Asanda believes in hard work and perseverance

Asanda Phale, the 21-year-old managing director of AP Media, lives by Albert Einstein's success formula: hard work, perseverance and keeping your mouth shut.

Asanda Phale, the 21-year-old managing director of AP Media, lives by Albert Einstein's success formula: hard work, perseverance and keeping your mouth shut.

Phale's company makes corporate gifts such as branded stationery, cups and bags. He is also the middleman between contractors and clients through a project called One Numba, a directory for clients to get hold of contractors through him.

Phale's unemployed mother put him through high school and college. Initially, he studied mechanical engineering which landed him a job at BMW as a workshop mechanic, but he left to study public finance and accounting through Unisa.

He changed careers because "there was no love", he says.

Like any hard worker, Phale wants to leave a legacy. He is firm on accountability. "If I don't do it, who will?"

Perseverance and originality are his best qualities. "Be one of a kind and fear God," he says.

Phale's willpower and his quest for success are influenced by his mother. He advises the youth to dream. "I was made for bigger things and I am a winner."

After matriculating in 2006, Phale took a leap into the construction industry.

"Starting a business is tricky and the environment is not friendly.

"In the construction sector people believe they know everything and want to stick with what they know."

He says clients have a fear of new or small contractors. But this has not discouraged him. "My work is not like a job."

Phale believes government should consider small businesses as a bigger part of the country's revenue.

Phale is a beneficiary of Shanduka Black Umbrellas, which supports young, black South African entrepreneurs.

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