Philanthropist, media mogul and entrepreneur Basetsana Kumalo personifies #blackgirlmagic.
She was catapulted into the spotlight in 1994 when she was appointed the coveted title of Miss South Africa and subsequently nabbed the first runner up title at the Miss World pageant.
Since then, the 42-year-old has achieved tremendous success in the world of business particularly in the sectors of travel, mining and of course her passion – television production. ESSENCE caught up with Basetsana in Johannesburg to dish about life, business and what we can expect from her upcoming panel at ESSENCE Festival Durban slated for November 10th and 11th at the Durban ICC & Exhibition Center.
You’re involved in a number of successful businesses, which one are you the most passionate about?
Production and television content is where my heart is - I call that my passion business. Whereas the mining industry - for me - is a tool to creates generational legacy and wealth. The decision to see a dream or vision through helps to empower other people: it's not about me, myself and I. It's about how what I do really impacts the collective.
What have been some of the biggest lessons you've learned during the course of your career?
Don't be afraid to fail, take risks – of course calculated risks. Failure is not final, it's just a glitch in the journey. Also, surround yourself around people who know better than you and are smarter than you.
ESSENCE Festival is going to Durban, South Africa. Get more info here.
Don’t be intimidated by those who know better and have been more exposed. Part of what I have learned over the years is we all have different strengths, whether we are in a corporate environment or entrepreneurs running our own enterprises.
How do you achieve balance in your life?
I have a golden rule that I don't work on weekends. So come Friday to Monday, no working. I believe it's important to have quality time as opposed to quantity.
What can we expect from you at ESSENCE Festival panel?
I will be focusing on the art of leadership and juxtaposing that with the essence of entrepreneurship. More importantly, I hope women will come out of that session being able to find the strength within themselves to walk their own path, to use their own voices and to fulfill their own destinies. Often when I do share my life journey, I find that people find inspiration in terms of where I come from and my life path – I always say I have not even begun to live.
Next up for you?
I am planning a beautiful luncheon in South Africa where young women in the entertainment industry can come together in a safe space. I find that with the younger generation there is a lot of competition and the notion of PHD – pull her down exists. In actuality, we need to work together and celebrate when one does well.
Also, next year we are planning a women in entertainment summit and we have partnered with a print media powerhouse Khanyi Dhlomo for a series of master classes and so much more. It's all about the next chapter and passing on the baton.