Khayelitsha-based agency bags prestigious PR award

Musa Shorn Khumalo

Dedication and hard work is paying off for Musa Shorn Khumalo.

At the PRISM awards held in Johannesburg on Friday July 15, his Khayelitsha-based PR agency, Client Media, took home the Presidential Award: Silver in Public Relations and Communication Industry Advancement.

The PRISM awards are held annually to recognise top achievers in the public relations and communications industry.

The softly-spoken Mr Khumalo, 31, who holds a BTech qualification from Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), said the award is the highlight of his career thus far because it overshadows the negativity that often characterises township-based businesses.

He said the recognition of small agencies put them on the map and made it easier for them to approach big businesses because they could present themselves as an award-winning PR agency.

“The award affirms my decision that I’m on the right path. I just literally won an award without getting funding from anywhere but for staying true to my ambitions and dreams.

“I won an award for working for myself and believing in myself. I won an award for representing township people and for uplifting the business community which is mostly surrounded by negativity and bringing attention to this community.

“I believe that this opportunity wouldn’t have existed if long-standing businesses such as Kwa-Ace, The Milk Restaurant and Champagne Bar, didn’t give young people opportunities to collaborate and I am extremely grateful for that. I’m grateful to Patho Tebese who was with me during the work of the hotel. I share this award with her.

“I won the award based on the work I did for the Spade Hotel. I took the hotel from just a hotel in Khayelitsha to the world. I mean it was featured in Forbes USA , UK and Mozambique. It’s fantastic to know that I have contributed in building someone else’s dream but in the process I have built mine also,” he said.

Asked about the early days in the business, he said he had had fears just like anyone else who started their own business. However, at the same time, he felt that this was his calling and decided that rather than focusing on his fears, he would keep his sights set on what needed to be done.

Recalling some of the challenges he faced, he told Vukani that many clients failed to pay on time, and what kills most emerging businesses is the lack of cash flow into the business.

Added to that, he said, Covid-19 had dealt his business a brutal blow which is currently recovering from.

Asked what keeps him going despite facing these endless challenges, he quickly noted that there is no plan B and this has to work one way or another. He adds that he also loves what he does.