Media personality, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Bonang Matheba (Queen B to her more than eight million social media fans) has been persistent from a young age.
“I was turned down at least 25 times before I got my first big break as a presenter of LIVE on SABC, and each rejection was heart-breaking. Especially when you’re young, you don’t understand why they haven’t picked you for a part, it’s very painful,” she says.
“But it has been a great lesson for me that you must try many things, find what you love, and even then you probably won’t get it on your first or even your sixth attempt. You have to be tenacious.”
Queen B explains this in an ‘Inspiring #Changemakers: Lessons from Life and Business’ – a book published by Facebook as part of its celebrations around Women’s Month in South Africa.
In her chapter, Queen B states that entrepreneurship is exceedingly difficult and full of risk.
“I’ve had lots of failures along the way – a handbag range that didn’t go well, business partners that weren’t great, important meetings that have gone wrong,” she says. “But these are things that any entrepreneur goes through, I’ve relied on resilience to keep me fighting.”
The book, featuring bespoke commissioned artwork by three South African female artists – Karabo Poppy Moletsane, Nontokozo Tshabalala and Zinhle Sithebe, includes stories from women such as Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Nomzamo Mbatha, Bonang Matheba, Mogau Seshoene (The Lazy Makoti), Professor Thuli Madonsela, Catherine Constantinides and many more.
“Inspiring #Changemakers: Lessons from Life and Business has been created to not only hero the women making a positive impact in our society, but to inspire future leaders. These women are making a difference in their communities, from starting social movements that change the world, through to businesses that positively impact their local communities,” Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director, Facebook Africa, said.
“This Women’s Month, we continue to celebrate the achievements of all women, but also acknowledge the gender entrepreneurship gap and under-representation of women leaders. We hope the stories and life lessons inspire the next generation with possibilities that their futures hold.”
A prominent television career has seen Queen B star in her own reality television show, Being Bonang.
“A Very Bonang Year” breaks SABC1’s viewership record reaching more than 1.8 Million viewers. pic.twitter.com/AbEnyWKVay
— SABC Commercial Enterprises (@SABCCommercial) August 11, 2020
She has also hosted numerous award shows, including MTV Africa Music Awards, pre-shows for the BET Awards and MTV Europe Music Awards, becoming the first South African to do so.
Queen B revealed in the book that she likes to sing. “I’m a lover of music. My next business venture is going to be in the music industry.”
A keen philanthropist, Bonang aims to provide 300 girls with university bursaries by 2025 through her Bonang Matheba Bursary Fund. She is also a prominent ambassador for Global Citizen, a movement dedicated to ending global poverty.
Available as a free download from ISSUU site, a number of printed versions will be made available and distributed by Facebook’s local partner Digify Africa to schools across six provinces in South Africa – Gauteng, Limpopo, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and North West.