Drumming ahead with his innovative, portable Bluetooth speakers called Turn-Up, is Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) alumni, Siyabonga Innocent Ndwalane.
The Turn-Up Speaker, founded by Ndwalane, is a youth owned Bluetooth speaker and sound bar manufacturing company. His speakers have Aux, FM Radio, USB Port, Bluetooth connectivity and are perfect for outdoor gym sessions and as a home sound device. They use recycled PVC pipes from construction sites, in their small little way, decreasing the 15% waste created with construction material.
The charismatic and persistent entrepreneur believes passion and determination is what drives one to be the best they can be. For Ndwalane, this has proven to be apt, as he recently sought the attention of South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa at the 2018 African Renaissance Festival which was held in Durban. Ndwalane struck up a conversation with president Ramaphosa, requesting his help in promoting his business onto a national level. In return, the president took a few minutes to listen to his demo and personally took Ndwalane’s phone number, adding that he will contact him by end of June 2018. This was music to Ndwalane’s ears, who, is patiently waiting for the ‘call’.
The dynamic Ndwalane, who despite many attempts in trying to make a name for himself in the business world, has been persistent in fighting for what he believes in and it is finally starting to pay off. Ndwalane has been making waves in the portable speaker market, having already been featured everywhere. Ndwalane says the product shows that local inventors are capable of competing with their international counterparts. The former DUT student finds time to chat to students from all faculties, encouraging them to become entrepreneurs.
“DUT has played a big role in my life and this is my way of giving back to the institution by conducting regular talks with students on my journey of entrepreneurship. I also have a MoU with DUT which started last year and I want to be able to encourage DUT students to pursue their dreams and not give up. I was also given the Innovator of the year Award in 2017, so to be given such an accolade by DUT means that they appreciate and take the work that I do seriously,” he said.
In terms of the growth of his business, Ndwalane is excited that he has met up with South African businesswoman and older sister of South African businessman Patrice Motsepe. She has shown interest in him joining her incubator as well as Vivian Reddy, who wants to buy bulk speakers for corporate gifts.
The Turn-Up team is made up of five people and currently he is looking to expand as the demand for more speakers increases. “Besides producing speakers, I am now looking at making plasma screens, head phones and even a clothing range. We are busy doing the prototype so that will be on the cards soon,” he said excitedly.
Ndwalane is also going to Japan and Finland this year, and hopes to make his mark internationally.
For more information on the Bluetooth speakers contact 079 766 5619.
Pictured: Siyabonga Ndwalane, with one of his portable Turn UP blue-tooth speakers.