The New Bosses 2019: Katlego Malatji, HomeComing Events
The New Bosses 2019 – the biggest-ever edition of IQ‘s yearly roundup of future live industry leaders, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 85 last week revealing the twelve promising agents, promoters, bookers and execs that make up this year’s list.
To get to know this year’s cream of the crop a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2019’s New Bosses, to discover their greatest inspirations and proudest achievements, pinpoint the reasons for their success and obtain advice for those hoping to be a future New Boss. Snippets of the interviews can be found in the latest IQ Magazine, with all interviews being reproduced in full online and on IQ Index over the coming weeks.
New Boss number five is Katlego Malatji, chief executive of South African events and marketing agency HomeComing Events.
Malatji, from the township of Lenyenye in Tzaneen, South Africa, is the son of an advocate (barrister) and studied law at the University of Pretoria.
HomeComing Events grew out of a quarterly ‘homecoming picnic’ (still the name of one of the company’s events) he used to throw for friends when they were home from university. The company is black-owned and employs 14 young people from the Tshwane (Pretoria) area. Malatji also runs an entertainment law firm, TailorMade Legal Solutions. (Read the previous interview with DTD Concerts promoter Karolina Hansen here.)
What are you busy with right now?
Currently I head up the business development unit of HomeComing Events. I am also an entertainment law consultant to some of South Africa’s biggest talents.
Did you always want to work in the music business?
I did not. I was always going to be a lawyer as mentioned above. When the music bug bit by my third year of study, I was hooked.
What are some of the highlights of your career so far?
My highlights are all the unplanned moments, for example, selling out a venue in 2012 for 9,000 people when we were praying that we could get lucky and have 3,000 attend, or giving a talk in front of corporate people I did not know were in the crowd who went on to become the catalysts for expansion in our business.
“People are the most important commodity you can invest in”
How has your role changed since you started out?
I used to be in the business with my partner, Neo Moela. We were management, employees, kitchen staff etc. I have enjoyed settling into the role of working on the business, as opposed to ‘in’ the business, as you can see the future and opportunities clearer from there. In my legal business, I am still a lot of those things but it is easier to manage.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt while at HomeComing?
People are the most important commodity you can invest in, from patrons, staff, friends, colleagues and potential partners.
What, if anything, would you change about how the live industry is run today?
I do not believe artists are coming to the party with their exorbitant prices. Event organisers are not able to hike their prices up at the rate artists do. This makes it harder to book quality line-ups and the industry is suffering because of it.
“In ten years’ time, I will be the most sought-after mind in entertainment law on the continent”
What do you do for fun?
I really enjoy lying on the couch and doing nothing – that and watching sports is my favourite combination. I always feel refreshed and alive when I can recharge like that.
Do you have an industry mentor?
I do. I have a few, but notably Theresho Selesho [CEO of South African event organiser Matchbox Live] is somebody who I look up to in many ways.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to get into, or is new to, the business?
Start small and understand your business and your market. Do not rush past the lessons found in the building process.
Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
I will be the most sought-after mind in entertainment law on the continent.
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