Businessman defies the odds

2019-11-07 06:00
Bongeka Nkosana (red tshirt) and Neziswa Dyum are busy working while the company owner Sibulele Dyum watching them.PHOTO: unathi obose

Bongeka Nkosana (red tshirt) and Neziswa Dyum are busy working while the company owner Sibulele Dyum watching them.PHOTO: unathi obose

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Sibulele Dyum (32) from Samora Machel, in Philippi, didn’t allow disability to determine his success.

The wheelchair-bound businessman is the founder and owner of S.H and Dyum’s company. The company specialises in cleaning refuse bins in and around Samora. He has three staff members, two of which are permanent and one is a casual. He also has a driver who collects all the bins around the community to drop it on an open field at Lillian Ngoyi street where it is cleaned and disinfected. It is then taken back to their respective owners.

Dyum said he was shot in the waist during a robbery while standing on the N2 in 2008. He was rushed to Groote Schuur hospital where he spent a month before being transferred to the Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre at Lentegeur hospital in Mitchell’s Plain, where he spent five months.

After he was discharged from hospital in 2009 he decided to sell small items instead of sitting at home and doing nothing.

“When I came out I started by selling lose cigarettes, airtime, sweets and chips. I used to hang packets of sweets and chips on the gate for people passing by could see them,” he said.

The father of two said he registered his company in 2012 hoping to get government tenders to support his family.

“I tried to apply for tenders but I’ve never got one,” said Dyum. “I’m not that kind of a person who likes to beg for everything from other people.”

In 2016 he started his cleaning business, saying he did not allow his disability to change his mentality. He said he went door to door trying to convince people to support his business.

“In the beginning I got more than 100 bins but as the time goes the numbers dwindled. Currently, I’m cleaning 67 bins because some of the people withdraw,” he said.

He charges R100 per month to clean a single bin every Wednesday and Thursday.

Dyum is urging people with disabilities not to look down on themselves and to rise above their situations. “I wish as disabled people we can get recognition in our communities whenever there is an activity or rally so that we can speak on our own,” he said.

One of the employees, Bongeka Nkosana said she is able to support her family with the salary that she earns from the company. She started working for the company in 2016. “I’m happy and enjoying what I’ doing,” said Nkosana. She described Dyum as a generous person who wanted to see people around him succeeding.

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