Rembu Mphilo is a young businessman who also employs other youths.
“We are in an era where we find ourselves growing up in poverty-stricken communities where the majority of residents rely mainly on social grants to make ends meet. Again, it is for us to bring about change or development in these dire circumstances to ensure that we are able to create jobs for ourselves and others.”
When a youth says those words, it is an obvious indication that some youths are ambitious and determined to contribute to development in Vhembe District.
A young businessman based at Mailaskop village, Rembu Mphilo, also known as Jeffrey (a name given to him by his late grandfather), said that he had grown up in an environment that hardly made provision for extramural activities. “Only one football was available, and it was not enough to cater for all the youths because some of us were not that good at it,” he said.
However, Rembu had taken to observing and sometimes assisting in the small businesses that some family members were running for subsistence. Little did he know then that he was arming himself with life-long skills.
“My late grandmother was famous for making a very delicious home-brewed beer, while my late dad used to sell live chickens and vegetables,” he said. “But I had to learn more about business from my aunt, who is a reputable hawker at Litshovhu Secondary School at Madombidzha.”
In 2014, Rembu landed a short-term job on a local road-construction project. “My colleagues didn't have a place where they could go and get ready-made food during lunch time, and that pushed me to start this fast-food outlet,” he said.
Blue House Eating Palace sold fried potato chips, viennas, polony and atchar then. At the end of the business day, they used to make proceeds of about R150. They were operating in a small shack for two years.
“In 2016, I surrendered my kitchen in my three-room house and moved my business into that kitchen,” he said. “We added more items such as russians, cheese, kotas, baked fish, soft drinks and bread. Our service also includes a Lotto play point, and pay points for Avon accounts, DStv accounts, and electricity tokens. We send money to neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland.”
Since its inception, Blue House Eating Palace has provided employment opportunities for at least 15 people, with three currently working on a permanent basis. “We are happy that some of our former employees went on to land jobs at big restaurants such as Nando's, Black Steer, Galito’s and Tsogo Sun,” he said.
Date:01 April 2019 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.