By TOTO TSARNEBA
Need a document delivered in Makhanda? Or need someone to wait in a long queue at the Post Office, Traffic Department or Home Affairs on your behalf?
Why not call Mzi’s Document Delivery and Queuing Services?
Necessity is the mother of invention in a bleak economy. Mziyanda Bulani started his unique business in February this year and said it is “doing very well”.
Mzi charges R10 for a single bicycle delivery, R20 for a return, and R50 for queuing for an hour. Prices are negotiable for queuing for less than an hour.
Mzi transports CVs, certificates, and medicines and certifies documents on behalf of clients.
He says there are certain things that he cannot do on behalf of the people. In these cases, he communicates with his clients to come and take his place in the queue when he is about to reach the counter.
“For example, in Home Affairs, I queue until I get close to the security and call my clients to come since I am not allowed to enter and do things on their behalf,” he said.
“Although there are things that I cannot do in the Traffic Department on behalf of my clients, I can do car license renewals since they allow it,” he said.
Mzi learnt the art of business by accompanying his father, Ndodiphela Phoyi Bulani, to the wholesalers.
Sadly, his dad passed away when Mzi was eight. “But, I was inspired by my father to be a businessman, and I spent most of my time with my father. I learnt how to run a business from him”.
His mom is also business-minded, too. She started a chicken business when her husband passed away.
Mzi has several self-funded businesses run under Taphom General Trading, a company he registered in 2019.
In 2019, he started selling vests. When his business blossomed, he decided to add ‘happy socks’ to his inventory.
He planned to expand this business in partnership with his supplier when “the stinking visitor popularly known as Covid 19” happened. Mzi lost contact with his supplier.
“This was not the first bad thing that happened,” he said.
Mzi completed his first year of Management Studies at the University of Johannesburg – but, in his second year, he started to “groove and bamba with the big boys”.
“I thought I was clever. I was part of the student committee of arts but misused that privilege. It destroyed my future, and I had to find other means to live,” he said.
In 2020, he started selling packed manure in 50 kg bags for R60 a bag. This business did well during the lockdown as people were planting. He still sells manure when he gets orders.
“I am relevant. I look at what is in demand and turn my entrepreneurial focus on that, “Mzi said.
He also started selling vegetables in R80 combo packs – cabbage, potatoes, tomato, and onions – and delivered them to people who placed orders on WhatsApp and Facebook. And he delivered vetkoek (amagwinga), wings and quarter legs through his Phoyi Kitchens business.
Mzi can be reached on his Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/mziyanda.bulani.7