He may be just six years old but this little guy knows exactly what he wants to be by the time he’s 18: a self-made millionaire creating jobs for millions of unemployed young South Africans.
And Omphile Mabitsela has already started the ball rolling. A little more than three months ago the Grade 2 pupil at Radford House – a small private school in Randburg, Joburg – founded his own stationery company, Quirk Quirk Inc, with the help of his mom, Prudence.
It started out as a class project, the pair tells us, and they turned it into a little company when Omphile told his mom he wanted to be a businessperson. He’s always been a creative kid and for the project he made what he calls his quirk quirks, origami emoji and animal figures, which can be used as bookmarks or for decorating desks.
“I made the quirk quirks and I gave one to my mom and asked her if I could be a businessperson.”
Omphile has now sold hundreds of his creations at R10 each to friends, family and people around Johannesburg via his website, quirkquirkinc.com. The little boy was motivated to start his company after watching his mother – who is managing director of learnership training academy Dynamic DNA – when she was hard at work.
When Omphile approached her with the idea, Prudence wanted to know if Omphile knew what he was talking about and asked him to introduce himself as a businessperson in a recording.
“Hello, everyone, my name is Omphile Mabitsela, the businessperson from Quirk Quirk Inc,” he said. Prudence (28) was sold.
“When he said that I said, ‘Wow, there’s definitely something here’.
He’s not thinking like a six-year-old, he’s thinking like someone who wants to build a sustainable business.”
Omphile is well aware that unemployment is a problem in the country. “There are people who don’t have jobs and that’s why I’m going to hire them,” he says.
“Also, when my mom and I go to the shops and the robot is red, we see people who are always asking for money and food. They don’t have to worry because I’m here, I’m going to hire them.”
With the quirk quirks being in demand, he’s already hired two of his friends to help him with the mounting orders. Although his business is still in its fledgling stages, he already has a team that believes in his vision.
Besides his mom and dad, Ashley (42), he also has the support of software developer Koketso Seamedi (24), who created and runs the website, and Phindile Dlamini (22), who takes care of the social media.
Prudence says the company is expanding this year with the introduction of pens and diaries, and that the business will soon be franchised to children under the age of 15.
“Omphile will train these kids himself,” she adds.
Besides making millions, the young entrepreneur also sees himself being president one day. As he puts it: “I believe in my dreams.”