On the evening of Tuesday, 21 August 2018, the Tshwane Hub hosted a Meet the Leader session with Katlego Malatji, Co-founder and CEO of HomeComing Events and Tailormade Legal Solutions. HomeComing Events is a “fully black owned company that specializes in event organisation, consultancy, sponsorship procurement, brand management and activations, marketing and lifestyle solutions.”

One of their most successful events is Tshwanefontien – held at the African Beer Emporium in the 012 Central courtyard, this is a monthly “cross culture event that seeks to build a social bridge for youth who have common artistic and musical taste.” The idea was born when Malatji was a student at the University of Pretoria and was looking for a way to harness his friends’ love of the outdoors, good food, great company and even better music. He wanted a space in which his friends studying at different institutions could come together to reunite during the holidays. He thus started the Homecoming picnic, the success of which encouraged him to progress onto establishing Tshwanefontein. Attendance rates at both these events have grown tremendously over the last five years.

The main theme of Malatji’s talk for the evening was “make accountability great again”. He believes that if you cannot hold yourself to your word, your word cannot be accountable to your dreams. Malatji shared with us the ways in which discipline, commitment and persistence played a key role in the expansion of Homecoming Events and his work as a lawyer in the entertainment industry.

Malatji also highlighted the importance of listening to your audience, paying attention to the market and taking advantage of opportunities to fill gaps that will produce unique products for clients. He attributed his success with Homecoming Events to the fact that he understands his market well and can thus tell when it is time to adapt to industry changes. “Be a student of your industry, then you will know when the time is right to reinvent yourself. Don’t study your business in isolation from the industry”

Malatji reflected on the importance of failure, saying “everything I know about winning, I learned from losing. It is through all of this that I have come to realise that there are no set procedures to entrepreneurial success but there certainly exist consistent principles which successful entrepreneurs live by”. He feels that while money, recognition and awards is part of the package of building a successful business, your values and principles which ground are most important.

However, this cannot be achieved through hard work, persistence and talent alone. Malatji stressed that having an accountability mentor is an essential part of building a good business. One must have someone to look up to, who will push you and help you remain on your path. Accountability does not only mean being able to do it, but it is about having the courage to do it right and being guided by your core values. “If you can be trusted to deliver, people will invest in your dreams.”