Township entrepreneurs’ battle against the odds to inspire others

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Township entrepreneurs’ battle against the odds to inspire others

Published on: February 26th, 2023

Johannesburg – Entrepreneurs and township-based small businesses push through despite mounting challenges that put a strain on their businesses.

After enduring a pandemic, floods and devastating riots for 18 months, they have risen above adversity and have become heroes whose stories of triumph inspire others to rebuild and restore.

Zinhle Maphanga (sweets retail), Gift Sedibeng (Mexican restaurant), Bjorn Cader (printing and graphic design), Gugu Khumalo (non-profit organisation), Takalane “TK” Nemangowe (local radio station), Lance Ross (butchery), Paula Maleka (mentorship), Mlungisi Zungu (fruit and vegetables), Gift Shai (fashion and design) and Lebohang Nyandeni (LebzCafé iKoffie) doubled down on their dreams despite continued challenges.

Sedibeng is a 30-year-old chef-turned-entrepreneur who began his career with hardship, rejection and disappointment when he did not get into the hospitality courses he applied for after matric.

Maphanga has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, from her humble beginnings in rural KwaZulu-Natal selling sweets on the street to owning her speciality candy shop.

Not only did Maphanga’s business survive Covid-19 and the July 2021 riots, it also recently weathered a very real storm after overcoming the April 2022 floods in KwaZulu-Natal.

Many of these small businesses have survived by adapting, becoming innovative and reaching out for help.

These resilient entrepreneurs turned disaster into opportunity and rose above adversity.