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 visit 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.
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?
On 3 February 2016, right after I graduated from Wits. It was initially meant to be something to keep me going until I managed to find a job, but after a while, it was too much fun and too fulfilling to let it go.
What has the response been 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.
Name some of the brands we can find at your online store.
We have a variety of brands that translate the SA urban landscape in a genuine way. Babatunde is all about African print accessories, SWANK has quality everyday streetwear and Uniconz specialises in unique and imaginative designs for their streetwear brand. Over and above the ones mentioned, there are 13 other amazing brands on our platform.
RHTC is also involved in social development initiatives — tell us about that.
You’re talking about the #LetsPlayOutside concept. We held five workshops aimed at introducing and developing the idea of creative platforms for teens to pursue their goals. We did this through sessions with industry specialists from various disciplines, who shared their stories and offered advice on how to find creative, alternative routes to success.
This 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 an RHTC Kasi Pop Up Tour 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? Especially for those who have creative talents.
Just start! Everyone who has ever mastered a craft started off not knowing a thing about it. So not knowing is a good place to start – this might just put you in a better position to bring innovation into that space.
To get your hands on amazing gear and the latest fashion trends, check out RHTC.