Bolobedu is known for the rain powers. The Rain Queen's homestead receives visitors from all over the world daily. But lately, in other provinces like Gauteng, a number of Bolobedu owned companies have started to rise to the occassion, keeping the fame of the tribe alive. Molatelo together with her team,are waving Morina le Dihaifa (traditional Khelobedu attire worn by ladies) with pride. Creating corporate and music videos that supersede industry standards, Bolobathaba Multimedia is here to stay. I recently had a chat with Molatelo.
What is your take on our current Khelobedu music videos; do you think we are on the right track?
There is a lot of improvement in terms of quality and creativity. Balobedu have improved a lot in many ways. The fact that we now have our own music and artists is proof enough we are proud of who we are; something that we used to shy away from. This is also evident in our music videos as we often portray our culture and our people, and still maintain the swag and creativity. And I believe that’s our brand, we should lose it. There are no other Balobedu all over the world besides us and that’s the message we should send to the world over.
It always feels like we don’t exist in this country sometimes as Balobedu tribe, do you feel you have arrived as a Balobedu owned company?
The company name alone – Bolobathaba – it’s a celebration of Balobedu pride. People often say to me the name could be a limiting factor as it doesn’t communicate with those with buying power. But I believe if other people could use their own languages with pride, why can’t use mine with an even bigger pride. If I believe in Bolobathaba, I will do anything to defend it and when people see the determination in me, they will wonder what’s in this name that I am so connected to. And the more they talk about it, it’s the more the business gets publicity and the more Bolobedu Bolobathaba will get to me in the limelight too. The ultimate goal is to get the point where Bolobathaba will be synonymous to the television and film industry… of the multimedia industry if you like. As much as you think chicken, you think KFC.
Companies don’t survive in the first 10 years according to surveys, what are your plans to maximise your profits?
I have been in the television industry for the past 12 years and in business since 2003. Bolobathaba has been in existence since 2009 but was registered in 2009, but the brains behind the company have been around for a little longer. The reason why I am still in business to this day is because of the passion I have for the work I do. As our pay offline says – we preserve your memory, record your event and tell your story – that’s what I have known my life to be for the past 12 years. Bolobathaba Multimedia, often called BBM was conceived with much bigger plans and failure is not one of them. It is a going concern. Yet there are challenges - and a lot of them. If were to succumb to challenges that come with running a business, Bolobathaba would not be in existence today. After falling and rising several times under various banners, I would have by today thrown in a towel. But we have been operating under the Bolobathaba banner and have passed the three-year threshold. We have even now moved to our new premises near some of the country’s major landmarks – Apartheid Museum and Gold Reef City and Casino – these are signs that for this young company, the sky is the limit.
Is the Limpopo government/corporate using your service?
We have tried everything in the book to become a service provider to Limpopo government departments but I will tell you this, in this country if you are not in the right network, it doesn’t matter how good you are or how hard you are. You can have the best track record but if you don’t have the right contacts at the right places, forget it. We even tried with our own municipalities to no avail. In some instance we even offered our services for free of charge, with hope that they will remember us when they need such services in future but that wasn’t good enough I guess. So the answer to your question is no, Limpopo government departments don’t use our services. Not that we don’t want to, or we have not tried enough…not that we are not good enough – no, because we don’t have the right contacts at the right places. It’s only God who is seeing us through and our ability to think globally that brought us to this far.
We have so many stories in Bolobedu that the world doesn’t know about, have you covered any?
Covering a story requires a lot of resources and you must also get a buy-in from broadcasters. And sometimes broadcasters require a buy-in from sponsors or the foundations that are set to support the work we do. The main purpose of establishing such a name is to associate the type of stories told through it. There are bigger plans in the pipeline – watch the space. And yes we have covered a few stories from Bolobedu and around; including my own story which used Khelobedu in the voice over, and was broadcast on SABC in 2009. Please visit our website www.bolobathaba.co.za to see what other stories we have covered in Bolobedu, around the country and on the continent.
How do you market your business?
Bolobathaba relies mainly from satisfied customers for marketing … through word of mouth. The company management has a firm foundation in the television industry and knows the ins-and-outs of the industry. Bolobathaba has a lot of friends around who believe in us – and it is through this network that we keep meeting new people who then introduce us to others. We may not have the fanciest machinery in-house but we know where to get the best equipment and which technology to use to achieve the best results. The company website has also been one of the best marketing tools for the business.
What can your clients experience from working with you that they won’t anywhere else?
We may look young but dynamites come in small packages. Our experience everywhere we’ve have been has always been it takes a while before people believe in us. If you look at our crew, it’s always the young people behind cameras, running the show. It’s surprising how you will be on the phone with a prospective client and they sound all convinced and willing to do business with you, but the minute we show our faces, the first reaction we get is that of a client who asking themselves if they can trust you with their money. But we pride ourselves in the fact that we never disappoint. Our presentation skills and confidence that comes with the fact that we know what we do, has often been the best weapon to win clients’ hearts – not just in South Africa but on the continent too.