Amstel Lager, the iconic lager, took centre stage at the Soweto Theatre on Saturday night to honour the extraordinary journey of township entrepreneurs. The highly anticipated event marked the culmination of the immensely successful “The Entrepreneur – I Amstel building I’ksasa Lami” competition, which aimed to recognise and celebrate the remarkable achievements of these aspiring business owners. Amidst a glittering evening of glamour and inspiration, the top four winners were announced, captivating the audience with their stories, passion and dedication.
The atmosphere was electric as Lawrence Maleka and Dineo Langa, the charismatic hosts for the evening, took to the stage. The crowd erupted in cheers as they announced the incredible lineup of artists who graced the event, including DJ Zinhle, Sjava, K.O., Boohle, DJ Visca, and Soweto’s Finest, providing an unforgettable soundtrack to the evening’s celebration.
Theo Baloyi, renowned entrepreneur and founder of the highly successful Bathu Shoes brand, shared his inspiring story of triumph over adversity, encouraging the audience to believe in their dreams and embrace the power of entrepreneurship in building township economies. While Thando Thabethe, South African DJ and actress inspired guests and contestants discussing entrepreneurship and success.
Amidst the buzz and excitement, the moment everyone had been eagerly awaiting finally arrived—the announcement of the four winners, ranked in no particular order, who would be taking their businesses to even greater heights with the support of Amstel. These extraordinary entrepreneurs were selected from a pool of 5,023 entries and had showcased remarkable determination and innovation throughout their journeys.
The top four included Excellence Mobile Bar, a trailblazing mobile bar and cocktail company founded by Bryan Monethi. Their exceptional ability to bring the party to any event, coupled with their unique business model of using clients’ liquor cabinets to create customised experiences, captured the imagination of the judges. Excellence Mobile Bar aims to revolutionise private parties by providing high-end corporate event services, ensuring that every celebration is truly unforgettable.
Another top four winner was Samuel Jr Mazibuko, the visionary behind iTaxi Ubuntu App. Born and raised in Soweto’s Jabulani, Samuel’s revolutionary platform is transforming the way South Africans experience public transportation. The app allows commuters to choose from various rides, offering convenience, real-time pricing, and discounted options for individuals and groups. Samuel’s relentless pursuit of innovation and commitment to solving everyday challenges faced by commuters has made iTaxi Ubuntu App a game-changer in the industry.
Lebohang Nyandeni, the founder of LebzCafé, claimed a third spot. This coffee connoisseur, inspired by his grandmother’s love for coffee, has created a brand that offers a range of premium coffee products. LebzCafé’s unique blend of Robusta and Arabica beans, resulting in a smooth and delicious coffee experience, has captivated coffee lovers across the country. Lebohang’s journey is an inspiration to all, proving that with passion and dedication, dreams can be turned into reality.
Last but certainly not least, the fourth winner announced was none other than the innovative Mr Bartender. Founded by the charismatic Katleho Chacha, Mr Bartender has swiftly made a name for itself as a go-to brand for exceptional drink experiences. With a focus on quality and creativity, Mr Bartender delivers Instagram-worthy drinks that leave guests in awe. From bar stations to mixologists, glassware to waiters, Mr Bartender offers comprehensive services that ensure every event is a resounding success.
Each of the winners received a substantial prize of R100,000, which they can invest in further growing their businesses and realising their entrepreneurial dreams. In addition to the financial reward, Amstel Lager had already provided the top 12 finalists with extensive marketing and PR exposure worth over R50,000, giving them invaluable visibility and helping propel their ventures to new heights. The finalists also had the privilege of receiving mentorship from renowned industry experts DJ Zinhle, Caron Williams, Lebogang Mothibe, and Khaya Dlanga, who shared their expertise and guided these bright talents on their entrepreneurial journeys.
Boipelo Malao, Senior Brand Manager at Amstel Lager, expressed great pride in the success of the competition and its impact on township economies. “Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of our communities. These incredible individuals have not only improved their own lives but also provided jobs and inspired many others along the way. We are delighted to have played a part in empowering these entrepreneurs and contributing to the growth of our nation.”
Amstel Lager remains committed to supporting and nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit in South Africa. By celebrating the triumphs of these exceptional individuals, Amstel Lager showcases the transformative power of entrepreneurship in building a brighter future for all.
For more information about the “I Amstel” Entrepreneur campaign and the inspiring journey of the winners, please visit: https://www.amstel.co.za/the-entrepreneur/