Zigi Ndlhlovu

Dictionary.com did an interesting thing about “Pandemic cliches” in this article. It’s crazy how so many people I know can probably relate to being sick of 2020’s most notorious cliches.

This week’s article has the interesting challenge of sounding like yet another one of those cliches. 

Tired, bar, satori events

We look at what a year 2020 has been for startups and entrepreneurs, with a special focus on some of our member businesses’ experiences.

I’d advise entrepreneurs to always revisit, update and follow their business model, health and safety, and risk management plans, because a disaster least affects those whose ship is water tight. – Qhawe Miya, Amanzi Furniture [In our August Newsletter]

Part I: Dreamers in distress

As soon as a complete lockdown of all social activity was announced, businesses faced the first tests of what was about to be one of the most difficult years for startups, corporations and governments all over the world. With some of their operations directly outlawed, businesses also suffered losses through dwindling customer-interaction and major disturbances in their value chains. As business models and risk-management strategies were put to the test, some were better prepared to face the tide, while others were forced to adapt and do so quickly.

As operations director, I have been at the forefront of making sure the company is strong online and has most of its resources  cloud-based. This allowed for the full team to remain operational during lockdown.  – Malwande Hlekane, Alpha Appeal [in our April Newsletter]

One of the realities of this lockdown is that incomes will be compromised and difficult decisions will be made. To me, it’s relieving to know that we don’t have to throw our employees under the bus. Especially when we need each other the most. – Lerato Mpila, Satori Events [in our June Newsletter]

Part II: Les non essentiels

For most businesses, the reality meant having to wait out the changing lockdown restrictions. As restrictions gradually eased, these businesses were finding new opportunities wherever they could start operating again.

We’ve created a designer ice range that can be used in photography for alcohol brands. This range is for clients to get exclusive custom made ice, flowers, berries or colour for photographic and promotional use.  – Khanyisile Bhengu, Glacier Gang [in our November Newsletter]

Elsewhere, some businesses were forced to wait until level one to operate. These businesses, such as For The Culture, could only plan how they were going to hit the ground running as soon as restrictions allowed them to do what they do best.

For The Culture

With the year nearing a close we want to be one of the businesses who survived the pandemic, ending the year on that note would be a great achievement. We’d also like to have more collaborations in the art industry. – Grace Makopa  [in our October Newsletter]

A Hive away from home

Keeping our community connected and thriving through separation was always going to be a challenge. Like many businesses, The Hive Network Johannesburg swiftly adapted to video meetings and conferences, making it possible to continue our knowledge sessions, blog articles, newsletters and The Hive Podcast.

Despite our best efforts, we’ve taken the difficult decision to close our physical premises at 81 De Korte Street. This marks a major change for The Hive Network Johannesburg’s own events, as well as organisers, who always had the chance to use our space for free. 

You can check out our December newsletter for our Director’s words about how the Hive plans to continue supporting members and surging forward despite 2020’s challenges.


“For the most part, the important thing is having food, shelter and money for daily essentials; and even though that’s not what we wanted to happen this year, we are grateful. “ – Kutloano Mohlasedi, Delicious Love Food [in our September Newsletter]

This is probably our last blog feature blog feature before calling it a year (or whatever 2020 is). Despite closing down physically, there are still so many things we want to do in 2021 and the future. 

If you see an entrepreneur anywhere, please give them an air hug. If you see us on the socials (@hivejoburg), please show some love and drop a follow too.

We put together a short video documenting what we’ve been up to in the last 5 years. if you’ve ever been interested in what The Hive Network JHB is all about, go to our YouTube channel and watch at the link below:

Written by: Lungelo Hlela (I am Multeemedia) // Images from various sources

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Lungelo Samkelo Hlela has won (Loerie, Bookmark & Creative Circle) awards for his work as a digital copywriter. With “nothing to share”; he has been a contributing writer on our blog since 2018

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