Brian Sibusiso Mpono is Playing his Part in ensuring that South Africa has a cleaner, greener future. His company, Khwezi Oils, is exploiting a new niche in the South African fuel market by making biofuel, refined from waste cooking oil, and it’s proving a hit with local trucking companies.Brian Sibusiso Mpono, founder of Khwezi Oils Biodiesel and Brand South Africa ambassador. (Image: Brian Sibusiso Mpono)Brand South Africa reporterThirty-year-old Mpono, from Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, recognised the knock-on effects of volatile crude oil prices on the South African market, and that fossil fuels are creating environmental problems.He says, “I came to learn that biodiesel was the next big thing in the fuel industry and understood the volatility of the crude oil price and its effects on the South African economy. Too, that it was the prime answer to global warming and climate change as an alternative environmentally friendly energy fuel; this I researched and got from the rest of the world.”In 2011, Mpono founded Khwezi Oils Biodiesel and Khwezi Biodiesel; “At this point I realised that my business was to pioneer an innovation that did not exist commercially, by a young black South African … in the history of ‘petro-fuels’ at a refinery level.“The scale and enormity of the industry of my business is a colossal; Brent crude supplies are dwindling, and South Africa relies heavily on Brent crude oil for its refineries, which is why the price of fuel is out of control in South Africa. However, bio-diesel on the other hand uses sunflower oil (waste), collected from hospitality industry hotels, restaurants, fast food franchises and the like so dependency shifts from Brent crude to oil that is always available and also environmentally friendly, saving the ozone from carbon emissions and ultimately global warming.”Mpono is turning “trash-into-cash” now, supplying mainly the construction and trucking and logistics industries for the past three years. In its first year of trade Khwezi Oils generated R1.2-million in turnover, of which 30% was gross profit.When speaking about his love for the environment and his green initiatives, Mpono said he simply looked at where the “world is going and where it will be over the next 50 years”, and his common denominator was “green energy”.“The sulphur content in fossil fuels was the main cause of global warming because of carbon emissions, and biofuels was the answer.”He said he had always had the ability to meet communities’ needs.“The Wright Brothers revolutionised aviation; they foresaw that soon air travel will be necessary, whether they would still be living in that century or not didn’t matter; Jimmy Dunlop saw it necessary that just like human beings vehicles need ‘shoes’ and invented the rubber tyre; William Burton, the father of petroleum fuel, burnt oil at extremely high temperatures to refine fuel; Karl Benz and his wife, [created] the first petroleum powered engine. Just like all these pioneers, I have always had a knack for providing solutions for what the market wants and needs and meeting that.”Khwezi Oils Biodiesel began after a conversation about eco-friendly biofuels. (Image: Brian Mpono)Kwezi Oils starts upInitially Mpono ran a communications company, Khwezi Communications. He’d studied in the field, but the company didn’t succeed and he found himself unemployed.Then in early 2011, Mpono says,”I met a gentleman who ran a business with a fleet of trucks; we were just having a casual chat and he said to me he makes his own diesel! I said ‘nonsense’, because only Sapref, Engen and Chevron have refineries making fuel from brent crude oil.”“He said he makes it from sunflower oil, ok! He said come see it; I went to see him and yes he was making biodiesel as a hobby. Then me and my media knowledge I start going on telling where what and how, then he turns around and says to me; ‘Brian, if you can commercialise this biodiesel plant and make a business concern out of it, I will assist you in making it happen. Put your ideas and plans on paper and come see me tomorrow; I will teach you everything there is to know about biofuels’.“The next day I was back at his office; we sat down and spent a couple of hours going through formalities. By the close of business that day I had a fully-fledged biofuel business… he backed me to the tune of R300 000.”Despite the company’s early success, biodiesel was still relatively unknown in South Africa; Mpono says, “Overseas it was as common as spring water; maverick approach; I took my product to where it was needed; taxi and bus ranks, trucking companies; my product was not tried and tested, but I did it anyway risking the impact it might have on the engines on my clients’ vehicles. I did it anyway because I rested on the vision that come 2013 it will become a hot topic… I pursued with trial and error with an existing business concern.“Others shunned it because they were surprised by a black South African involved in fuel production; unheard of between Cape Town and Limpopo; those who tried it, tried it and were happy; those who weren’t, well I just didn’t convince them so I soldiered on.”Khwezi Oils is a two-fold business; creating profits for Mpono and his suppliers, many of which are local households. Mpono pays R4 per litre for waste oil, which would usually be thrown away.“In effect, waste cooking for me is liquid oil, and these households are throwing away money they could get back passively but they don’t know. Through Play Your Part, I have always envisaged educating communities, schools, universities about the environmental impact of ‘waste oil’, and how trash can be turned into cash.