Talking to alumni Sibusiso Bhabha Zulu, who had completed his National Diploma in Theatre Craft at the then Natal Technikon in 1993.
Zulu decided to go down the entrepreneur route and opened his business called 3A Coldrooms and Air-conditioning. It is a black owned company by Zulu which was incorporated in 2007. It manufacturers mobile cold-rooms and freezer rooms, mortuaries and installs air conditioners. The Durban-based company was named in memory of the triplets in his family, the late Akhona, Aphiwe, and Anele.
“The idea of mobile cold-rooms came about when I had to do a ritual for the triplets, when we had to slaughter three goats and a sheep. The food got spoilt and the idea of mobile cold-rooms came about,” he said.
Zulu spoke of the global pandemic and the effects of COVID-19 on his business. “The spread of COVID-19 has pushed our focus into more work in the refrigeration industry. We have several contracts and work with various companies and departments, and we were fortunate that Toyota SA provided us with training so that we could do the job properly. The greatest highlight for this journey was when we had to hire out 20 mobile cold-rooms for the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” he said.
COVID-19 had affected his business sales, hire and manufacturing of mobile cold-rooms. Zulu said that there are no big functions like Vodacom Durban July which was one of their biggest clients. “Plans to move forward is to concentrate more on what we have going on which is maintenance and installation of air-conditioning and refrigeration for different departments,” he said.
Zulu, who is part of the Durban University of Technology (DUT) alumni association, said the institution has helped shape his business. “DUT has helped in shaping my entrepreneur journey, the Centre for Small Entrepreneurship (CSE) has taught me a lot about business management, handling of the business finance, guiding me in the day to day running of my business. Managing the staff, health and safety issues. It has helped with all the things that we are not taught when we are doing the trade,” he said.
He further added that the work that he does requires intensive knowledge of the field. Anyone who wishes to get into this business needs to go to school. They also need to brush up on their skills regularly as everything changes from time to time.
“Push your passion to the fullest. Hard work pays. If you dream it, you will always achieve it. Please study more on your business, focus on marketing, pricing or costing, business management as well as SARS issues and labour issues. Thanks to DUT who had treated me well while I was doing the course. May this institution continue its good work,” he said.
Pictured: Sibusiso Zulu