By MALIKHANYE MANKAYI
The gifted Mzuvukile Nqabeni fixes local community members’ bicycles as a second job. He comes all the way from Ngqushwa, where he grew up and later moved to eNkanini, Makhanda. Nqabeni is a security guard at Hi-Tec Security company and also keeps livestock and sells chickens to make a living.
Nqabeni says that he started loving bicycles from an early age and taught himself the techniques of fixing them. He did not attend any technical school to master the skill. He is talented and got the experience first-hand from fixing bicycles himself.
Nqabeni uses a bicycle as a mode of transport to go to work, instead of using the provided transport. “What caught my attention or opened my eyes in doing business was when I noticed that transport takes some time to arrive. As a result, some employees decided to buy bicycles. The person who was fixing those bicycles was me. Then I said “wake up! This can be the business for me” said Nqabeni.
Nqabeni fixes the bikes in a self-built mini warehouse at his home that he has named Xaba, since that name represents his clan name. He uses his wages to buy this parts to repair bikes and also tries to stock bicycle parts. Nqabeni is available to fix bicycles onTuesday, Wednesday and on weekend afternoons.
“The community has played a huge role in supporting my business. I fix most of their children’s bicycles. I take them as my loyal customers,” said Nqabeni.
He added that one of his business goals is to secure transport for the broken bicycles so that he can get them to and from his clients’ homes. “Another goal I have for the business in the future is to buy more bicycle parts. If anyone out there who is able to donate bicycle parts is welcome since I have very few parts” he said.
Nqabeni believes that if he reaches these goals, he will be the first person in the township to have a stable bicycle repair business.
“One of the challenges I face is also having space to work. I would therefore appreciate it when my business grows, to receive support in building a warehouse” said Nqabeni.