Ltd celebrated 4 years last year Oct 2017 after a long journey of ups and downs which were great learnings after some failures in trying many business concepts and ideas. I’m also running the Thato Molamu Foundation which is a mindset change platform using Creative Arts to build self confidence in young people in the townships to become economic players and entrepreneurs. The principal stems from the concept that with information, you can change the world.
Will you be furthering your studies?
Yes, I will be furthering my studies for purposes of getting a deeper understanding in business, growing my understanding in the African market and mostly seeking to grow the township economy specifically and to become an African Media player. There is so much joy in discovering new possibilities and I urge more entrepreneurs to go to school, read more about business, follow more business people on social media because the kind of following that you keep will determine your future and your success.
How difficult has it been to juggle school and your career?
The reality about life is that in order for you to be successful you need to make the greater sacrifice. Your time is stretched and you get to realise that being an entrepreneur is not as easy as some people make it out to be. It’s a lot of sleepless nights, making new networks and building solid business relationships takes time. This was important for me so that I don’t fall victim to our unregulated industry.
What does Thato have in store for his fans this year?
The year is looking busy with new projects on the pipeline and South Africa must look out for ‘Kumnandi Ekaslam’, a campaign launched last year with CCBSA which will be going across South Africa as one of our signature Below The Line campaign by Gateway Media. I’m focusing more on the business by:
- Creating more youth development programs with my foundation and promoting Math and Science in the township
- Rolling out the first edition of One Night Only which is kicking off in Welkom Goldfields Casino. “One Night Only with Amanda Black” there will be more editions across the country.
- Creating more fun campaigns for our clients
- Going back to Public speaking as an entrepreneur and my youth leadership program
- Single and Ready to Mingle Speed Dating events
People love your character, Bakang on The Queen. Are the any similarities between Thato and Bakang?
The similarity is our love for our family.
What would you say you enjoy most about playing the character of Bakang?
This is my first role on a long running show and I’m playing the good guy and not a bad boy like I’m always cast. I took the role because it showcased that I can diversify and not be stuck to one style of acting.
Would Thato choose to walk away from a love triangle like Bakang did, if he was in the same situation?
All I can say is that I don’t wish to be in such a situation as Thato. Iyoh, imagine
How are you celebrating the month of love?
I celebrate love everyday.