Renting out recycled bicycles

Nokubonga Yawa
Ndlazi at his stand. Photo by Nokubonga Yawa.
Nokubonga Yawa

Eight years ago Bongani Ndlazi started collecting old bicycles and making them new again. He has turned his talent into a business that puts food on the table.

Ndlazi is 30 years old and the father of two boys, one four years old and the other four months old.

Ndlali explains that his recycled bicycle business helps people in his area. “A lot of community members cannot afford to pay the taxi whenever they go to the shopping centre.”

Ndlazi rents out bicycles at very low cost. People who go into his place pay whatever amount of money they have to hire a bicycle. This helps Ndlazi to go home with about R150 a day. His business doesn’t only support his family. When I was interviewing him, two young boys came in and asked Ndlazi if he could give them money to buy fat cakes. “This is what I do every day. I don’t just look after myself alone. I know these boys and I know when they ask me for money it’s because they are hungry for real and there’s nothing back at home,” he says.

Beside the bicycle business he also owns a barbershop. Ndlazi believes that youth turn to crime and end up in jail because they have no role models. He however, is a wonderful role model. Ndlazi has a special message to all young people “I know we grow up in different families but whatever we went through should not lead us to jail.” He urges young people to stop involving themselves in crime because it doesn’t pay. Instead it destroys your life and your future.

Laughing, Ndlazi says that one day he wishes to get married. He has a girlfriend that he loves. “Lobola is the only obstacle,” he explains. He says that he would marry his girlfriend tomorrow if he got the money.

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TOPICS:  Economy Society Transport

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