Site B’s bedmaker has spring in his step

2018-08-16 06:00
Monwabisi Phama started to make and sell beds in Khayelitsha two years ago.PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

Monwabisi Phama started to make and sell beds in Khayelitsha two years ago.PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

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One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so the saying goes.

And that seems to be the case for Monwabisi Phama (58), from Khayelitsha, who fixes old beds to resell them.

He makes them look new and sell them in Site B’s Mew Way.

The self-taught upholsterer said he started making them look new two years ago.

He only buys fabric and covers, the planks and bed springs he collects from used and fix them.

He then takes on the task of making new mattresses, sewing them into place and carving the wood to make new bases.

“I’m not the only one selling beds here.

“At first, I used to transport the beds (for other people) because I own a bakkie, but I realised that I could also make my own money remaking the beds. I watched as the upholsterers build the beds and bases from scratch. I have never looked back, since,” said Phama.

For the mattress he uses fabric, a cover, sponge and springs and for the base he uses wood and cardboard boxes and fits them together to determine the size of the bed, he said.

His beds come in all sizes. He has different price ranges for a double bed, a three quarter bed, and for single beds.

Transportation is inclusive of the prices.

He took to jumping on one of his finished products to prove their tenacity.

“My beds are very comfortable and can last for two to three years,” said Phama, as he demonstrated on one.

Most of his clientele is derived from the community, he said, because his beds are affordable even though some people might assume the beds have fleas.

Phama said lack of space and the weather is his biggest challenge.

“I work outside, so when it is raining, it means I have to work from inside the home. The downside is that the beds are then hidden from public view.”

Phama said he has ambitions for growth.

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