Amahle-Imvelo Jaxa: “A good leader listens”

Amahle-Imvelo Jaxa, one of the founders of Until Until, on turning a hobby into a business, taking ownership of your dreams and becoming a leader of tomorrow. “A good leader is not swayed by trends, they create the trends,” she says.  

Written by HYPE staff, Photography: Supplied

Until Until Events, a “norm-shifting events and music entertainment production company”, is known for its creative approach to events. Their share in the Joburg party scene’s real estate consists of Genesis All Black, Bacardi Holiday Club, Sunday Roast, Braamfontein Beach Party, Pyjama Party and #FakeFriday… if you like to party, you have probably attended at least one of these.

Until Until grew from a group of friends who just wanted to throw parties in 2013 to respected entrepreneurs and examples of turning a hobby into a business through collaborative efforts.

As part of Black Cat Peanut Butter’s “Feed the You, You Can Be” campaign, we asked Amahle-Imvelo Jaxa, one of the founders of Until Until, some questions. Her answers will motivate and galvanise the youth to take ownership of their dreams and talents in their efforts to be the best versions of themselves and become the leaders of tomorrow.

As part of the campaign, Black Cat Peanut Butter collaborated with visual artist Karabo Poppy Moletsane, who lent her talents and fly illustrations to design exclusive merchandise for the brand.

What does it mean to be part of the Black Cat family?

I guess I have always been part of the Black Cat family, from when I was child and a staple in my life was peanut butter and jam. But now, as an adult, I’ve just been officially recruited to spread a message of power and belief in yourself – something I didn’t even know I needed. Being part of the family is a constant reminder to be the best I can be.

What does “Feed the You, You Can Be” mean to you?

It is a reminder to constantly pursue you dreams; to take on life’s challenges; to get up when you fall. It means enriching yourself with knowledge; equipping yourself to chase your dreams; and never giving up.

What practical things do you do daily that help you “Feed the You, You Can Be”?

I exercise as much as I can; I try eating healthily – all in an effort to keep both the mind and body strong. Daily meditation and affirmations are also helpful in reminding myself who I am, what my goals are and where I can go in life.

What is your fave piece in the collection and why? 

I love the tote bag because it’s something I can use every day as a work bag that constantly reminds me to feed the me I can be.

What does taking ownership of your dreams mean to you? 

It means releasing the fear of failure and doing what you need to do, to take you where you need to be. A lot of the time, we are afraid to take risks because of fear. You just need to take ownership of yourself, be honest about what you can achieve, and do it. Once you have achieved it, you can continue to dream bigger.

When did you decide to take ownership of your dreams and talents to generate income?

When I was doing a degree I didn’t want to do, but thought I had to do. I then poured my efforts into creating Until Until – something that was just a hobby. I quit that degree, even though I was told it was a bad idea, and did what I wanted, which was a BA (Politics, Philosophy and Economics). I changed varsity to UNISA, which would allow me to grow my business as well as study.

In your opinion, what crucial skills does one need to be a leader of tomorrow? 

I think a good leader listens. You cannot lead if you do not understand what is needed by your peers, your employees and people in general. A good leader is also a hard worker, as they have to do more than the average person, as they are in charge. A good leader is not swayed by trends, they create the trends.

What tools does one need to be a leader of tomorrow? 

Reading and learning. Read up on your industry, your competitors, improvements in your field, new technology in your industry and, most importantly, on leaders in that field.

How has living in the digital age made it easier/harder to be a creative or entrepreneur? 

It has made it easier because of access to information, and access to other entrepreneurs and their journeys, which can help motivate you or guide you in the right direction. The digital age has made it easier to find inspiration.

As a storyteller, how would you say the stories you tell shape the minds of the leaders of tomorrow? 

I hope that future leaders can learn from the mistakes I have made, which I am never afraid to share, because entrepreneurship is no easy task. I would hope some of the decisions I have made in my journey teach them fearlessness, as much as they teach them caution. I would hope that in sharing my journey, they learn to take risks and to be accommodating to others, as much as to remain firm in who they are and where they want to go.

What advice can you give to young people regarding focusing on feeding their talents and dreams?

When you are building something, you have to dedicate your time and efforts to it – that is obvious advice. They must look at their network, and see who in it can serve it and help them reach their dreams. They must not be afraid to ask for help or seek advice from the people around them. I couldn’t have built the business I have without constantly seeking the advice of my parents and peers.

How do you mostly enjoy Black Cat Peanut Butter?

I love peanut butter in a smoothie – it has the duality of tasting good and being nourishing, especially after working out. But my favourite is the old-school way – toasted bread with Black Cat Peanut butter and some tea with milk – it reminds me of cold winter mornings when I was younger.


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