What started out as means to feed his family, has now resulted in an unexpected and fruitful venture for university student, Yanga Dlamini.
Dlamini, who owns Ngatsho Fruits, told Vutivi News that he launched his business in March this year. He sells grapes, plums, pears, apples, peaches, naartjies and oranges while studying at the Nelson Mandela University in Gqeberha, which was until recently known as Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape.
The businessman also provides delivery services to customers who buy fruit for over R50. And, he supplies schools and other areas in Gqeberha. “What drove me to sell fruit is because I am an independent young man, not dependent on anyone,” Dlamini told Vutivi News. “My plan was always to open a mini tuckshop around the university, but due to Covid-19, I couldn’t do so.”
Dlamini said that in 2018 he used to have a stand in front of the library to earn money. He sold a variety of goods such as sweets, snacks and cigarettes. But he eventually decided to turn to fruit. “The main reason for me to open a business was so that I could support my siblings and my children and pay for my fees.
“The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) paid for my undergraduate national diploma in Building, but after I started studying for an advanced diploma in quantity surveying, I had to support myself,” Dlamini said, but since then, Dlamini has grown to love his business and relishes its challenges.
“Initially it was for me to get an income at the end of the month, but now I have bigger plans because I have grown a deep passion for it and learned to love the business,” he said. At first, Dlamini said he had no competition, so his business was going smoothly. But now there was another competitor, who was also selling fruit at the university.
“Profits also fluctuate. I can’t make the same amount of money every day because sometimes I can make R1000 a day, sometimes R400 or R300. But I make sure I produce fresh fruits because I stock every day in the morning,” he said.
Dlamini said his stock came from a fresh food market in Motherwell, but now he also got goods from bakkies coming from farms every Tuesday and Wednesday. “My greatest achievement is to be able not to go to bed on an empty stomach. I am now able to support myself and my siblings and children,” he said proudly.
“I am constantly growing in this business and I am even thinking of manufacturing juice. Those are things that motivate me to want to grow in business.”
Dlamini said that one day he wanted to own a fruit and vegetable shop in Gqeberha, deliver to other stores in the area, and supply events.