Case Studies

Tyson, Global Young Achiever 2024

20th May 2024

Tyson, the 2024 Global Young Achiever, is a talented self-taught musician and producer who runs his own music production company. His success comes after years of fighting against the odds, defying the demons of a childhood scarred by hardship.

Tyson was born into poverty in South Africa and spent years in an orphanage there before being adopted as a teenager and moving to New Zealand. When his adoptive placement broke down, he found himself entirely alone in a new country, and was taken into state care.

Alongside this emotional upheaval, Tyson’s schooling was further disrupted by dyslexia, bullying and the extra challenge of trying to navigate learning in a second language. He left school barely able to read or write.

But Tyson, now 26, has drawn on immense reserves of strength and resilience to overcome these hurdles, and has found both solace and purpose in making music. Tyson taught himself, initially from Youtube videos, and then went on to gain a university degree.

A business boost

Although he had talent, Tyson had no mentor, networks or connections to support him to break into the industry, and had to work multiple jobs to support himself while trying. At times, the financial pressures brought him close to homelessness. He signed up to the Enterprise programme, run by Prince’s Trust Aotearoa New Zealand, to help him more forward.

‘I joined the program to tap into the wealth of mentoring, networking opportunities and support essential for scaling my business,’ Tyson explains. ‘I wholeheartedly embraced the willingness to fail, recognizing it as a crucial pathway to rapid growth and learning.’


After completing the basic workshop, Tyson was matched with a business mentor, award-winning filmmaker James Barr, who has supported him to build the skills to expand and accelerate his business. As he learned to hone in more effectively on identifying and reaching his target audience, Tyson has been able to boost his profile and create new opportunities.
‘The programme’s knowledge was a game-changer, immediately applied to produce outstanding results,’ he recalls. ‘My ability to market myself as an artist has improved significantly, leading to opportunities like festivals, gigs, and other musical ventures.’

Stepping stones to growth

Alongside the business knowledge and mentor support he gained from the programme, Tyson also relished the opportunity to forge connections with other young entrepreneurs. ‘Meeting like-minded individuals not only boosted my confidence but also reminded me that I’m not alone on this challenging journey,’ he explains. He was also able to successfully apply for a growth grant from the programme’s He Kākano seed fund.

Tyson now works full-time in his own successful music company, InDuna, where he creates and produces his own unique Afro-Dance pop, as well as producing music for other clients. His work often features on popular playlists on Spotify and Apple Music, with his latest single Dreams reaching number six on the New Zealand Music Charts. Dreams also won Best Original Song at the International Online Web Festival in 2023.

In May 2024, he was able to add another milestone to his list of achievements, winning the Global Young Achiever Award at the Prince’s Trust Awards.

As his music career takes off, Tyson is keen to stress to other young people that failure is the gateway to success. ‘Embrace the learning curve, adapt, and fear not the prospect of failure – it’s a stepping stone to growth. Remember, out failing your peers means you’re learning more. Stay steadfast in your belief in your dreams, as it’s your vision, not anyone else’s.’

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