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Lebone Litho Printers: Your bridge between the worlds of print and digital media

With a keen eye on shifts in the industry that have been taking place over the past 5-10 years, Keith diversified into the digital space, through the launch of Lebone Media, a division which has become the digital media and marketing arm of the company.

This division runs independently with a team of fully fledged designers and a digital marketing manager, and has the capacity to offer services such as e-marking, e-voting, learner assessments and the digitisation of text books as well as work books.

‘We are in the process of acquiring artificial intelligence e-learning technology, which will further enhance the services and products that Lebone Media is able to offer,’ Keith announced. ‘Furthermore, Lebone Media has also been divided into two separate enterprises, being education and corporate social investment,’ Keith stated. ‘The corporate social investment side, is geared towards corporates, who have dedicated CSI budgets and the desire to make a difference in the world,’ he added.

This initiative, aptly named “Teachers Without Borders” has been set up to be separately managed as a not-for-profit by an independent panel of auditors, who report directly to donors.  Teachers Without Borders will offer solutions to businesses wanting to invest in products for children, who have no access to education.  Where cellular phone networks have implemented in excess of 1800 data free zones in South Africa – in an attempt to make learning and teaching accessible to learners – Teachers Without Borders makes it possible for them to download e-books, old exam papers and educational videos etc. for free.

‘My vision is for learners to be able to download questionnaires about a particular subject along with their respective accompanying videos, where the teacher then goes through all of the questions on that paper,’ stated Keith. ‘I want Teachers Without Borders to make a meaningful difference, through helping to ensure that the future adults of this country and this continent as a whole, have been given the kind of education that they so rightfully deserve.’

The focus of the for-profit aspect of Lebone Media – as a business – is that it enhances what is already in place within the publishing space, while making education more affordable, especially for children raised in rural areas or in impoverished households. Said Keith, ‘In order to make a difference, we need to produce material as cheaply as possible. Government spends approximately R1.2 billion for all nine provinces annually – and this is just for top up textbooks. These are replacements for textbooks that have either been lost or cannot be used in the classroom any longer.’

He continued, ‘A decade ago, it cost approximately R90 to produce a text book but thanks to technology coupled with the systems and processes that we have put in place, today we are able to produce the same text books for less than R20 – and this includes pick and pack. Government has a lot of no charge content like text books etc. that have never been utilised, due to the sheer cost of needing to print, pick and pack and then deliver them to schools. Much as the for-profit aspect of Lebone Media being geared towards bringing in revenue, it is still possible to produce these books and make them accessible at a fraction of the cost.’

Keith is of the conviction that we – each one of us – are innately good by nature and not bad, as we are oftentimes made to believe. ‘I try to bring out the best in my staff. As a company, we develop our people because everything that we do is input and managed by human beings.’ He believes that by investing in humans, he is ultimately investing in the company.

He added, ‘In the words of Madiba: ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.’ When you put your hand into a bowl of sorghum beer, you will find all of these seeds at the bottom and these seeds are the strength of the beer. He says that if we dig deep within ourselves, we will find out who we really are; that we all know that we are great but we are just too scared to confront our greatness; to be willing to dig deep.

When it comes to human capital, technology and making a difference in the world, Keith Michael is most certainly digging deep; the results can be seen in Lebone Litho Printers’ continued expansion and success.

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