Ek Sê – what a success


A view of Museum Africa from the M1 highwayEntrepreneur Lesika Matlou and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

A CHILDHOOD dream of being his own boss is now a reality for Lesika Matlou, who runs Ek Sê Tours, thanks to Awethu Project.


Awethu Project aims to identify entrepreneurs with talent, vision and capabilities, but without formal experience and qualifications, to invest in them and to ensure that they have the resources essential to business success.


Ek Sê Tours organises educational tours of Soweto and Johannesburg for both local and international tourists. The tours allow patrons to experience the vibrancy of the townships and learn the history of the city.


Matlou explains that he chose Soweto for his tour destination because it has a variety of cultures and interesting places that appear to attract tourists. "Our tours are designed to stimulate all your senses.

A view of Museum Africa from the M1 highwayTourists on a tour in Soweto before the Cold Play concert at the FNB Stadium.

There is visual, taste, touch…"


He speaks passionately of African cultural identity, giving as examples the Xhosa pipes and the mabopane worms loved by the Tsonga. "We get people on the tour to taste the worms," he says, smiling.


Soweto tours begin at the Orlando Towers, where tourists are able to see the landscape of the entire township. They also experience the music of the townships, from the days it was first settled to the vibrant sound of the youth today.


"Our tour is a timeline of Soweto from the beginning up to the energetic Soweto," he says.


Inner city tours begin at the Awethu Project offices on Constitution Hill, the awe-inspiring monument to change. The hill once housed notorious apartheid prisons, but today is home to the Constitutional Court, the highest court in the land.

A view of Museum Africa from the M1 highwayEk Sê Tours first tourists Trish and Jo, with Lesika Matlou and his partner.

Other stops on the city tour are On Top of Africa on the roof of the Carlton Centre and Mai Mai Market.


The 26-year-old Matlou, who has always wanted to be an entrepreneur, says he heard of Awethu Project on a local radio station in Johannesburg while he was a running delivery service business in Rustenburg.


After he applied to Awethu, he was invited to write a few tests, prompting a move to Johannesburg. In the big city, he was unemployed, and had to squat at a friend's.


But Matlou is nothing if not a hard worker, and he got a temporary job as a clerk. After just two months on the job he was offered a permanent position, with a promise of a good salary.

A view of Museum Africa from the M1 highwayA tourist gets the chance to engage with locals as part of the Ek sê Tour.

"However, the same day, I received a call from Awethu informing me that it would take me on full time."


Although the company was offering a better package, Matlou chose Awethu. "I chose Awethu because it was offering me the opportunity of what I have always wanted to do," he explains.


Ek Sê Tours was launched in August 2011, and has received an overwhelmingly positive response from clients. "At the end of the tours we get people to give us feedback on how the tour was. So far on a scale of one to 10, the lowest we have ever got for the overall experience of the tour was eight."


The company also offers events services, organising transport for people to big events and concerts. "It is almost like a shuttle service," he describes it. "We do sports games. We did the Coldplay concert where we had four shuttles and for Kings of Leon we had seven."


And he has big plans: he wants his business to operate across the entire African continent. At present, he works with two people, but wants to hire more to expand the business.


Ek Sê Tours run from Mondays to Sundays. The half-day tour starts at 9.30am and runs until 2.30pm; the full-day tour ends at 5pm. Half-day tour costs R350.


To book a tour or for more information about Ek Sê Tours, contact Matlou on 071 355 7441 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


The Johannesburg Development Agency supports Awethu Project. Aspiring entrepreneurs can apply to join the initiative by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with the word "Apply" in the email subject line. They need to send their names, identity numbers and cellphone numbers. They can also telephone the company on 011 024 1606.


Awethu Project is based in the Constitution Hill precinct, 11 Kotze Street, Braamfontein.


Related stories: