Movie boffin keeps bins cleanest

2018-05-31 06:01
The bin cleaning business is thriving in Khayelitsha. Here colleagues of Buhle Sithela, Sivuyile Gwabe and Abongile Mqeto, do the good work. Inset: Buhle Sithela.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

The bin cleaning business is thriving in Khayelitsha. Here colleagues of Buhle Sithela, Sivuyile Gwabe and Abongile Mqeto, do the good work. Inset: Buhle Sithela.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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Buhle Sithela is a budding entrepreneur who says he is on a mission to bring development to his community.

Buhle (22) is the founder of Khayelitsha Bin Cleaning Project and owner of the mobile cinema known as Ekasi Outdoor Cinema.

Speaking to City Vision, he says his objective is to change the negative perception that people have about Kasi.

He was a sophomore at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, studying towards an Events Management Diploma, until financial constraints put paid to his dreams of one day running his own company­.

“I started the project in the mid 2015 after I dropped out in the second year of studies ... I decided to clean wheelie bins in my community every Friday after the refuse collection,” said Sithela.

He went house to house in his street, selling the idea of cleaning the bins to homeowners.

It seems the business hit the ground running, so to speak, for: “I asked two other guys to assist in the business, unfortunately, their indiscretion soon put paid to our continued association ... They could not wait till month end for their wages. It seems they were in it for quick cash.”

His never-say-die spirit soon saw him working with two new guys, and the association endures to this day.

“Now, we are cleaning about 50 wheelie bins and we are charging R50 per bin a month,” he said.

Buhle said the as the business requires a lot of water to clean the bins, the effects of the water crisis are not lost on them.

“We solicit bathing and washing water from households in order to offset the shortfall­.

He said they also use anti-germ liquids and scented detergents to make the washed bins leave a nice odour.

Buhle says his first love, however, is the film industry.

“I started the project because I wanted money to buy equipment for my cinema. While I was at school, I trained at Sweet and Short Film Company in Cape Town. And that is where the passion about film developed,” he said.

Buhle added that he started the Ekasi Outdoor Cinema in mid 2016, showing entertaining, educational and inspiring movies. On weekends and school holidays, he organises local kids to watch his movies.

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