“Using open areas within these townships, set up recycling stations for disposing of used cooking oil, I would then pay that community for … each litre they dispose of. Through this initiative I am empowering and developing that community through environmental education at the same time – awareness for the environment they live in; because the very same waste cooking oil they dispose of for me, is the same ‘waste’ that will contribute to developing their community through the money generated from the oil; essentially I am subsidising their spend on cooking oil.“I am conscientising these communities to contribute actively and positively to saving the country and world from global warming by being environmentally friendly. But it takes a game changer like me to make them aware.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Pacer Umesh Yadav whose two crucial wickets helped India restrict England to 268/8 at stumps on the opening day of the third cricket Test, on Saturday felt that his game was improving with each passing day. (Scorecard)Yadav credited head coach Anil Kumble and batting coach Sanjay Bangar for motivating him to bowl with a clear plan, which he felt worked in his favour at the Punjab Cricket Association I.S. Bindra Stadium.Yadav, who regularly clocked past the 140 kmph-mark, first got rid of opening batsman Haseeb Hameed (9) and then bowled all-rounder Chris Woakes (25) with an almost unplayable delivery. (India vs England, Mohali Test, Day 1: As it happened)Asked about his impact ball, Yadav said he believed in keeping the ball near the off and middle stump, which makes most batsmen vulnerable before they get their eyes set on the game.”My game is improving day by day. I have just been working on my line and length,” Yadav said at the post-match presser. “Sanjay Bangar and Anil Kumble have been telling me to bowl with clear plans. The ball was swinging so I just wanted to hit the right areas.””I thought the ball reversed in a little too much so I tried to take it away too, but that didn’t happen,” he added.Yadav, however, defended some of India’s poor fielding efforts, specially off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who dropped a simple catch from England skipper Alastair Cook and then leaked a few runs by misfielding. (Mohali Test, Day 1: England crumble despite Bairstow’s 89)advertisement”Sometimes catches are dropped, but this is cricket. Sometimes your team-mates take good catches too.””We have some of the best fielders in the team, be it in India or among all the cricket-playing countries, but dropping catches and misfielding are part and parcel of the game,” he said.
APTN National NewsSocial media sites like Facebook and YouTube are becoming more popular by the day.People use them to keep in touch, entertain and sometimes inform.But these sites can also be a platform for hatred and racism.In the last of our three-part series “Perspectives On” social media, APTN National News reporter Noemi LoPinto looks at the dark side.WARNING: Strong language may be offensive to some.
APTN National NewsIt’s the first week back to school in Yellowknife.As students are getting geared up for another year, a special guest stopped by to give teachers a lesson about some of the challenges facing Indigenous youth.APTN’s Iman Kassam has the story.
May 10, 2013Bi-Cultural Roadshow The first of three scheduled performances took place last night in the Colly Soleri Amphitheater. This performance started with a Carpetbag Brigade presentation of “Callings”, described as ‘weds the grace of modern dance with the raw lintensity of physical theater in the spectacle-based format of acrobatic stilts. The show is a poetic homage to the sirens of the sea and the voices that captivate and haunt us’.Verbo-Bala & Hojarasca can be seen again in the upcoming performance on Saturday, May 18. and Sunday June 2. 2013. RISING APPALACHIA was the second part of last nights event. Truly amazing voices of this sister-driven bluesy, folk band from New Orleans” with an unbelievable drummer. Check out their web-site.Bi-Cultural Roadshow CARPETBAG BRIGADE upcoming performances are Saturday, May 18. 2013Nem-Catacoa Teatro & Hojarasca present “Landscape Reinvention Society”, followed by “Sonoran Strange” from Verbo-Bala“Landscape Reinvention Society” is a site-specific, ambulant acrostilt performance from Nemcatacoa Teatro. Witness this encounter between the dream of an architect and creative inhabitants from afar. The performance includes strolling music from Hojarasca.“Sonoran Strange” an intimate spoken word performance with video projection examining the multi-dimensional corridor and portal of the Sooran borderlands – incantations and images created by Logan Phillips and Adam Cooper-Teran, with support from the Arizona Commission on the Arts.Sunday, June 2. 2013A cross-cultural collaboration from the Carpetbag Brigade, Nemcatacoa Teatro, Vero-Bala & Hojarasca “Dios de la Adrenalina”The keystone performance of this Bi-Cultural Roadshow emotionally expresses and releases the pain experienced by communities at opposite ends of the Cocaine Superhighway through the genres of acrobatic stilts, both dance, contact improvisation, spoken word, live music and physical theater.This groundbreaking performance addresses the historical undercurrents between the USA and Colombia and is supported by the National Endowment of the Arts.Both shows start at 7pmAdmission $10 per sho – $20 dinner & show[dining hall open 6-7pm – reservations requiredcall 928 632-6217 ore-mail info at arcosanti dot org.
