Noma Yini: The Mentality You Need Before You Start Any Business


Before there are spreadsheets, seminars, incubators, ‘please find attached within’, paradigm shifts’, and ‘disruptive ideas’, There is ‘the streets’, ‘the corner’, ‘the hood’ or ‘ikasi.’ The streets have a wealth of knowledge found in books, this information is making rounds in some of the world’s leading universities. The only difference is the language used. The streets have different and creative terms of describing the very same business concepts found in textbooks. There are professors- amaGrootman. There is networking-ukubloma. Formal meeting requests- ‘ukhona nini?’. There is marketing, branding, positioning, investments, ROI…everything! One comes across these concepts unaware the lessons have already started. For those who’ve had the opportunity to learn in the streets and later on got some formal education at the tertiary level soon realize that the classroom imparts knowledge in an academic language meant to enable them only to understand and be understood by the industry they wish to venture into formally. 

Make no mistake; this type of education helps immensely. Above other things, It teaches one to grow out of binneplaas circles and ‘markets’ and cross over into markets with big budgets and boardrooms. You learn how you read contracts, detect bullshit, and write bullshit too. 

Nomayini; the mentality you need before you start any business is a book that mashes together these two worlds, the streets, and the business. In this book, I show you as an aspiring young person how to prepare to start on a business journey or career path you dream of. Most businesses and professions need a young person to subscribe to several specific mental and behavioral practices that will open doors for you within the company. This is especially important in a business or career environment dominated by everyone else except people who look, speak and think like you; Young, Gifted and African! In this book, you will learn how to identify opportunities, prepare yourself, and break into your chosen industry.

Many business and career books fail to connect with young African minds because the authors are not African. The ideas are great but are not solved from an African perspective. The authors do not or did not live the life of an African in an economic system built to enslave someone like you. They do not tackle leadership and ownership taking into consideration the time and place you are living in. The authors and biographies of many business books are inspirational, but unfortunately, the worlds are too far apart between a young African in the new millennia and a white young man in the 1800s and 90s like Rockefeller, Oppenheimer, Musk, Ma or Bezos. 

In Chapter 1, we look at a highly addictive drug called nyaope, and its effects on the lives of the African youth. A heroin drug that acts on the mind of young people and makes them behave in a manner any determined young man shouldn’t. It hijacks one’s natural ambition and misdirects the mind towards self-destruction. We will see just how much there is to learn from observing nyaope addicts as they go about their day. From this, you will learn how to be determined and produce results in your businesses and career like an addict seeks their next hit. 

In Chapter 2, we begin with understanding the state of mind a young  African person possesses, particularly a young man confined in small spaces, the reality of most this book is written for. I am talking about townships, towns outside big cities and rural areas. From this premise, we then shift, improve, and train the mind to move past the negative state into an internal environment of hope, imagination, optimism, and most importantly action. It is from this optimism and improved inner environment you can change the way you view the world. With a changed perspective comes creativity, then belief in oneself, and then the drive to pursue daring dreams that will result in success moves. Optimism is the easy part; except it does not guarantee success on its own.

Family plays a significant role in our success or failure, and that should not be the case. You should be the major determinant of your successes and failures while fully appreciating the existence of family. In Chapter 3, I discuss how the family that raised you affects your mental state of mind in terms of discipline today. You will learn how to balance outside influences that can be found through self-discipline. I rewrite the notion that ‘discipline’ is all about abstaining from this thing and the other. You will learn how it is a great part of success and gives you access to a whole new world of opportunities. It should not be a type of a self-imposed prison, ‘discipline’ is giving yourself freedom. 

After family at home, there is family in the streets. In Chapter 4, I discuss the sensitive relationships a young man has with ‘the boys.’ Some friends are not meant to be business partners, and some acquaintances shouldn’t be friends, and some friends should just be that, friends. Some friends are not your friends; they are friends with your money, your resources, or your lifestyle. As soon as these are gone they exist just as quickly. There are also instances where you are a toxic and destructive friend. You need to learn how to see this before you blame friends for the kind of life you find yourself living. There are ways in which you can recover, redeem yourself and mend relationships, and it is important to know when to cut off ties with people but most importantly the weaker part of you.

