South Africans need to build and protect a strong cultural identity
One of the most difficult tasks for South Africans will be to build and protect a strong cultural identity, says George Moyo.
Moyo is the owner of the Shosholoza line of clothing and apparel in South Africa, but he is currently involved in a bid to retain the Shosholoza brand within the borders of South Africa.
"It is one of the few things that we have that resonates strongly with our struggle and spirit, and it is severely under threat," he said.
While growing up in Alexandra during the 1970s Moyo was moderately involved in the youth movement, but he was more interested in sports and drama than active protest. Ironically it was a political play he was involved in that landed him in jail, causing him to experience a personal awakening.
"It was the first time that I saw the spirit that was moving the people in those days, and I decided to give my full support to the people," Moyo says.
After leaving high school Moyo was unable to find work and he became a street hawker at Johannesburg Park Station to earn a living.
It was at this stage that he attracted the attention of young reporter, Mashudu Romano, who wrote a profile on the tenacious entrepreneur.
"That experience really refreshed my hope, and it also gave exposure to people who were willing to help me," he says.
The article caught the attention of Marina Maponya, wife of Soweto millionaire Richard Maponya.
"She gave me the opportunity to study business administration and record keeping. I am indebted to those people," he said.
Moyo started printing t-shirts with the Shosholoza icon to represent the liberation struggle. While the operation was largely underground, the t-shirts were very popular and boosted Moyo into the business world.
"I've been blessed in life. My business is doing well, but my mission is not over yet. I want to see our South African heritage flourish."