While many young South Africans who live in townships sit around and do nothing with their days, a 25-year-old Sowetan, Vusi Makhubo, is showing them that one doesn’t need to come from a wealthy environment to live out their dreams.
Makhubo has taken savings from a small job he does selling clothes at Mr Price to save up for DJing equipment and has also started a T-shirt printing business. He says well known Soweto entertainer, DJ Mbuso encouraged him. “I used to go to Dj Mbuso’s shop and see how he runs his music and t-shirt business, that is how I got my inspiration and I realised that he is one of the black people who is doing his best to make a living out of his abilities.” he says.
Mbuso has also used some of his songs in his compilations and was paid for them.
His brand is called Amayakayaka as that is a slang word Sowetans use when describing people who party too much. He started with just ten t-shirts. “We sold all of them in one day when we launched here at home.”
Makhubo believes that brands that come from South African townships can be popular in South Africa as has been seen with the popularity of Amakip-kip. As I chat to him we get interrupted by a young girl who comes in to ask for cell-phone credit. I then realise that he also runs a small shop from home.
He says it’s also important to diversify as there could be many people with ideas similar to yours. Apart from the shirts he also makes hoodies and hats. Like his mentor, DJ Mbuso, Makhubo promotes music shows around Soweto.
He says he experiences challenges like many other young businessmen but never allows those to deter him. “What keeps me going is the vision that I have for my business and the respect that my family taught me in my childhood.”
He is positive about his brand and says he wants to groom others interested in following in his footsteps.