INSPIRING: Homeless man gets “second chance”, opens appliance repair business


A 26-year-old man from KwaBhaca in the Eastern Cape got a second life and built a home for himself thanks to the success of his new business …

Nkosinathi Tongo, who moved to Durban for greener pastures, later became homeless while struggling to make a living. A lot has happened for Tongo thanks to his hard work and determination and a strategic partnership between The Shoprite Group and The Appliance Bank.

“My life was turned upside down when my cousin kicked me out of his house. In the streets where I started selling candy, I met a woman who mentioned The Appliance Bank, ”explains Tongo.

He joined the program in 2019 – a decision Tongo calls the best of his life – and now owns a successful equipment repair business in Durban’s central business district.

Entrepreneurship supported

“By repairing equipment, I managed to start my own business and even hired someone to help me out in the business on a permanent basis,” says Tongo.

While many small businesses struggled during the Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa, Tongo made enough money to buy land and build a house in his hometown of KwaBhaca.

The help of the organizations enabled Tongo not only to build a house, but also enabled him to finance his older sister’s tertiary education.

How the initiative works:

The Appliance Bank trains unemployed men to repair defective or faulty household appliances. Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets in Western Cape and Gauteng have been donating faulty devices to organizations for several years. As of January, this initiative expanded to include the retailer’s KwaZulu Natal division.

11/02/2021; LR; Checkers Pavillion Precious Nzama and equipment technician Nkosinathi Tongo

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