By NWABISA NGUNA
There’s a network of life-support agents in Makhanda, and their work sustains more than just local peckish people.
Ivan Ngonichada is a part-time driver for Mr D, and Allen Chada is a full-time driver. Mr D Food is a tech company that delivers restaurant food to customers at home across South Africa. Ngonichada has been with Mr D for a year, while Chada has been there for a year and a half. Talk about a sizzling frien-chip!
Ngonichada, an independent contractor, enjoys that independence as it allows him to do his own thing on the side – tutoring maths and science to matriculants from 8 am to 1 pm daily. He has been a tutor for two years and calls food delivery a “side hustle” because he is “passionate about money”. His hours at Mr D are 3 pm to 9 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 9 pm on weekends.
For Chada, the challenge of this work is having to be on the road all the time. However, he does enjoy meeting people from different walks of life. “I’m so talkative and friendly with customers!” he raves. His first passion, though, is fixing things. He is an electrician with a burning desire to open his own company. He wants to be his own boss who does not answer to anyone.
Meanwhile, the two friends wait for orders to come in. Between deliveries, they hang around, chill and be on their phones. The number of deliveries depends on whether it is a weekend, mid-month or month-end. So many orders come in on payday that “there is not even a chance to sit down for a bite of food”, Chada says.