The number of UK pay TV subs planning to cancel their service has almost doubled in the past six months, according to new research commissioned by investment bank Liberum.Its consumer survey, conducted by Research Now, found a sharp increase in the proportion of people planning to cancel their current pay TV subscription with cost cited as the primary reason for churning.“Virgin Media saw a drop off in pay TV customers in the previous quarter and, while Sky’s changing to KPI disclosure makes it harder to see exact trends, we suspect their traditional monthly pay TV subs packages may be coming under the same sort of pressure,” Liberum said in its research note.Telco BT is also picking ups TV subs from unhappy Sky customers, according to Liberum. “Dissatisfaction with Sky as a reason for switching to BT again saw a sharp rise in the quarter,” the bank said. “This now means that there has been an effective doubling over the past six months in those stating this as the key driver to switch to BT.”It added that should Sky try to wholly pass on the increased costs of soccer rights, it faces losing more customers: “If Sky plans to offset its PL fees through consumer price increases we might see further cancellations due to costs in the future.”BT this week announced plans for a new 4K service and unveiled its plans for coverage of Champions League football, after acquiring package of rights although this is not a key subs driver yet, according to the research. However, Liberum added new pricing plans for the BT Sports packs may prove a significant subs driver particularly as 46% of survey respondents with Sky said they ‘would switch to BT if its pay TV packages were better priced’.
Video technology provider Ooyala has filed a lawsuit against rival Brightcove, alleging “deliberate and willful misappropriation of proprietary trade secrets”.The suit accuses Brightcove of using customer contact lists, confidential sales pitches and pricing, marketing plans and corporate strategies to “undermine and exploit Ooyala’s business dealings and sales efforts” throughout Latin America.Ooyala said in a statement that it is seeking an injunction in a Boston federal court to stop Brightcove’s misappropriation of trade secrets, and is asking Brightcove and the named employees in the case to “return all proprietary materials and destroy all customer information”.The complaint, which was filed at the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, named Brightcove and two former Ooyala employees, who now work at Brightcove –Darío Pérez Real, and Raúl Francisco García Domíngue – as defendants in the case.“In the final three months of Defendant Perez’s employment as a senior sales executive at Ooyala, and while he was being courted to join Ooyala’s direct competitor Brightcove, Perez surreptitiously sent to Brightcove a wealth of Ooyala’s confidential and trade secret information,” alleged Ooyala in the filing.It claimed that this information included contact information for current and prospective clients, specific fees and prices for clients, customised client specifications, expiration and renewal dates for customer contracts, Salesforce reports containing prospective client intelligence and market analysis, communications with clients, and meeting dates with prospective and existing clients.“The misappropriation of trade secrets was coordinated by defendant Garcia, a former vice president of Ooyala and current head of Brightcove’s Latin America division,” the filing claimed.In a statement sent to Digital TV Europe, Brightcove rejected the allegations and claimed that the lawsuit is “entirely without merit”.“We are aware of Ooyala’s assertions concerning the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets. When first alerted to these assertions by Ooyala, we reviewed them in good faith and reached out to Ooyala in an effort to address its concerns,” said a spokesperson for Brightcove.“Ooyala disengaged from that conversation and then filed this suit. Brightcove believes that this lawsuit is entirely without merit. We are working to resolve the matter, which is narrowly focused on a particular region and does not concern our products, services or technology.”