Some students have realised campus life is not just about obtaining a degree, but also where they can make money.
Like Eunice Mashopani, a BA student at Wits University who majors in media studies and sociology. She decided to start a business to support herself while studying.
The student from Diepsloot said she did not set out to start a business. However, this happened after she realised the extra costs of university life such as socialising and looking after herself, while still trying to build up a personal savings.
She now runs a braiding business, Aesthetic Braids, based in Braamfontein in Johannesburg.
“One of the reasons I started braiding was because I was a reckless spender and usually ran out of money before the month ended. Braiding has shown me the importance of not ever running out of money because I know what being broke is like. Financial security is very close to my heart,” Mashopani said.
She has also learnt that starting her own business meant that work, innovation and responsibility never ended.
“Building a business as a student does take a toll on one or more aspects of your life,” she said.
But Mashopani realised that choosing between going out with friends and braiding someone’s hair was an important choice, as the braiding had the potential to bring in money.
She has taken a unique approach to braiding hair and monetising her art. Instead of hiring a costly spot in a salon, she thought of innovative models around hair.
She provides a personalised experience when it comes to getting one’s hair done. Her services are offered from her apartment or she does house visits.
Also, it takes away the client’s worries of having their hair done in a crowded salon, which was a huge source of anxiety in the time of Covid-19.
Another Wits student has also adopted an entrepreneurial spirit.
Grace Letsoalo was accepted at the university to study a BA with a focus on film and TV. While entertainment and the world of television have always caught her eye, her first love was fashion.
Coming from a small town in Limpopo, like many dreamers she wanted to succeed and make it big in the City of Gold.
Her brand Makopa focused on merging high art and fashion. But by day, she tailors, restores and alters beloved pieces on campus from broken zippers to pants that were too loose.
While students like Letsoalo take joy in creating and making new garments for people, Mbusiso Siso, who is a computer science and applied mathematics major, as well as the founder of Varsity Thrift, had taken an alternative approach to fashion.He kept the environment in mind through thrifting and finding a new home for pre-loved clothes.
Varsity Thrift was about affordable clothes for students while being environmentally sustainable.
“A healthy relationship to money is an imperative one to have and nurture,” he said.
He believed in financial freedom and being responsible about money, which he made enough of to help at home.
“Money and I have always had a give and take relationship whenever I seemed to make money it would disappear. But lately for the first time ever, I started to actually see money saving up and building up and it makes me even more inspired to know that this money comes from something I love to do.”
You can follow their entrepreneurial journeys on social media.