A humble, unassuming entrepreneur

2018-04-05 06:02
Simon Mdani (32) has been making and selling quality stamped metal dog identification tags at the Circle Centre in Somerset West for the past 10 years.      Photo: Jamey Gordon

Simon Mdani (32) has been making and selling quality stamped metal dog identification tags at the Circle Centre in Somerset West for the past 10 years. Photo: Jamey Gordon

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For a young local entrepreneur working is more than just about earning a living. It is a job that is not only essential to the safety of humankind’s best friend, but undertaken with passion and pride.

“Unlike many others, I am very, very happy and enjoy what I do,” said Simon Mdani.

The humble 32-year-old, who has offered his services of making quality stamped metal dog identification tags at the Circle Centre in Somerset West for the past decade, has crept into the hearts of countless shoppers at the centre court with his friendly face and quality service.

Mdani recalls setting up his own small business in the hopes of making a profit in 2008 after being taught the trick of the trade as a high school pupil working for an entrepreneur who made and sold identification tags at weekend markets in Cape Town and its surrounds.

“All I needed were my hands, which I am very good with, and to acquire the equipment – metal letter stamps, brass cleaner and keyrings,” he said.

Mdani reckoned the most difficult part of the working process is precision, when lining up each letter for straight embossing. It is something he does with greater ease after 10 years and pushing out on average between 30 and 40 dog tags a week.

The hardworking, humble and respectable young man expresses gratitude for his business success. As he explains, in 2000 he had to leave behind his unemployed parents as a teenager and relocate from Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape, to stay with his older sister in Makhaza, Khayelitsha for better opportunities. He matriculated from Matthew Goniwe Memorial High School in 2002 but, owing to lack of finances, could not further his studies. He did, however, complete a few short courses to upskill himself.

“If I could choose a career, I would be a full-time missionary spreading the gospel,” said Mdani, who now focuses on becoming a successful businessman.

He says the most rewarding aspect of his venture is that “many dogs are found and saved through my work”.

What keeps customers coming back? Quality and friendly service, he reckons.

The determined entrepreneur can be seen in action at the shopping centre between 12:00 and 18:00 on Mondays, Tuesday and Fridays. The rest of his time he dedicates to working at a Somerset West bar and cleaning offices for a local company.

For more information, call Mdani on 074 842 1518.

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