Serial quitter aiming for the sky

2015-09-17 06:00
Jabulani Skata, 22, the director of Telfso Internet Cafe and Jongikhaya Gobodo, 22, the manager, are happy for the progress of the business, in Makhaza, Khayelitsha.

Mbongiseni Maseko

Jabulani Skata, 22, the director of Telfso Internet Cafe and Jongikhaya Gobodo, 22, the manager, are happy for the progress of the business, in Makhaza, Khayelitsha. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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A self-taught aspiring information technology businessman from Khayelitsha is destined for greater heights.

Jabulani Skata,22, the director of Telfso Internet Cafe, who runs his business from a garage at his grand-mother’s house in Makhaza seems destined for the stars.

Skata started his business with a photographic studio, which is still part of operations at the garage-cum business centre.

As the business showed growth, he roped in Jongikhaya Gobodo,22, as the manager to ensure the smooth running of the business.

The duo went door to door in surrounding informal settlements making money by taking photographs for residents.

“I asked my grand-mother to utilise the garage to open the internet cafe and she agreed. The internet cafe idea was born after I realised that technology is increasingly becoming one of most important things in people’s lives.

It was not easy when I started the business, because I did not have funds, I had to dig from my pocket for everything that I had to buy,” Skata said.

The business is growing by day and he has since bought three containers as the demand for bigger space is becoming evident.

The containers are situated metres away from his grandmother’s house.

He is planning to add a fast-food restaurant at the new business site which is due to start operating before the end of the year.

“Some of our clients spend a number of hours at our business and they end up needing something to eat, which is why we now want to open a restaurant here,” he said.

He is planning to employ six youngsters when the business is fully operational before end of this year.

Skata and Gobodo go a long way back, having met at church, where they struck a friendship.

Skata said he never received any formal training for fixing computers.

“I fix computers according to my knowledge. I started with fixing my PC. I am a very creative person. I am self taught.”

It has not always been smooth for the business though, as at one stage, he had to close shop and seek employment; business was bad.

“I had to work to raise funds to revive my business. It is now growing more than ever before. I am planning to open branches all over the country in future,” he added.

He matriculated at Chris Hani Secondary School, in 2011.

He enrolled for a Degree in Humanities at the University of Cape Town (UCT), but he quit after three days, in 2012.

He then enrolled for LLB (Bachelor of Laws) at the University of Western Cape (UWC) but he also quit after three days, in the same year.

Skata then enrolled for an Electrical Engineering Diploma at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), and there he also quit in less than two weeks of attending.

Starting the business was the only thing on his mind more than studying.

“My grand-mother urged me to go back to school, but there was this vision of starting a business in my mind. I have set the goals for my business, which I am optimistic that I will realise.”

He has since formed a partnership with Harry Gwala Secondary School and other schools in the area where he teaches learners computer literacy, but they will only get their certificates after they finished matric. He also wants to provide internships for students who are in universities.

Gobodo said he was “happy” that the business is growing and that they are “planning to create jobs for youth.”

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