In 2021, Vuma set out to connect some of the nation’s finest musicians, dancers, chefs and visual artists to their dreams through the My Community Cooks initiative.
This year, South Africa’s leading fibre provider has partnered with South African singer and songwriter Jimmy Nevis to expand the impact of this successful campaign with the launch of My Community Connects.
Phase one of My Community Connects showcased Soweto’s creative industries, with Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse as the campaign’s headline mentor, this year’s edition has expanded to incorporate social innovation in fields such as sports, science and technology, entrepreneurship, and academia.
Building on last year’s campaign, My Community Connects aims to foster skills, narrow the digital divide, and create gainful employment opportunities for South Africans across sectors beyond the creative industry, all while showcasing the country’s diverse and vibrant talent pool.
“As a fibre network operator, we don’t just focus on laying fibre but also on creating connectivity that allows young entrepreneurs and creators to build their brand, communicate it, and get buy-in from prospective audiences and clients,” says Lianne Williams, Head of Marketing at Vuma. “Jimmy Nevis is the perfect partner for this year’s campaign, which aims to enable people from all walks of life and in all industries to build visibility and extend their reach beyond the physical limitations of their environment.”
“I grew up in a very community-oriented household and have always felt the need to help people realise just how achievable their dreams are,” says Jimmy Nevis. “There are so many gifted and innovative individuals out there, and I’m glad to be working with Vuma to help mentor these talented people and help them realise that their dreams are attainable.”
The campaign has already received countless entries from innovative South Africans, such as Zanele Khoza, founder of Inkosi TV, a free digital publishing company that tells positive African stories, as well as Tshepiso Mahika, founder of Sushi Yase Soweto, whose take on this traditional Japanese dish includes ingredients that are uniquely South African, such as biltong.
“Being a part of My Community Connects is the perfect fit for our platform because it shares our vision to enable even more people to tell and consume authentic South African stories. I’m looking forward to reaching even more people through the My Community Connects platform and increasing our viewership,” says Khoza.
“This is an amazing initiative that’s not only helping businesses like mine to grow but is ultimately improving our local economy. I’m confident this platform will help even more start-ups reach more customers and gain access to untapped markets,” says Mahika.
Like last year’s initiative, My Community Connects will host a workshop where young, talented South Africans can engage with Jimmy Nevis, ask him questions and gain valuable insights and knowledge about the industry, as well as lessons in both personal and business growth.
Additionally, this year’s campaign will feature a new element, where someone from each category will be recognised for their outstanding work. Vuma will connect this person with a mentor in their respective industry to help them along their journey.
“The entries we’ve received so far have been phenomenal, and have showcased the potential that this year’s campaign has to empower communities throughout South Africa. The best part is that entries are still open, so we continue to invite as many talented and innovative South Africans to enter My Community Connects,” concludes Nevis.
Entries for My Community Connects are open and South Africans looking to showcase their abilities can visit www.mycommunityconnects.co.za to enter.