UMLAZI TEKU: ONE OF A KIND
By: Nombulelo Kheswa
Umlazi Township isn’t only known for being the biggest township in KwaZulu-Natal but it is also home to people with big dreams who wake up every day to chase them.
Siyanda Khuluse, a big dreamer from Umlazi H-Section, is conquering the odds of life by making a living through washing shoes for people from this township.
Khuluse said that he started his business three months ago with his co-worker who shares the same name, Siyanda Sithole.
With the high unemployment rate in the country, Khuluse is one of the people that have fallen into the numbers.
“After not working for some time I decided to open a unique business because most businesses in my area are Shisanyama’s and also car washes,” explained Khuluse.
Coming from a poor background, he tried doing short courses as a way of obtaining a qualification that might land him a job.
“With the certificates that I got from the short courses but still I couldn’t find work. I said to myself I have to make money and put food on the table,” Khuluse explained.
UMlazi Teku is the name of Khuluse’s business that he started from his backyard.
He washes shoes and charges his customers depending on how dirty the shoes are.
“Prices range from R15 .Mostly people who come to my place are taxi owners and young people from Umlazi,” said Khuluse.
Customers not coming early to collect their shoes on the agreed date is one of the biggest challenges that Khuluse is facing. He does not have a storage area to keep all the shoes.
Khuluse said that he buys his own cleaning material because he doesn’t have any sponsors or funders for his business.
The shoe cleaning business has made Khuluse a big inspiration to the youth from his township.
“It takes a great person to come up with something like what Siyanda is doing.
I just hope one day he can find sponsors and grow his business,” said Thandeka Gumede, from Umlazi.
Lately Siyanda has been working on marketing and growing his business by creating a website.
He also said that he is currently designing a logo for Umlazi Teku.
“I would like to expand my business to malls and also the CBD where there is a lot of people.
I want to hone my entrepreneurial skills and prove wrong the people who were laughing at me,” said Siyanda.