Getting professional legal or financial advice comes at a hefty cost these days, and for many young professionals, this is a necessity that has quickly become a luxury as a result. And with the national lockdown regulations, it’s become even more difficult to access these services – let alone afford them.
However, these full-time entrepreneurs and legal experts Tshepang Segage and Xoliswa Thetha, have come up with a solution: The Think Tank.
Both 27 years old, they have a deep passion for helping young people, like them.
When the lockdown was announced, Tshepang and Xoliswa wanted to host Zoom meetings that give young professionals expert advice for 21 days, free of charge. But as the Zoom meetings continued, more people started joining and the demand grew. So, the pair decided to continue beyond the 21 days.
“We identified key areas that adversely impact the quality of life for most millennials. There is a serious lack of knowledge relating to important pillars such as finance and law. Because of the identified gaps, we availed ourselves to be bridges in our capacity as finance and law professionals. In addition, and most importantly, the foundation of The Think Tank is premised on Hosea 4:6 where God warns that: "For a lack of knowledge, my people perish." We took heed of that warning and sought to find a feasible solution for our target market,” Xoliswa tells us.
“Initially The Think Tank was meant to address issues of law and finance only, but it grew bigger than finance and law,” Tshepang adds.
They’ve both never done anything like this before but believe that the services they provide don’t just solve problems for people, but they offer them skills to be able to do that for themselves in the future – and make informed legal and financial decisions.
“Even with some existing initiatives that have a similar form, the substance definitely lacks aspects that are oriented at substantially impacting the lives of the audience. Our approach is people first. After all, it is easy to provide the people fish. However; when you equip people with the practical skills on HOW to fish, it's a different ballgame altogether,” Xoliswa says.
“We aim these Zoom meetings at the ordinary South African, trying to be as inclusive as possible. We have an average of 40 devices for each meeting. We count per device because some devices have multiple people attending the meeting using one device,” Tshepang says.
The duo decides on each topic based on current events, topics that are requested by the audiences, as well as the topics different experts approach them with. Although gatherings aren’t permitted right now due to lockdown regulations as a result of Covid-19, they on having a full day bi-annual event. The style of the dialogues will be workshop based.
This is where the attendees can directly interact with the panel of speakers as to get some questions answered thoroughly. The speakers will be presenting the respective topic and will be competent to deliver the topic as they will be specialising in that given field.
Both Tshepang and Xoliswa didn’t expect The Think Tank to be so well received, but are ever so grateful that through it, they’re touching real people’s lives in a way that has long-lasting effects.
When asked what this initiative means to them, they said:
“Our initiative is based on Hosea 4:6 which talks about God's people perishing because of their lack of knowledge. It's important because we're addressing a societal problem. We're bringing something so expensive to people for free. We're bringing specialists to share insight with our audience free of charge. We know that people aren't knowledgeable on professional insight, mainly because of finances. Even some professionals can't afford legal/financial services.”
“Personally, one of my mantras is to die empty after pouring myself all of earth. God is my every and I have come to understand His love for His people. Thus, it is our mission to impact as many people as we can so that God can get the glory. We as a people need to be emancipated, especially mentally. We have to save ourselves and assist each other- and doing it with knowledge is the only way we have a chance to be mentally renewed.”