Disabled shoe shiners make name

2019-06-13 06:00
Some of the members of the Master Shine Invigorator Exclusive Shoe Shine and Services.

Some of the members of the Master Shine Invigorator Exclusive Shoe Shine and Services.

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Seven disabled people are shining all the way to the top with their shoe shining business.

Anda Mthulu, Noxolo Langa, Masixole Mawonga, Abongile Qaba, Andile Krenya, Makhosandile Fongoma and Babalo Pholose are making a name for themselves.

Instead of sitting in their respective homes and wait for government to give them a living they started Master Shine Invigorator Exclusive Shoe Shine and Services in 2010. Since then, they have been shining shoes for staff and the general public. They started the business at Site C taxi rank and later moved to one of the big companies in Pinelands.

Mthulu said because they were unemployed and disabled it was hard for them to find work. “It is hard for an able-bodied person to find work and even harder for us disabled people,” asked Mthulu.

He said they then decided to start their own business and to create jobs for other disabled people, especially women.

Mthulu added that after formalising the business they were fortunate enough to get help which saw them shining shoes of employees at Old Mutual head office.

“We could not wait for hand-outs from government any longer which is why we decided to be innovative,” he said.

Mthulu said despite getting a lot of support they still face a lot of challenges including transport. He said people, including drivers, look down on them when they take the taxis because they use wheelchairs. He claimed they also have to pay for wheelchairs.

Langa, the only woman in the company so far, said they get a lot of support from their customers. “We get a lot of positive attitude from customers who tell us that we are a motivation to them by waking up and doing something every morning,” she said.

She said her life changed for the better when she became part of the company and encourages other women to come out of their homes and join the company or find something else to do.

They added that they want to expand their business if other big cooperates can come on board so they can offer them their services and that they also would like to open shops in malls.

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