A CUT ABOVE THE REST
By: Nomtsikelelo Mthabela
With the unemployment rate continuously on the increase in this country it’s really hard for millions of youngsters to make ends meet. But not for this dynamic and ambitious budding entrepreneur who is determined to make a name for himself in the business world by starting small and dreaming big.
Muzi Makhanya did not want to be a statistic by sitting around at home and complaining about the government, instead he started something innovative and unique in his community- a ‘chicken dust’ business with an extra added touch of ‘kasi flavour’ situated right next to the Lamontville taxi rank.He chose that particular location to make it convenient and accessible to taxi drivers and the whole community.
The ‘chicken dust’ trend has become a huge and ongoing trend in many townships and has also been well received by communities in South Africa.
“When my parents passed away in 2006 I had no option but to quit school and take on the responsibility of looking after my younger siblings and be the head of the family. A life changing decision that I had to take and yet on the other hand fear wasn’t an option either,” said Makhanya.
When he started his ‘chicken dust’ business Makhanya had nothing but a R100 and a vision. Not having the necessary resources to start off didn’t deter Makhanya from his dream. He would wake up at dawn every Sunday and sell old family clothes at the flea market in order to have enough money.
“Starting out my business was really a huge challenge at first because I didn’t know how people would react to it as I was the first in my community to do this and also with my lack of experience, that too was a huge factor that I had to take into consideration.”
Even though now Makhanya has competition from other locals in the area who have also joined in and started as well, his unique taste makes him standout and that keeps his customers coming back for more.
Makhanya sells his unique and delicious chicken pieces at a reasonable price of R15 per quarter leg and on average a week he makes about R550 profit.
“I never had the opportunity to finish school or enroll at a University as I had the dream to study overseas and be a professional chef.”
Growing up in a community like Lamontville where drugs and alcohol is a norm to many households has instilled great values and strong principles in this budding entrepreneur.
“I want to show others, especially my peers, to look beyond their circumstances- that the sky is the limit. You can do anything that you set your mind to when it comes to business. All you need is an idea, good work ethic and the will to succeed,” said Makhanya.
Makhanya is indeed a proof positive that the harder you work the greater the rewards.