Philippi woman wants to empower emerging artists

At just 24 years old, Philippi resident Thinati Nombewu is the CEO of a newly formed company called Zoja.

At just 24 years old, Philippi resident Thinati Nombewu has been appointed chief executive officer of a newly established online music and distribution company called Zoja.

The company operates as a digital music distributor which aims to ensure the music of township artists reaches as wide an audience as possible.

Ms Nombewu, who has been at the helm of the company for almost three months now, said she wanted to empower young and inexperienced artists.

When she was appointed as the head of the company, she said, she was excited but nervous.

While she didn’t have any business leadership experience, she decided to accept the challenge in the hope that she could make a positive contribution to the lives and careers of township artists.

Having volunteered as a writer and head of news for a blog called Music and Life, she knew that she could use that experience to drive this ship into new heights.

But being appointed to lead a newly formed company in a male dominated industry comes with its own challenges, she said.

“The fact that I come from the dusty streets of Philippi should never demoralised me from achieving my dreams,“ she told Vukani.

“I want to see young artist from the township reaping benefits off their music work. I want to leave a lasting and an impactful legacy in the music industry. I want to see this company pooling all the necessary resources which would help artists in becoming global stars.”

When she completed her schooling at Heidveld High School in 2014 she pursued a career in modelling and took some acting lessons.

But in 2017, she enrolled in an electrical engineering diploma course at False Bay College, but last year opted to return to her first love – which is writing and joined the Music and Life blog.

In the same year she was appointed as head of news.

Turning the focus on August, which is Women’s Month, she said women should be celebrated and empower young women – and urged men not to undermine women.

She also encouraged her peers to focus their energy on empowering themselves and seeking ways of growing their craft or business.

She said it is time that as young women infiltrate the spaces dominated by men, and own them.

As for her plans for the future… she dreams of owning her own music company and empowering other young women to be agents of change in their communities.

Thinati Nombewu wants to change the outlook of township artists.