When Vuyani Mahlasela, 26, of Mdantsane’s NU 14 started his shoe-cleaning business, he had no idea that it would be so successful.
Davee’s Shoe Clinic, gets calls from people around East London who needs their shoes washed. Davee’s picks them up, washes them, and drops them off within 24 hours.
The 26-year-old Mahlasela said the idea was born in 2016 when he was too lazy to wash his own shoes and had to ask someone to wash them for R10.
“I thought this could be a good idea for a business and I decided to start a business that could help these people – people like me,” he said.
The internal auditing graduate, who runs the business from a one-room shack, said he had clients from Mdantsane, Amalinda, Quigney and Beacon Bay, as well as Gonubie.
“We get calls from people who need our business and we go to pick up the shoes – either for washing, cleaning, drying or treating the shoe.” he said.
On average, he said they took in about 40 pairs of shoes a week and the cost of service depends on the material of the shoe.
Mahlasela also has a car wash business and has several employees.
“We have been busy since the business started. Some people undermine washing shoes but there is money coming in and it’s better than staying at home begging for money,” said Thando Jajini, who works with Mahlasela.
“I started this after seeing young people roaming around the streets doing nothing and I introduced the idea to them to make money for ourselves. I don’t treat anyone as an employee – I say, ‘you own part of the business because you are part of the business’. This is more to empower them to do something with their lives as jobs are scarce,” Mahlasela said.
He encouraged young people to follow their passion.
“When you apply for jobs and if you don’t get it, don’t get discouraged and just sit down and do nothing.
“Look at what you can do and if you have an idea, don’t say it wont work, try it out,” he advised.