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Focus is fixed

DJ Fix has not only won her battle to seek her own kind of smart, she’s also upskilling many other women entrepreneurs, and this year, she’s partnered with The Skills Development Corporation to improve five female leaders’ business savvy.

If you’ve ever listened to Fikile Moeti – DJ Fix – on the airwaves or seen her in action as a video jockey, you’d probably think of her as quite the extrovert. She’s bubbly, outgoing and completely charming. But in the early years of her already successful career, her vivacious spirit confronted some insecurities.

Fix’s journey in the entertainment industry started with a bang. She won a competition and became the first female MTV Base video jockey in Africa while she was a film and media student at the University of Cape Town. This has led to her DJ career at 5FM.

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Yet despite her achievements so early into her career, Fix struggled with not feeling smart enough. In her powerful 2016 Tedx Talk on social entrepreneurship, the Lonehill resident explains, ‘This extrovert personality would meet this anxious personality behind the mic or in front of the camera, and they were kind of fighting with each other because the extrovert absolutely felt comfortable, but the anxious personality just wanted to not say anything just in case I make a mistake and then I don’t sound smart.’

The battle to find her own kind of smart is one that DJ Fix has not only empowered herself to win, she’s made it her mission to upskill other female social innovators too.

Her first step was to further her studies. ‘In 2010, I decided to leave the entertainment industry and continue my studies in the US at Columbia College Chicago, studying arts, entertainment and media management.’ She also took an opportunity to take a summer course in Business Ethics at New York University’s School of Professional Studies – Paul McGhee Division.

‘The struggling artist that lacks entrepreneurial confidence is closely linked to the struggling social entrepreneur trying to sustain her business. I entered the entertainment industry at 19 years old, therefore, four years later I wanted to go back to [studying], not only for my confidence but to upskill my business acumen.’

On her return to Johannesburg two years later, Fix finished her studies in social entrepreneurship at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, and it wasn’t long after graduating that she put her studies into practice. She started her social enterprise, the Fix Scholarship, in a bid to educate female social innovators. ‘I know what it feels like to run out of education money and this was my way of fixing that problem for entrepreneurs who really wanted to create change and make an impact in Africa.

‘I do not come from wealth like most foundations or scholarships, and therefore knew that this project needed to be funded through my resources as a South African celebrity DJ, and through our annual fundraiser. If we could just get one entrepreneur through the programme, that was a victory for me. We currently have 20 Fix Scholars over a space of eight years.’

The Fix Scholarship runs three programmes – a mentorship programme, the Social Innovation Start-Up Programme and, for the first time, Fix has partnered with The Skills Development Corporation (SDC) in Cresta on The Fix SDC Learnership Programme. Over 100 applications were whittled down to five aspiring entrepreneurs who’ll learn to improve their business skills through courses and mentorship in this programme.

ALSO READ: DJ Fix empowers young female entrepreneurs

As SDC’s CEO, Daniel Gibhard, puts it, the partnership will enable them to groom promising women entrepreneurs to make an impact in their communities.

Change begins with us. Change begins with collaboration.

For Fix, the best part of being an entrepreneur is that all of her ideas, vision and change come from within. ‘There is a sense of freedom and great responsibility with that.’ It’s a duty which makes her take a hands-on approach in her own scholarship programme as she sits with a panel of experts and partners to find the right scholar who ‘exudes that entrepreneurial spirit’.

Over the years, the Fix Scholarship has empowered 20 women social entrepreneurs in South Africa. For Fix, the decision to aim the programme at assisting women was a simple one. ‘Women are able to run an entire household without an MBA [Master of Business Administration], therefore imagine what they can do to an economy. When women lead, everybody does better.’

Fix is her own powerhouse of a woman. She’s a radio DJ, speaker and voice-over artist in the entertainment industry, and an all-round businesswoman. ‘The two career paths have definitely brought value to the Fix Scholarship over the years and making my listeners smile fills up the love tank every day. I also work on 5FM’s YB5 where I interview South Africa’s social entrepreneurs and enterprises who are doing incredible work in the country. It all connects when the vision is clear.’

On top of her fixed focus, her educational backing has given her confidence to bust any insecurities. ‘The entrepreneurial spirit of curiosity, exploring, fixing problems or solving an injustice comes from within. We just need to awaken it and affirm to ourselves that we are good enough and smart enough to  create change.’

Fix also turns to affirmations, meditation, yoga and therapy. ‘I am a qualified yin yoga instructor and transcendental meditation student that began my yoga journey in the US in 2010. Having received provincial colours for swimming and national colours for women’s water polo in South Africa, I love to defy the odds and challenge the mind and body. This is all closely linked to mindfulness and mental wellness.’

She shares her love of swimming with her three-year-old son, Malakai, and over the weekends, the two enjoy walking in the park.

‘I have overcome adversity in my life and sharing my story through yin and restorative yoga, and public speaking is a form of healing in hopes to also help heal others. The deeper I go within my Xhosa roots, the more I understand the power within African culture.

‘Change begins with us. Change begins with collaboration. Change also begins with healing.’

Details: fixscholarship.co.zasdcorp.co.za and follow @FixMoeti on social media – Facebook and Instagram.

Text: DANIELLA GRAHAM • Photographer: BEN MATJIU

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