'In a much better place': Teen starts food delivery business after emotional post-matric gap year

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19-year-old Bongeka Mkhize is exploring the food delivery business.
19-year-old Bongeka Mkhize is exploring the food delivery business.
Bongeka Mkhize
  • A Soweto teen is turning her life around through a fast food delivery business.
  • Bongeka Mkhize, 19, who wanted to study towards a teaching career, told News24 that she was rejected from her university of choice in 2022.
  • After she was rejected for a second time in 2023, she started the food delivery business.
  • GOOD NEWS DAY IS BACK! News24 celebrates the people restoring pride in our country. Read their stories here.

A Soweto teenager who ventured into a food delivery business after she was forced to take a post-matric gap year, feels hopeful again.

Bongeka Mkhize, 19, planned to study to become a teacher after passing matric in 2021. However, her application was unsuccessful, so she spent the year at home.

Her father's death early last year made her feel hopeless. 

"I started to isolate and avoid people after my dad's funeral. The rejection didn't hit me immediately as I was too focused on losing my father. He died during that period. When I returned to Johannesburg, the reality of taking a gap year hit me. I applied to rewrite some subjects and reapplied to universities and my applications were rejected again. This time, it was due to space. There were too many applications," she told News24.

Mkhize said she reached out to a neighbour who owns several bikes and rents them to a fast-food delivery service.

She said: 

I would be walking on the street and suddenly feel like crying. I decided I couldn't live this life. I wanted to change. I asked my neighbour for advice, and my mother helped me buy the bikes. I have managed to lease all three, and I'm waiting to see how the business progresses. I am hopeful that I will buy more scooters in December.

Although she has plans to expand her business, she hasn't given up on her dream of becoming a teacher.

"If I get an offer to study at university, I will take it and ask my mother to continue the food delivery business," she said, adding that she felt more empowered and positive about life since founding the business.

"I am in a much better place emotionally. I feel more hopeful and positive about life and my future," she said.

READ | Atteridgeville's 'Mr Mayor' on a mission 'to change lives and inspire young minds'

But her efforts don't stop there.

In between overseeing her business, she helps other young people who want to join the business by sharing information online.

"It's like a community of people who want to start a similar business, and those who are already in it. I also help them by answering any questions they may have and sharing information about the business," she said.

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