From selling energy drinks at traffic stops to offering cross-country tours, here are six vibrant and innovative youths that we found on campus grounds.
1. Conrad Mmotsa – The Streets of UJ
Accounting student Conrad Mmotsa was so fascinated with UJ’s fashionable student population that he decided to create an Instagram page to celebrate their vibrancy. “I [thought] ‘hey why don’t we have a page that showcases the style and the people of UJ?’” he explained.
The @thestreetsof_uj page has garnered 537 followers since its creation in August last year. Some of Mmotsa’s subjects are ordinary fashionistas from outside the university who epitomise street style. He looks for, “anyone who is unique… who represents the streets.”
With a passion for entrepreneurship that dates back to his primary school days, Mmotsa is unfazed by some of the struggles that come with running your own business. “You don’t mind waking up at three o’ clock in the morning or two o’ clock in the morning or sleeping at those odd times to work on your craft or to work on your next venture,” he said.
Mmotsa is also a fashion stylist and some of his best work is displayed on the page. “Guys who dress [nicely] obviously also want nice pictures, so the idea also came from having [to] dress people and then take pictures of them,” Mmotsa said.
The cost of a photo shoot with this 21-year-old depends on which of two packages you choose. The first package of R15 per picture is most popular with students. The cost of the second package is negotiable, but clients normally pay R450 per hour for a session.
If you would like to arrange a photoshoot with him, Mmotsa can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Pontsho Mashigo – MP Traders
“I’ve realised that there [is] a lack of jobs out there… so I decided to start my own business,” said Pontsho Mashigo the owner of MP Traders.
Mashigo sells handbags in order to raise funds to open a small restaurant. “I already have a space where I can operate [but] I have to pay for expenses like rent [and] electricity,” he said.
The Information Management student has added watches, hats and nail polish to the list of items he will be selling to people on the streets of Johannesburg. He hopes these new additions will be enough to help him reach his target.
“So far, I do have some equipment, but I don’t have enough cash to just get everything all at once,” Mashigo said.
Venturing into the world of business has left Mashigo feeling inspired. “You [feel motivated] that at least you’ll be able to impact your community positively and you’ll at least add value to yourself and your family,” the third-year student said.
“You are changing your life. You are generating an income for yourself, you don’t depend on people.”
Mashigo’s handbags sell for R50 and R70 depending on the size. His watches and nail polish cost R80 and R35 respectively.
People living in Auckland Park and the CBD in the City of Gold can contact Mashigo at +27 64 620 6305
3. Siwongiwe Nkohla – Sauve M Holdings (Pty) Ltd
Siwongiwe Nkohla has yet to earn her BCom Accounting degree but she is already taking advantage of the knowledge she’s acquired from the programme so far.
Nkohla and her business partner Mfundo Moses own Sauve M Holdings. “Most companies focus more on profits and making money than creating opportunities through identifying other opportunities,” Nkohla said.
But in the case of Sauve M “one of the company’s primary objectives is to capitalize on creating opportunities for others.”
Sauve M is presently concerned with assisting small business owners with budgeting and financial reports. Services extend to assisting with registrations, trademarks and logos (where Sauve M would act as a third party connecting the client to the relevant companies).
Although the company will soon have Logistics, Property and Legal divisions amongst others, the current focus on small business owners is deliberate.
“Many small business owners tend to relax with the running of their business as soon as they realise profits, they ignore things that might affect their business negatively,” Nkohla explained.
“We have chosen to add risk mitigating and internal control service, brand promoting and strategic marketing along with business consultations which is something ordinary accountants don’t do,” she added.
Clients are charged based on a variety of factors ranging from the amount of time spent on the project to the level of experience required to complete the task.
Budding entrepreneurs who could use Nkohla’s help can contact her and her business partner as follows:
Mr. Mfundo Moses: +27 74 524 263
Ms. Siwongiwe Nkohla: +27 73 610 1792
4. Nqobile Dhladhla – Mo Faya Salesman
Nqobile Dhladhla is a BSc Maths and Statistics student who became so engrossed in his research of online entrepreneurship that it distracted him from his studies.
“I went to class, but I didn’t focus on my books I always focused on my emails,” he said. Dhladhla’s dedication to a business-themed webinar resulted in him failing his second-semester modules. He was subsequently blocked from doing his first semester modules in his third year of study.
“I was doing nothing I didn’t have modules [for] the whole semester,” he said. Dhladhla decided to partner with a few friends from church to start selling the Mo Faya energy drink owned by DJ Sbu.
