By: Tebogo Mokwena
Nkateko Letjane, who is a university student, opened Shaka Gym for the community of Soshanguve, which struggles to access quality gyms. He also started the business so that community members can take care of their health affordably. Letjane, who is studying business management and majoring in marketing, said that some of the gyms which operated in the area were unsafe and did not have adequate parking spaces.
Letjane told Vutivi News that he approached his father, who was a seasoned businessman, to fund his gym. He told his father that it was time for him to open up a business so that he could put what he was learning into practice. His father provided him with the funding and he opened the gym last year. Letjane said one of the reasons his gym was cheaper was because he offered a pay-per-use service. In many gyms, users must sign a contract. “We live during a time when our economy is teetering, and committing people to contracts at a time when they might not afford to continue at some point will not only affect their credit score, but it also becomes a financial burden,” he told Vutivi News.
The gym is situated at Shaka Residences which is in the heart of Soshanguve. Shaka Residences serves as accommodation for the Tshwane University of Technology, where Letjane also studies. It offers services including aerobics, personal trainers, and on-floor activities such as fitness boot camps, as well as hiking. Letjane is set to introduce “court fitness” in June, which he describes as fitness based on sports played on courts such as tennis, netball and basketball.
According to Letjane, he was inspired by his father not only to go into business but also to study business management. As a result, he also provides social media marketing for small businesses, develops websites and apps, and also does manual labour whenever necessary to supplement the gym’s cash flow. He has found it easier to study because his business gives him the practical experience which complements his course.
“My plan is to make sure that Shaka Gym is a cash-based business, which I will use to invest in fixed assets such as property and shares. This will enable me to develop and invest in more properties,” said Letjane. “I also plan on getting a job as soon as I complete my studies because I believe that the reason why many entrepreneurs fail is that they do not have multiple streams of income. I see myself becoming a multi-millionaire in a short space of time.”