This black-owned company distributes fire extinguishers that are literally a ball to use

  • Super Fire Ball is a fire extinguisher you simply throw into the fire – without ever getting close to the flames.
  • The idea to distribute it in SA was motivated by the constant need to find creative solutions to problems that are unique to the country, like shack fires.
  • Its South African distributor hopes to capture a significant share of the market in the fire safety industry.

On his last visit to South Africa, Richard Branson hosted inspiring business leaders and budding entrepreneurs with exciting concepts at Africa’s first Business is an adventure series.

Among the hand-picked business mavericks was Mandisi Kibito and his Super Fire Balls.

The idea [to set up distribution in South Africa] was motivated by the constant need to find creative solutions to the problems we experience in the country. We thought it would great to find a creative, lasting, and cost effective solutions for fire safety.
Mandisi Kibito, CEO of Super Fire Ball SA
Super Fire Ball is a fire extinguisher that is simply thrown to the fire without getting close to the flames. It saves 20-90 seconds which are vital to terminate a fire before it gets bigger.

Kibito distributes the Turkish-made product in South Africa.

The self-funded company already has a strong online presence. Now it just needs to overcome the entrenched ways of doing things, Kibito tells Business Insider South Africa.

Elsewhere in the world Super Fire Ball is marketed as a fool-proof automatic fire exstinguisher (when hooked up to a fire detector) or as simple enough for children to use. Its major promise in South Africa is in combating ten shack fires a day on average in informal settlements.

WATCH: Varsity was not for him, entrepreneurship was his call

CAPE TOWN – Freddy Mahhumane decided that varsity was not for him and founded his own IT company, Open-Technik.

Gauteng-based Mahhumane was studying IT, specialising in Software Development when he decided that he wanted to start his very own company. He then gave up on his studies and dropped out of varsity.

He says that wanted to create more solutions using open source software. He then realised that he is actually good at what he does when he won an award as the best Newcomer at global software enterprise company, Novell South Africa’s awards.

Mahhumane then equipped himself with the technical skills in order for him to compete in the industry. He says that he had to learn continuously in order to position himself favourably in the competitive industry.

Open-Technik grew exponentially and now has a client base of 1 000 clients and has created over 50 different software. The IT company operates country-wide, with one of their biggest clients in Rustenburg in the North West. Mahhumane says that he is always looking to improve his business and take it to great heights.

“As a young entrepreneur, I always look to improve my business and take it to great heights, all my achievements are in the past and I have to work even harder to stay competitive”. This is the key to his success.

His journey to entrepreneurship however did not come easy. He says that it was tough at the beginning to gain the trust of clients and to get them on board. Yet, he aimed high and says that through hard work, he could provide an efficient service.

He was also able to grow his client base by means of a strategic approach. “My strategy was to work with clients only. I started an approach where I would only work with clients who were 10 times bigger than my business. The bigger the clients I signed there more respect we gained in the industry”, said Mahhumane.

He was also a speaker at independent start up community, StartUpGrind Johannesburg. “I was glad I was able to share my story and motivate young and up coming entrepreneurs”, said Mahhumane.

Mahhumane proves to be a serial entrepreneur in his own right. He is involved in several other projects, including an app he developed that provides a car wash service, Kool Wash. “This is our latest innovation, a digital car wash service that looks at creating more jobs and entrepreneurs. From the app, a user can send a request and get their car washed at home. The app is mostly mostly suited for Estate living”, says Mahhumane.

When asked what advice he would give aspiring entrepreneurs, Mahhumane says he encourages the youth to learn an open source skill like JAVA programming or Linux OS administration. This will teach individuals about where the world is going, he says.  “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. So the man with courage is not he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers that fear” – Entrepreneurship is scary world, but be courageous in whatever you do and keep learning all the time.

Mahhumane has utilised his knowledge and opened up a public platform where he shares business advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. Community group, Young Black Entrepreneurs was launched on Facebook. “The group was created to answer all the questions I struggled to get answers for when I started my business as an entrepreneur. The greatest gift of being a leader is to be able to share and improve others as well. So this group gives an opportunity for other entrepreneurs to market themselves and learn while doing it”, said Mahhumane.

