Ten-year-old East London learner a budding entrepreneur

Avuma Mandondo

“I juggle between playing with my friends and running my business…”

Entrepreneurship affords one some financial independence and it is one aspect that the South African basic education department still needs to cultivate and include in their curriculum.

There has been an outcry around this issue and has sparked many debates, some arguing that instead of life orientation, there should be a subject that will focus on equipping pupils with business skills, so they can be able to start their businesses which will not fail in the long run.

Avuma Mandondo did not wait for basic education representatives to heed to the cries of South Africans. This East London 10-year-old boy is selling ice pops and because it’s now summer, his business is booming.

The distance that Mandondo walked with his friends to get ice pops evoked his interest to start his own ice pops business. “East London is usually hot in summer and one could do with affordable ice pops and because I don’t really have competitors close to my home, I figured that business of this nature would thrive,” said Mandondo.

He further shared that “all I had to do was to create a poster, considering that I had all the stuff I needed to make ice pops at my disposal.”

Mandondo gave us a glimpse of his future plans. “When I grow up I want to own a bakery since I love baking and perhaps sell ice cream as well, “he said.

He also revealed that he wants to own a consulting company, just to make more money so he can be able to take care of his own living expenses.

Mandondo from his schedule still makes time to enjoy his childhood. “I juggle between playing with my friends and running my business, I don’t play far from my place, so that I can always be available when my customers come to buy”, he shared.

“I run a couple of days a week with my cousins but on Saturdays I usually jog with my mum,” said Mandondo.

Mandondo’s parents are conscious that he is a smart kid but the business idea came as a shock as they still considered him as a ‘baby’. “A lot of questions came to mind, such as, is he going to be an entrepreneur as well? I started a business when I was in high school selling muffins, snacks and sweets but not in primary school, “shared Milisa Mandondo- Avuma’s mother.

Dreams whether big or small need to be nurtured in order for them to come to fruition. With this in mind, Mandondo’s parents made a conscious decision to assist and support their son. “We assist him with stocking and financial literacy, we just taught him about profit this week; how to calculate it and the importance of making a profit,” revealed Ludwe Mandondo-Avuma’s father.

Upon learning of Mandondo’s business, his father shared his excitement on Facebook. It is evident that Mandondo’s dad’s Facebook status landed on the relevant ground. ZN Global, graphics, logo and website design company offered to lend their hand to upgrade Mandondo’s business image. “Zukisani Ndwendwe of ZN Global offered to help Avu with branding after he saw Avu’s dad Facebook status, at no cost and that was awesome,” shared his mother.

Mandondo’s father added that “branding allowed Avuma’s ice pop shop to have a corporate image and we printed him posters and copies are placed in strategic places.”

“He has a great potential to become a sort after Businessman but we have always been committed to support him in whatever career path he chooses to follow,” concluded Mandondo’s dad.

By Vuyokazi Mdlungu