Designs show off drive, gratefulness

2017-02-21 06:00
Bulelani Ngcako from Claremont, who has a clothing stall at Cavendish Square, says determination and finding purpose in life motivated him and should be the drive for everyone.

Bulelani Ngcako from Claremont, who has a clothing stall at Cavendish Square, says determination and finding purpose in life motivated him and should be the drive for everyone.

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American bassist Billy Cox once said: “When you believe in your purpose, you can work through obstacles, overcome disappointments and endure ­hardships.”

This describes the life of Bulelani Ngcako from Claremont, who has been through a tough time, but knowing his purpose in life and what he wanted to be, kept him going.

He now has a clothing label called Dankie Kasi.

Ngcako, who stays at the Haven night shelter, sells at the Dreyer market at Cavendish Square every Sunday. He also works as a boom operator at Cavendish Square and hopes that one day he will be able to run his business full time.

While it may seem that his life is headed in the right direction is wasn’t all rosy from the start. From the age of nine he was on the streets because his mother couldn’t afford to look after him. Life was a constant battle and he doesn’t know his father.

“My life was no walk in the park. Though I didn’t think about it much at the time, I must admit it wasn’t easy. In my situation one could easily fall into alcohol and drugs, but that didn’t interest me at all. I knew what I wanted in life and that kept me going. I had a purpose and goal, so that was a huge motivator for me,” he says.

He managed to go to school and matriculated in 2008. He applied to four universities but all of them rejected him because he didn’t have a fixed address.

“That was a difficult time for me. I didn’t give up and I enrolled for a course in life skills, computer literacy and office management. After graduating I went looking for a job. I was confident at the time that the certificates would change my luck. With no proven experience, they all turned me down,”’ he says.

“I thought of starting a clothing label that would make me thank the people that have helped me and groomed me.”

That was the birth of his clothing label Dankie Kasi.

“I started the business with R100. I bought a few t-shirts, had them designed and sold them. I was motivated to do more and now I have my own stall. Through this stall I’m able to be a rolemodel to other people. To show them that having a purpose and knowing what you want will make you conquer. Now I’m helping look after my sister’s children. One day I want to be the best father to someone because I never had a father. I’m here because I didn’t give up.”

His t-shirts are easily recognisable with designs of arrows pointing up and down. He says this can mean anything to anyone but to him it’s a story.

“The green lines represent the greenery, the nature; we must look after it. The red lines represent the blood in our veins and the people who have helped and motivated me. It doesn’t matter where you come from and what skin colour you are, we ought to help each other. The blue symbolises the sky. The sky is the limit; you have to push boundaries and keep trying. Nothing can stop you.”

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