Black Friday one of the events that is quite popular amongst the young creatives of Cape Town that is organised and hosted by Mayhem Design & Entertainment. We caught up with Avelile, a young man born in Mthatha, aspires to be a business mogul like DJ Sbu and Patrice Motsepe. Founder of the start-up by Mayhem Design & Entertainment for a young Q&A and here is what this young gentleman had to say about his uprising career.
On an unsurprisingly wet day in the Mother City, ZuZaNation sat down with the “Founder of Mayhem Design and Entertainment & a student of Interior Design” according to his twitter page.
Although afterwards we got to know him as a founder of a NPO, worked for Cput, creator of Music Box, completed an Internship at Rennie Scurr Adendorff Architects, a volunteer & winner of Ikasi Experience for Mayhem.
A very interesting talk with the self taught entrepreneur who’s biggest frustration is the lack of support and collaboration amongst creatives, especially in BLACK communities.
But, We were there to scout what #BlackFridays was all about and more…
Having been to two BlackFriday events already, We’ve been left inspired. Not only by AVee, but by the sheer force of ‘young, gifted and BLACK’ creatives that the CITY can host. We have seen that hard work, dedication and a clear objective/goal can take a simple idea from a small get-together at AVees’ home to a sophisticated, invite only event on Long Street.
To give a brief explanation of #BlackFriday, is that one event that “celebrates emerging young, creative and sophisticated individuals” by dedicating a space and time to those individuals. In recent times, there have been a number of event organised by and aimed at young black creatives, with fancy dress codes. #BlackFriday tries to be different by dedicating each event to a specific theme.
The first was for ‘entrepreneurs’ with speakers from Dillion Phiri (Creative Nestlings), Mpumelelo Mvunelwa (FRICREATIVES) and Luvuyo Ndiki (Red CupVillage). This was an interesting take as most times entrepreneurs usually have to create the stages, but this time they got to be front and centre. This actually fall in line with what we talked about with Avee. “I want to start a company that is really influential…and gives creatives a platform to express themselves”.
The second edition of #BlackFriday was for fashion designers and models. Avee had assembled a troupe of brand ambassadors dress by labels like Ridgecode and Bookha Creations. This time the show was hosted by the multi cultural Civil Engineering student, Ashely Headger. The event even introducing DJ Sbu’s very own Energy Drink ‘Mofaya’ to the Cape Town market.
We wait in anticipation for the announcement of the next #BlackFriday and what it will bring.
Humble and silently confident man with big and a large range of ideas and self-taught skills like law and web design. Having a clear idea of where you want to go and to get there is what really sets this guy apart. Driven to be part of the solution, we rarely spoke of what is wrong/bad about CPT music, entertainment or creativity (especially amongst Black communities), but rather we discussed how to get people together and uplift all.
We know you as being in the profession of Interior Design, why did you choose that field?
“Most of us black people never really take into account the importance of an aesthetically pleasing interior when it comes to business. We tend to think that if we have a space to sell our products and a clientele, everything is good, however that is not the case, because with that kind of mentality, our markets or clientele in business does not grow or evolve into something better.
We complain about unemployment and slow business growth, but never really look into how we can go about improving what we already have. Why Interior Design, my answer to that is, I believe that if we improve the quality of the spaces we live and do business in, we will attract more clients and this is a fundamental aspect of business. There is still quite a small fraction of black people within the Interior Design business, and one of my aims is to help grow this fraction so that we can contribute towards the improvement of the South African Infrastructure in different sectors and industries.
I have had a passion for design from a young age and to know that my skill helps improve the lifestyle and business of a South Africans makes me happy. It means that the skills that I have acquired do not go to waste but rather improve the lifestyle of another human being.”
Black families do not know the career opportunities that are available to us in our generation. The older folks know about engineers, accountants, doctors, lawyers, teachers…not Interior Designers. How did you family feel about your career choice?
“My mother is my biggest supporter, she has supported my passion for design from day, she believes in me more than I believe in myself. I feel very lucky to have a mother like her, on the other side, my father is also supportive even though sometimes he mistakes my career choice with architecture (chuckles). But I understand because back in the day, Interior Design was not so popular with the black market, and every time my brothers see my designs, they always try to get me to design a couple of projects for them. I like the fact that they can envision the potential business that my skills can bring to the family.”
We all have those awkward moments, what is your funniest moment whilst performing/exhibiting
“I have not exhibited my work (Interior Design Projects) outside CPUT, I am currently busy building an online portfolio of my work and also working on an exhibition where I will invite the masses to come and see my work whilst nibbling on some treats.”
Where to from here
“2016 is a time where as a business I will be introducing some new cool products that we have been working on for the past 2 years, I will also be expending my business to other provinces, namely Eastern Cape and Gauteng, hosting more events and producing a lot of designs.”
When it comes to Black Friday, we know you do themes for each event, what’s next? And what is your favourite colour?
“For Black Fridays, we are looking at between Photography and Graphic Design, but we are looking at also introducing more exciting conceptual events in the pipeline. So 2016 is going to be an exciting year for us. My favourite colour is Black and White”
Do you think there is enough support from peers and other young creatives in Africa?
“That’s a tricky question to answer, but personally, I feel like there is not enough support for SME’s in Africa, we go to school to learn how to work for another person and are hardly taught how to run our own businesses, that is why our economy is growing so slow, people do not know how to find investors, business funding and sometimes your greatest idea can end up being your worst nightmare. We take risks and blindly fall into unsatisfactory traps that can potentially close the doors of one’s business. A lot of potential businesses find it hard to rise from the bottom once having faced such challenges and do not have that drive to push them forward. But, one must just always find a way to push forward and not stop till they succeed in whatever they are pursuing. Black people also need to start supporting each other’s businesses.”
If given a budget for a feature film, what kind of screenplay would you make (something random)
“My fellow classmates always say that my life is an inspirational true story, that screenplay would tell my life story. I am not selling myself as the most successful man in the entire world but believe that I have the brains to take me to that point, I have made a couple of mistakes in my ventures, upset a couple of people but at the same time, I have made a lot of people happy and inspired a lot of people, I have had a good balance of a life experience, but I always push forward with that being said. At the end of the day, no matter how smart you are, you are nothing without people.”
Tell us about some of the projects you’ve made, what was your favourite one to work on
“With regards to Interior Design, it has to be my current project, designing an office space for Mayhem Design and Entertainment, which was by far my favourite project I’ve worked on. With regards to Mayhem, it has to be the cool new mobile stand for the Music Box Project which is scheduled to be built next year.”