Can you unpack who Mpumelelo Frypan Mfula is?
I’m also still learning about that! I’m in my mid 20s and I’m just excited about the possibility and opportunities to create what I think is cool for me and my friends, while addressing our socio-economic status as black youth.
Can you tell us more about RHTC as a brand? What’s the inspiration behind it?
RHTC is an acronym for Returning Home To Create. It started as an online store that distributes local African street wear and accessory brands – after reading this, just click on RHTC online to open the magic and grab yourself something amazing to add to your wardrobe. RHTC has, however, grown into a collaborative brand over the last three years. [This happened] mostly by collaborating with our customers and other well-known brands such as PUMA, through various marketing concepts under the #LetsPlayOutside theme.
The inspiration [behind this] is that we want to spend our time making really cool things as friends, while learning more about entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship makes fun a serious exercise by allowing us to empower each other as black youth in modern Africa.
When and where was the brand established?
The brand was established on 03 February 2016, right after I graduated from Wits. It was initially meant to be something that keeps me going until I managed to find a job, but it was too fun and fulfilling to let it go after a while.
What is the response from audiences thus far?
The market is gradually growing and appreciating what we have to offer. There are challenges, just like any other business, but we are improving every day and that shows how customers and other brands respond to our company.
What are some of the brands that can be found on your online store?
We have a variety of brands who offer genuine SA urban landscape translation through the magazine, Justsunday; Babatunde who offer African print accessories; SWANK who have basic but quality everyday street wear; Uniconz who cater for an imaginative translation of our world. Over and above the ones mentioned, there are 13 other amazing brands on our platform.
Where to from here? Are you looking into other ventures?
Most definitely, we are working on a fun project, that we can’t announce just yet, which we have scheduled to launch in December 2016.
RHTC is also involved in social development initiatives. Could you unpack that for us?
You’re talking about the #LetsPlayOutside concept. We held five workshops aimed at introducing and developing the idea of a creative platforms for teens to pursue their goals on. We did this through couch sessions with industry specialists from various disciplines, who shared their stories and offered advice on how to find creative alternative routes towards recognising your goal and reaching a successful status.
That was followed by collaborations with our customers to shoot the #LetsPlayOutside advert, that premiered on a 100 blogs. We then wrapped up the advert with a RHTC Kasi Pop Up tour, which featured in various neighbourhoods and townships.
Where are your favourite hangout spots in Joburg?
Braamfontein is cool and convenient.
Newtown has become cool as well.
I like cycling through Hillbrow, it’s fun and a little safer on a bicycle.
I also like visiting small shops in Fordsburg; there are some 90s forgotten gems.
What advice do you have for our youth? More especially, those who have talent but don’t do anything with it?
Just start, everyone who has mastered a craft, started off not knowing a thing about it. So not knowing is a good place to start – it just may mean that you are at a better position to bring about innovation in that space.
To get your hands on amazing gear and the latest fashion trends, check out RHTC.
By Neo Sesinye