Now, two and a half years later, we get to catch up with the woman behind the logo. The brilliant Matsidiso of Leseli Creative. A businesswoman, a creator, an inspiration and a game-changer.
- Matsidiso! You are such a phenomenal woman and we love every chance we get to catch up with you. Can you run me through where we left off and what you’re up to now?
Wow, it's been so long hun. I think I failed a lot since the last time we met, lol, I failed, failed harder but I continued to fail forward. The failures though would never outshine the wins. From being a no-name agency to being a respected African Brand Narrator has been humbling and so beautiful, to say the least. I have been fortunate enough to not only serve small businesses but serve Big corporates and clients in London, Australia, California & Nashville Tennessee. I think I can safely say that there’s been a healthy growth in the last couple of months J. It has been so hard but truly worth it.
- What are your biggest challenges and your biggest win since we last spoke?
I think the biggest challenges has been scale and how to structure the business for it but I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of an incubation whose main goal truly has been to not only grow the business but to take care of my well being through therapy. Business can be cruel and spit you out in a second, therapy and mentorship have been my anchors. You only become as good, as strong, and powerful as the people you surround yourself with.
I am where I am today because of a strong support structure that God has placed in my life and I'm truly grateful for that.
My Biggest milestones for me has got be changing Leseli Creative from a Hobby to a Real Business. When my WHY realigned with my Gift and a deep understanding of the value I was contributing in South Africa and Globally, a hobby changed into a fully-fledged business. I started to respect the business, to truly understand and respect the fact that it was an entity on its own and that i was not the business.
- When we last chatted, you were working on this incredible project creating children’s colouring books that educate kids on all of the beautiful heritage and cultures in South Africa. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?
I saw the need to start teaching children from an early age about their culture and their immediate surroundings. To make learning fun but to also portray that even though we might all look different, our differences are fully accepted and celebrated by society.
South Africa is home to many cultures, it is a truly diverse and one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Its past is one of racial and cultural division but today, we need to still install the vision of Tata Mandela, that of a united Rainbow Nation.
This book is a celebration of our diversity. We believe that part of a child’s self-identity is formed by their cultural identity. Whilst ideas about their ancestry and how their family’s culture fits into the larger society are too abstract for most young people to understand, it’s never too early to teach children about culture and traditions.
We hope that through this book we will continue to add to and to enrich children on their sense of self as well as awareness of and respect for others.
- Leseli Creative seems to be thriving! I love following your journey, you’ve done such a stunning job building your brand agency. What’s new for you and Leseli Creative this year?
Thank you so much. I could safely say that we are indeed growing as a business. This year is going to see us do more work in native languages which is the heart of the business. We are super excited about that. I can't divulge much at this stage but let me just say watch the space, we are going to be playing with some giants in the corporate field. Ke nako (it is our time).
- PS: Just wanted to share that I listened to your podcast on Startup School- (https://startupschool.ac/matsidiso-the-female-entrepreneur-whos-bringing-an-african-narrative-to-local-brands/) – I feel like anyone tuning in needs to listen. You offer such a plethora of knowledge and deep insights!
Awwww Jinae, Thank you so much. You have been so supportive of my business and your belief in me humbles me. Thank you Thank you Thank you. I love you and your Brand just as much. what an honour truly, to have met you. The world truly needs more supportive entrepreneurs like you.
- Are there any new projects you’re working on at the moment?
From early Jan when we started, we hit the road running. We’ve been so busy and truly grateful for all the clients that continue to trust in our ability to deliver, to convey their Brand in the most relatable, authentic and correct way. We are also busy art directing a book by an amazing Author and Marketing Guru.
- And part of an ‘inspiring women’ series, we have to ask- ‘What does liberation mean for you? What is your story of liberation?
Liberation for me means looking timidity and fear in the face with laughter. Of laughing at the days to come with no fear at all in your heart. My story of liberation Is found in Proverbs 31. It reads :
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings, she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
I found liberation when I understood the depth of this scripture, it freed me truly. Unlike what society deems right / or womanly, this for me goes against the grains. This for me is the epitome of a description of what a liberated woman is in this day and age. Strong, Courageous, Warm and not only takes care of herself but those in need too. Liberation is to me is when you get to see how valuable of a part you play in the world. It is to still be able to listen to your inner voice even in a world that is so loud and makes you feel like you’re illegitimate.
- What’s the best way to follow your journey and learn more about all of the brilliant things you do?
- And last but definitely not least, what Matsidiso product do you identify the most with and why?
It has got to be the Benya Shoes definitely. My desire is to always be a light even if its just a flicker of it to anyone I meet. The name Benya reminds me of my own light, one that the world so desperately needs, one that I have stopped being scared of. Thank you for my pair, I absolutely love them. These shoes are going to lead me into Boardrooms that no one ever thought I’d be in, they’re going to lead me into areas I never thought I’d set foot, they will place me On podiums that people never thought I’d be on. Benya!!!!!