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Generally, cities and townships are overpopulated, and that means there is seemingly a scarcity of resources. The rich, the middle, and the poor are all playing in the same field every day. It is easy for a young person to grow tired of trying for too long and start seeking shortcuts to grab what they can as fast as possible. This behavior is evidence of a scarcity mentality that gives birth to desperation, later it becomes an entitlement and then addiction to instant gratification. This behavior is manifested in why young people start businesses and strongly influences how they operate the businesses. In Chapter 4, we look at how you can identify personal habits that end up costing your business more than you realize. In Chapter 5, you will see how short cuts are detrimental to your ambitions even when they seem like obvious easy answers through quick schemes and stop-gap solutions. 

Further in the chapters, you will see why many believe that young African men learn best by seeing and studying their mentors. From my experience, I learned far more from role models who represent a part of my struggles than I did from books. I have seen many young entrepreneurs, business people, and career-driven individuals accelerate their pursuits through learning from other black peers and older men; amaGrootman. 

Books can teach you how systems work; what they do not teach you are the subtle nuances that come with observing someone who looks like you, talks like you, comes from the same place you do, and is doing the work you wish to do one day. You learn how they interact with people, their gestures, reactions, and behavior around people they respect and the people who respect them. These are ‘soft’ life skills no book can sufficiently teach; however, in this book, I empower you as a young person to harness and nurture these skills on your own. You will then use these skills to identify opportunities, learn how to approach, engage, nurture, and maximize relationships with mentors, leaders, and people around you.

Most people have a distorted and dismal relationship with money. They believe money is the only thing they need to start that dream or project they truly want.  They think without some funding and injection of a lump sum of money, they are doomed to fail. A lot more believe the reason why they have not progressed or have failed in business or career is because of a lack of opportunities. This statement and these beliefs are partly right but incomplete. The truth is work comes before money, money is not the goal, it is the result of working and reaching the goal.In chapters 8 and 11, I show you that money, opportunities, or success are always available; you are the one, in most cases, who is not positioned to take your piece of the bag. 

This book will not make you rich, sorry. None of the seminars and network sessions you attended will make you wealthy just by attending. The book will show you what to look for that can change the way you approach the business environment as a starter. The responsibility of being success lies squarely on your inclination to do

noma yini against your ego, outer and inner environment. This book is meant to open your eyes and teach you ways to take advantage of situations that may have otherwise missed you. 

All the successful people in business and careers in the world have one thing in common, a similar mentality; it is this mentality this book will activate in you. What you do after seeing the mentality is up to you. 

If all your life you have been seeing drunkards, junkies, and poor people, you are most likely to think this is normal until you switch circles, towns, cities, or even countries. This book is the eye that will introduce you to another place, but it will not push you towards that place. 

Ultimately you will decide for yourself to start the walk.

By reading this far, you have already demonstrated your desire to want to move different, and from here, it’s only a matter of finding the right direction. By the time you finish this book, hopefully, you would have created your own map in your life and begin moving forward.

“Deep down, you know exactly what you are capable of. There are even moments where you get a glimpse of the potential you have. You can get there. You just have to be willing to sacrifice the habits, things, and situations standing in the way of your success.” – Idil Ahmed 

As an extension to the value of this book, I have selected a group of young people who are already  DOING what they are supposed to be in realizing their dreams with the hope that they will be future Grootmans to the next generation.

I then selected a group of Grootmans and Susters who are experts and are well-accomplished in their disciplines, and are looked up to by iy’ ntwana to be part of this initiave. To bridge the gap, this book goes beyond what any book has gone before. As the reader, you will be, for the first time, transported into another dimension of exclusive digital content and lived experiences accesible through the QR code on the back cover. There is a continuous update of content that will enhance information from this book as you learn along the way after reading the book. 

Thank you for choosing Nomayini: The mentality you need before you start any business.



“Ola ola bhoza yam’ ngamla yami!”, “Yenza noma I 5ay’n bhoza yam,” “ngamla yam!”, “K’dala ngishiswa ilanga ngamla, faka nomayini bhoza ngizobagrand bhoza yam.” “Nomayini ngamla!”. You know this recitation very well. It’s short of being the official hood anthem. If you’re fortunate, the person who is saying this is not someone you know from your days at school or your street. 

Banele Rewo