Selling furniture to feed his family

2019-08-01 06:01
Blessed Nhekede and Fungai Duri are making a tire seat.PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE

Blessed Nhekede and Fungai Duri are making a tire seat.PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE

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After struggling for almost eight years to get a job in South Africa Blessed Nhekede had to improvise and do whatever it takes to put food on the table for his family.

The Zimbabwean-born saw a gap in the market of woodwork, particularly in the township and decided to start his own business.

Nhekede, who is residing in Samora Machel, is operating his business along Jakes Gerwel Road. He produces a range of items including tables, gates and kennels among others. He says he has almost 10 of years experience in woodwork.

“I never went to school to be trained for this job. It’s a natural skill. The first thing I made was a kennel for my dog,” said Nhekede, adding that he loves dogs.

He said he was the first person to work in that area. He said all the other people tha t work in the area were trained by him. “I trained them, then I allowed them to open their own businesses,” he said adding that there are about 12 businesses selling along the road.

Nhekede said he started with six pallets to make kennels.

“People were buying my kennels. Then I also added picnic tables, gates, wooden spoons, security houses, and wendy houses,” he said adding that he can do any related to woodwork.

Nhekede described his market as places for fast food and taverns.

“I do sell my stuff in fisheries, hotels, tshisa nyama, taverns and for personal use. For now, I have two people who assist me,” he said.

He described his job as challenging because it needs a lot of effort and dedication.

“Most of the times we are relying on clients to put in orders. We make some samples for our clients to display them. There is no guaranteed income,” he said.

He added that the prices depend on what the client wants.

Nhekede mentioned a lack of enough space to operate as the main challenge.

“I used to leave my stuff outside along the road, but the criminals steal it. So, I have to put them inside after work. And its difficult to work when it’s raining because we are working in an open space,” he said.

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