“DJ Sbu was promoting it on Facebook,” Dhladhla explained. “It was one of those things that I didn’t even [have to] think about. I just went and [bought] two cases and [went] to the streets and sold it.”
Dhladhla is a NSFAS student and for a long time, he depended on the free meals provided by Gift of the Givers on campus at UJ. Selling Mo Faya was a way for him to earn money and gain some independence.
“Sometimes I give it (the money) to my mum when I get home… and the [rest] I use to buy food when I’m at res,” he explained.
The third-year student is very enthusiastic about what he does even braving harsh weather just to make a profit. “I sell Mo Faya in the rain,” he said. “I always tell my friends at res that you can’t be hungry you need to hustle.”
The hardest part of the hustle is collecting stock. This was especially true when he first started. “I took a Mega Bus to Soweto Campus – then I had to go to Bara and then I [took] a taxi to Devland,” Dhladhla recalled. He hopes to raise enough money to buy a bakkie to make the trip shorter.
Dhladha is often heard gleefully shouting, “ignite your mind with Mo Faya,” and, “ten a can,” in a bid to entice motorists along Kingsway Avenue in Auckland Park.
5. Duduetsang Mogotsi – Duwiee’s Perfect Planning
And yet another BCom Accounting student on this list is a young woman who has taken it upon herself to make the services of an Events Planner affordable for members of her community.
“Having grown up around this neighbourhood I know what people can afford and what they can’t afford,” said Duduetsang Mogotsi, who grew up in Soweto.
Mogotsi’s services include décor and catering but she tries to make sure that all aspects of an event are taken care of. As a business owner and previously as a volunteer Mogotsi has made a lot of friends in the industry and these friendships often benefit her clients.
“I… also suggest people who can deliver services that I don’t deliver who will charge them cheaper than they would normally be charged,” Mogotsi said.
Sometime last year Mogotsi coordinated a gala dinner for a woman she knew from church. The lady was so impressed with Mogotsi’s work that she encouraged her to start her own business. The woman joined a long list who had noticed Mogotsi’s talent throughout the years.
The 21-year-old decided to go out shopping for anything she thought she would need for her business. “I [came] back with boxes at home and everyone was shocked ‘what’s in the box?’ like ‘what now?’” she laughed.
Not only has Duwiee’s Perfect Planning afforded its owner an opportunity to pursue her dreams, but members of her community have also benefited from its establishment.
“I get to give employment to other people. [It] feels good to know [that] what they helped me with they are able to benefit from and help their families with it,” she said.
Before she started planning events professionally, Mogotsi helped people with their business plans. “It was always interesting to tap into people’s minds and get to hear about what they have to say about the companies they want to start,” she remembered.
Mogotsi’s “standard rate for décor (including tableware) for 50 people is R3500” and prices for larger groups are negotiable. “If I’m expected to cook it then become R130 per head for the 50,” she said.
She charges R2500 for business plans and the process of registering your business is included in the package.
Mogotsi can be contacted as follows:
Cell: +27 82 308 1215
6. Codi Nkulu – The Brotherhood Tours
The Brotherhood Tours (TBH) is a concept that started over a year ago when Codi Nkulu and his friends had the idea to start a travel agency whose purpose was to, “open… the mind of a black child.”
“A lot of us are naïve when it comes to our own continent we lack information,” he said. “They say travelling opens up your mind and I wanted that to happen for us Africans in Africa.”
Three days ago, the agency completed their first cross-country tour with few problems.
“We faced a couple of challenges like a punctured tire. At a certain point in…East London we ran out of petrol,” said Codi Nkulu, Co-Founder of TBH Tours.
“This was a great learning experience,” Nkulu said. He added that the group would be better prepared for future tours.
The tour titled 5 Cities, 5 Days included visits to Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, East London and Port Elizabeth. A trip to Durban was set to take place initially but was later cancelled after the rock attacks were reported in the city, Nkulu explained.
The travellers went to Grahamstown instead. The package which included transport, food and accommodation cost R2500.
TBH were well prepared for medical emergencies on the 5-city tour. A paramedic was on board the bus and Nkulu himself has first aid training. All passengers were asked to sign an indemnity form listing all medical conditions and allergies.
Having met the target they set to organise and complete their first tour in January 2018, Nkulu is enthusiastic that the group can expand their horizons.
“The next one (trip) might be by boat or by air…we’re not limiting ourselves to the means by which we travel,” he said.
“We don’t know exactly where we’re going to go it might be out of the country like Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho or Swaziland or we might just do the other provinces that we didn’t cover,” he continued.
“We still have to decide about that.”