By: Natasha Archary
Shaun Naidoo is an entrepreneur and founder of youth empowerment organisation Becoming Legacy. He failed matric in 1997 but was determined to not let that define who he was meant to become.
Naidoo went onto complete his matric and got his first break in 2005, as an intern at Urban Brew Studios. With no experience or qualifications in TV Production and without a solid contact in his arsenal. His break came after pitching a two-page concept to the director, who laughed at his audacity. A two-pager is not considered a concept in the industry, not by a long shot and although the pitch lacked research, demographics and a project plan, Shaun was given a chance.
A shot to prove how bad he wanted this. He didn’t hesitate and would spend the next six months as a volunteeer. His role was that of assistant, designated to coffee runs, printing, admin and any other menial jobs that required doing. By June 2005, Shaun became a producer at the production house. The rest as they say…
His story is one of perserverance and an unwavering belief in himself. He knew his strengths and he subscribes to the belief that all anyone ever needs is for someone to take a chance on them.
What is Becoming Legacy about?
The organisation in its infancy stages aims to be a hub of inspiring stories from celebrities and regular, everyday people who have made something of their lives with nothing. Currently on school tours throughout Johannesburg, Shaun and his team, give talks to encourage high school learners that a failure does not mean hopelessness prevails.
He understands that the youth of today do not want to be lectured to and whilst he does not command their attention at the start of the talks, by the end even the most hard-headed teenager finds value in his story.
Shaun hopes that the Becoming Legacy brand will be self-funding in the near future, with possible support from corporate or public sector. For now, he covers all costs, building a database and networking strategically to position the brand and gauge youth insight.
In order to do this, he manages Thirty 3 Films, a business venture that sustains his family and his passion project. He would rather spend resources on people than on active social media campaigns and boosted posts and this is ultimately who he is.
Investing in the intimate team that are equally as committed to the Becoming Legacy Foundation as he is.
His dream is for Becoming Legacy to be his day to day. Giving hope to the learners who feel like failing a grade is the end of the world. He’s proof that you can change the narrative and make something off yourself, if you are just willing to try without throwing in the towel.
The quote from Long walk to freedom that inspired Shaun to be the change he wanted to see in the world: “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.” ― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
Follow Becoming Legacy on social media to find out more about their youth centred initiatives: @ShaunNaidoo or @BecomingLegacy