The narrative of South Africa’s iconic township, Soweto is rapidly evolving to more exciting and euphoric times. For the longest time, Soweto was primarily regarded as a political staple , hence many historical events took place here.
Several innovative businesses have since spawned – leaving many inspired to carve out their own entrepreneurial journey. Even the types of businesses that are thriving in Soweto mould an exciting narrative of entrepreneurship in this region.
The scope of business in Soweto, no longer circulate around butcheries, petrol station franchises or spaza shops – there’s a new batch of entrepreneurs who are creating a fresh new line of business ideas such as breweries, clothing labels even thriving tattoo parlours.
Scroll through some of Soweto’s finest and exceptional entrepreneurs!
1. Refiloe Rantakoe – Borotho Bakery.
Refiloe Rantakoe is raising the Jabavu flag high with his bakery business called Borotho Bakery. After hustling to keep his family financially afloat from the age of eight, the Bread King, as he is affectionately known, identified a gap in his immediate community, and established a cost effective bread for all.
2. Sakhumzi Maqubela – Sakhumzi Restaurant.
Sakhumzi restaurant remains one of the most prolific establishments in Soweto, especially on Vilakazi Street, hence it was the first restaurant to be unveiled in the same street.
3. Rhulani Shibambo – Kota King.
After taking over from his family business in Protea Glen, 25 year old Rhulani Shibambo reinvented the strategy of the business by introducing over the top but edible Kota menus. The business has since grown to impressive heights. The success of the business is a combination of Rhulani’s street smarts and his education from the international hotel in Sandton, where he obtained his food and beverage management qualification.
4. Thokozani Mathenjwa – iGemmere.
Ginger juice or Gemmere as referred to, in many black households, has always been a staple in many townships during weddings or funerals. Thokozani Mathenjwa’s entrepreneurial mind was on sharp mode after getting inspired to create a business – selling organically brewed ginger juice.
5. Soweto Ink.
The business of tattoos has proven to be quite a viable one, even within the township realm. Founders of Soweto’s popular and highly recommended tattoo parlour, Sibusiso Dlamini and Ndumiso Ramate are successfully spearheading this establishment in Soweto.