By Sibabalwe Tame
Khazini Sneaker is a small and upcoming sneaker cleaning and colour restoration business owned by Aphelele Percy Ngemntu. He started his business in March 2022 and it has been running ever since. When he was asked by Grocott’s Mail why he started a business, he responded “it is because of NSFAS”. As an N6 Management student at East Cape Midlands, he was not getting financial aid from NSFAS. So, Ngemntu asked himself, “What can I do to make a living?” leading him to create a business plan.
In the early days, Ngemntu charged customers R25 for cleaning sneakers and a R15 delivery
fee. Though more was needed to get by initially, the business has slowly started to take off.
After starting “Khazini Sneaker,” Ngemntu is much happier and fulfilled because he can buy
himself toiletries, food, and more. “I do not like to depend on anyone,” he says. Now that
Ngemntu can financially sustain himself, he also helps his mother with her money troubles. Even better, he is still studying and opening his business did not disturb his studies, he said.
He has quite a bit planned for the future. Ngemntu says, “I would like to have a shop of my own where I can wash sneakers.” He also wants to hire employees and teach them his sneaker-washing secrets. However, he is currently running the business alone; he has no assistance. This remains one of the few challenges he faces as an entrepreneur.
Another is depending on a consistent water supply and decent weather conditions to clean sneakers.
“Sometimes when my customers come with their sneakers to be cleaned, they expect them to be cleaned very soon, but I work with water and weather,” he added.
Ngemntu used different strategies to help his business gain momentum, including frequent posting on his business Facebook page. “I also ask my customers to take a picture of their sneakers after I have cleaned them, then post this on Facebook, and tag me,” he added. Ngemntu also hands out business flyers in taverns and other places, so that he and his business can be recognised.
Despite all the adversities Ngemntu faces, he still shows up daily to work. He says, “My
business opens from 8am to 6pm,” He also says his business is open from Monday to Sunday.
To help pick up more opportunities, Ngemntu would love to receive business funding from
organisations or anyone willing to lend a hand.
Find out more here or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org; or phone him on 072 217 9127