Khwezi Yamaphi’s story is the epitome of resilience and dedication. After suffering one of the biggest setbacks in 2019, he was more determined than ever to pick up the pieces and forge ahead. For Khwezi, proud owner of two Silulo Ulutho Technologies (“Silulo”) franchises, this setback meant starting from scratch. Kwezi’s internet café and computer training facilities were looted and vandalized during service delivery protests in Nomzamo, a small township just outside Strand in Cape Town. This unfortunate event left the entire Nomzamo Business Centre in shambles as other businesses were also looted and vandalized resulting in the subsequent reconstruction of the entire centre.
The looters stole computers and other operating equipment before vandalizing his facility and leaving it in what he could only describe as a “terrifying state.” What was once a vibrant, SETA-accredited facility, providing internet access and computer training to the residents of Nomzamo was now a distant memory. The facility suffered an even heavier blow when the looters returned the next day and robbed them of the remaining computers and equipment at gunpoint, leaving Khwezi and his staff with no hope of getting the business on its feet again. This loss crippled his business as he lacked funds to replace the stolen equipment, some of which were not insured at the time.
Khwezi’s journey with Inyosi Empowerment had started in 2017 when he applied for loan funding to acquire his business after being introduced to Inyosi Empowerment by Silulo’s executives. His application was successful, and Inyosi Finance NPC provided a loan to Khwezi’s company Funda Solutions (Pty) Ltd.
This was Khwezi’s first franchise, which he purchased in 2017 after initially buying a 50% stake in the franchise back in 2014, in line with Silulo’s franchise model. Before that he had been working for Silulo as a Café Assistant from 2006 until 2014 when he bought half the franchise. At the time, he only had half the amount to purchase the store, which was valued at R500,000,00. This only made him a 50% owner of the store. Through Inyosi’s Enterprise Development Information and Communication Technology (ED-ICT) fund, he was able to secure the remaining half to become a 100% owner of the Silulo Nomzamo franchise. Through Inyosi Empowerment he recently purchased the Silulo Paarl franchise, to which he also has 100% ownership.
After the store was looted Khwezi’s first call was to Inyosi Empowerment. Inyosi provided Khwezi with some grant funding to replace the stolen computers. In addition, Inyosi suspended interest and payments on his outstanding loan until his premises were repaired and were able to regain full operational capacity.
“Inyosi has been good to me. In fact, there was never a time where I was in need and they did not come through for me. I will forever be grateful,” Khwezi said.
Due to the high demand for ICT services in the Nomzamo area, Khwezi’s business has grown exponentially and now boasts three more staff members, bringing the total number of staff to five. Moreover, he initially operated from small store where he divided the training facility and the internet café, but currently both services are provided under the same roof as he now has a bigger working space.
“Inyosi assisted me in obtaining 100% ownership of both stores. For me, the fact that I could be granted credit and at such low interest rates is a very big thing. I cannot think of any bank or money lending organisation that could grant credit at such low interest rates,” Khwezi concluded.