He says that there is definitely a scarcity of entrepreneurs in SA. Mahhumane believes that we need to create an aptitude of innovation and learning which will in effect create more entrepreneurs. “Entrepreneurship is a culture that motivates, up-skills and helps give back to our community.  But being an entrepreneur must be about problem solving, so definitely because of the problems we need to solve we must create more entrepreneurs”.

Mahhumane shares with us an exciting project that he is currently working on, an Open Source school for the underprivileged youth. This school will train the youth to use open source software. This will improve their understanding of technology and assist them in adopting a culture where they will be challenged to create solutions, concludes Mahhumane.

Source: Business Report

Iconic Photographer Ulrich Knoblauch’s Advice On Making It In Fashion

He may have only picked up a camera for a paid job at the age of 29 (negating his previous goal of attaining a law degree), but Ulrich Knoblauch’s list of clients is impressive (and extensive). From shooting fashion editorials for Self Service magazine and French Vogue (as well as Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan South Africa), to capturing fashion week highlights backstage at Givenchy, Isabel Marant, Lacoste, Victoria Beckham, Alexander McQueen and many more notable fashion houses, it’s safe to say he’s ‘made it’.

Career advice

Ulrich’s advice to those starting out is: ‘Ask everyone you know for help and then work as hard as you can. Look at every magazine, research photographers, stylists, editors – see who inspires you and learn what they love. Never stop. And then you’ll make it.’ The best advice he ever received was ‘ask for help’. And he believes that being a nice person really leads to making it big.

Highlights to date

‘When the editor of Paris-based Self Service magazine gave me a chance to shoot for them, I was over the moon. I’ll never forget when she mailed me and said “Call me at the office”. That day completely changed my career and has directly impacted on everything I’ve achieved thus far.’ The Marie Claire Image Makers 2018 accolade as icon photographer has also meant a lot to him; ‘It’s a huge honour that I certainly didn’t see coming. That makes it all the more special’.

On being an international fashion photographer
‘The highs and lows of this job are extreme. It’s those lows that make you question everything, and those obstacles have proven to be the hardest ones to overcome.’ But there are so many good things about the job; ‘besides that ‘woooaaahh’ feeling you get when you shoot a great picture, I’d say all the amazing travel opportunities are really a bonus of what I do too.’

Here’s Ulrich on his boldest move so far:

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Source: Marie Claire

This Video Explores the Rise of Nigeria’s Animation Industry

Is animation the future of Nigerian cinema? A new video from BBC Africa, breaks it all down.

For years, Nollywood has been at the forefront of all things Nigerian cinema, but a new video from BBC Africa suggests that animation may have the potential to become as big as Nollywood.

The use of animation in films is steadily rising in the country, propelled by the innovative 2016 3D short film Dawn of Thunder, which tells the ancient story of Sango, the Yoruba god of thunder. The first animated version of Sango appeared in a Marvel Thor Comic from 1982 and then again in a DC comic entailed New Earth in 1990.

Dawn of Thunder, was created by Lagos-based animation house, Komotion Studios, where creators wanted the story of Sango to be told from a uniquely African perspective.

“What we were trying to do, was to tell an African story the African way, using technology and using tools that will be able to portray them properly,” says Komotion Studios CEO Kolawole Olarewaju.


“People are kind of realizing now that it’s going to be an economy booster in the long run,” he continues.

While the industry still has some growing to do before it is fully competitive with Nollywood, the future looks promising.

“Animation is definitely growing at a slower pace than Nollywood in general,” says Chioma Onyenwe of the African International Film Festival. “But the audience is growing, the animators are growing, they are getting better. The landscape is easier, so it’s easier to learn, you go online—the technology is more accessible.”

With the advancements made in Nigeria’s animation industry and the upcoming US release of animated films like “Bilal,” inspired by the story of the great Ethiopian warrior—who became Islam’s first muezzin—it appears that the telling of African narratives through previously unexplored mediums is on the rise.

Learn more about Nigeria’s budding animation studios with the short clip below, and head to BBC Africato watch the full video.

Source: OkayAfrica


Startups Looking to Maximize Technologies Should Do This

For many startups, especially hardware ones, building a product isn’t cheap. There are expensive parts and machinery, along with costly technology.

To help decrease the costs, many entrepreneurs are turning to collaborative spaces that provide shared resources, like 3-D printers, wood shops and metalworking equipment. One being Alex Chatham.


Source: Entrepreneur


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