I met Shezi in February this year (2016). I was a trainer at a Skills Development Course. And he was an excited entrepreneur with a sad story.
Let me share with you how Shezi went from being a drug addict, to a successful entrepreneur, who made money out of collecting garbage.
I’ll start at the beginning…
After Shezi’s sister and niece were violently murdered, he could not cope, and was put on prescription meds, which he became addicted to, and sadly went on to developed a drug problem. With God’s help he managed to get clean and come off these drugs.
With new energy and strength in his mind, he decided that something had to change. He knew he had to start doing something to keep his mind off of the terrible tragedy. So he looked around, people were starving, and cold, and there was litter everywhere. THERE WAS LITTER EVERYWHERE! That’s when the lightbulb went on in his head, he had an idea, but wasn’t sure what to do or where to start to make this idea happen.
So, in February this year he enrolled in a Skills Development Course. This equipped him with knowing the in’s and out’s of starting a business the right way. This course helped him to further develop and refine his initial idea, into an actual business opportunity.
Shezi said that he noticed our environment was drowning in litter, and he saw that as an opportunity to make money. With the help of the Skills Development Course, he was able to turn this idea into an actual business.
And so, Shezi became an entrepreneur, by making money out of cleaning the community!
Shezi has an intense drive in him, he wants to take people off the streets, and help them see their own worth and purpose, by earning a salary to support themselves, and their families. Shezi’s perseverance and will to succeed, is causing a ripple effect to those whom he comes in contact with.
HIS MOTTO: “Poverty Is Tackled Through Recycling”
During the beginning phases of his business, he only collected plastics, but has come to the realisation that paper and cans can add great value to his wastage collection. Shezi aims to recycle 10 tons of waste per week, he is getting there fast, and is currently averaging 3 tons of non-biodegradable waste per week.
Inanda, Ntuzuma and Kwamashu have 27 people receiving income from Shezi’s Business. They collect and sell recyclable materials to him. Then the cleaning, cutting and weighing of the materials are done by 5 workers, where this is then sold to suppliers.
Christopher Robin Pre-Primary School has become a regular provider to his business, by donating recyclable materials. The youth have also been passionate in assisting with recycling.
School children are becoming more aware, and interested in his business, as they see how hard work and taking care of their community generates income. They are taught NOT to litter, but to rather throw their garbage in containers provided, which generates income to people.
The Blue Lagoon as well as the J-Section Creek in Kwa-Mashu, has also been part of Shezi’s cleaning area.
When I asked Shezi what keeps him motivated, he smiled and said “knowing I am making a difference in people’s lives, seeing food and necessities bought, with the income my business has brought into families is what keeps me moivated”.
By Cinthia Willemse