Industrious UFH student graduates with a Bachelor of Commerce

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Kholosa Mfazwe who made it her business to keep people’s shoes clean by starting Keay’s Takkie Wash, graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce this week – certifying her passion for entrepreneurship.

The 25-year-old from Zwelitsha township near Qonce is currently pursuing her Bcom Honours Degree in Business Management at UFH. She started her takkie (sneaker) cleaning business in the first year of her undergrad studies four years ago.

“The idea for Keay’s Takkie Wash came to me after I noticed that many students were walking around with dirty shoes. I saw an opportunity to provide an affordable solution to this problem,” she says.

According to her, the business has provided financial support for herself, especially her living costs while doing her honours as she is not funded – due to her being previously funded by NSFAS.

"I come from a home that is not privileged, so my business filled that financial gap. When I started it, I was funded by NSFAS, the allowance of R1500 that I got was not enough for my needs and wants, so I could supplement my income with the profit I made.”

Apart from sustaining her financially, Mfazwe says  Keay’s Takkie Wash has taught her several business skills, such as budgeting, planning, dispute resolution, customer service and how to carve out a competitive advantage to set herself apart from competitors in nearby suburbs.

“I realised that I needed to offer the best service, and since my target market was students, I needed to be affordable. Through Keay’s Takkie Wash I have learned a lot about business and making sure that customers are satisfied. It makes me happy to see the smile on the faces of my customers. The feeling never gets old,” she chuckled.

She credits her late grandfather, Ntozelizwe Mfazwe for inspiring her passion for business. “My grandfather was a real champ, and he always told me to work hard for my goals. He was the one who told me about the importance of academic achievement and encouraged me to pursue my dreams with determination and perseverance.”

She started her entrepreneurial journey at Xolani Senior Secondary School, selling sweets and chips to my fellow learners for “petty cash”.

“That was the start of my love for business. It’s amazing how the smallest things can lead to bigger things.”

Commenting on entrepreneurship as the key to unlocking economic development, Mfazwe said: “Entrepreneurship should be supported and encouraged, as it could help the country tackle its economic woes such as the high rate of unemployment and slow economic growth. I believe in entrepreneurship as a vital part of our economy and I am proud to contribute to its growth,” Mfazwe said.