The rising social media giant Banda Business Services’ Helen Bain burns with a passion to learn. After learning how to use a computer by her 9-year-old daughter she has grown from strength to strength to becoming a specialist in the field.
As a child, Helen and her sister were raised by their grandfather in Kwazulu-Natal. “We were brought up on life lessons of survival, without any female influence in our lives,” Helen explains. At the mere age of 15 her grandfather passed away, however, and she was sent to a children’s home in Durban. Irregardless of her situation, education remained one of her most cherished priorities. “I was passionate about school, and I didn’t even mind when I was always referred to as the teacher’s pet,” she jokes. When Helen became a mother at 19, her outlook on life changed completely, ”l knew from then that I had to make my life worthwhile for the sake of my daughter.” For the next couple of years Helen moved to and fro between homelessness to moving to a new home on a monthly basis. “We survived it, and now I have a beautiful 14-year-old daughter, I am a strong woman who dares to dream and live because of it!”
Before Banda Business Services, Helen’s first venture was a private gym that failed shortly after opening. She then moved on to a steel and fabrication business where marketing and safety were her key responsibilities. “was driven ad passionate but had not direction and plan in place. Jumping into the deep-end of marketing, my passion for online marketing began.”
Helen’s current venture, Banda Business Services focusses on social media and marketing by creating profiles and brands for businesses through website development and various social media platforms. Though Helen now specialises in communication technology, Helen only became computer literate in 2009.“My first computer was a gift and I had no idea what to do with it. At the time daughter was the PC whizz of her class, so she instructed me step by step how to use MS Word,” Helen explains, “she was so patient, and now we laugh at the mistakes I used to make.”
Helen still has no formal computer training, she rather opts to google videos should there be anything she does doesn’t know. Ironically it is precisely this method of learning that gave birth to Banda Services.” “I joined a webmasters forum and began asking all kinds of questions. The response was amazing as I had directors of corporations directing me. From there I started using free software to create profiles for friends …. and here I am now!”
“Being an entrepreneur means that I am a game-changer. I do not follow what society has instructed, instead I take risks, I dare to dream and I work towards building a legacy. “Helen sees the value of entrepeneurship not only in her own self-fulfillment but the fact that she can create employment, mentor the tough and have an impact on her community, which is very close to her heart.
Helen joined MEDO earlier this year as part of the International Trade Programme and hasn’t looked back since. “I learnt so much! From presentation and networking skills to understanding my industry and conducting proper research. I don’t think my private gym would have failed if I had the skills I do now,” she explains. What is the most valuable thing she learnt from MEDO? “Being bold and knowing that no-one knows my business like I do.”
Being stagnant is not something Helen is accustomed to to. She has leapt from opportunity to opportunity no matter her situation. Her passion and drive is definitely something that will be pushing her far in the social media marketing industry. “I am addicted to what I do. I learn and grow daily and am blessed to be an exciting industry. The thrill is when clients say: WOW! The look of satisfaction on their faces is priceless.”