“I do not want to be poor again,” says Ntokozo Msimango, a young entrepreneur who is a Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Bachelor of Education Alumnus.
Msimango, the founder of Dlokovu Poultry Farm and Lawn Masters Gardening and Landscaping has been working around the clock to end the generational chain of poverty in his family.
Msimango was born and raised in KwaChwezi in Inkandla, north of KwaZulu-Natal. Dlokovu Poultry Farm was established in 2020 and they specialise in growing broiler chickens. The business has grown in great strides and has also erected a new chicken house that allows them to grow 100 to 400 chickens compared to the old structure that could only house 50 to 80 chickens. The farm offers live and slaughtered chickens and currently supply one local store, a local catering company and the community at large.
He had initially started a car washing business that was not successful, and the young poultry farmer says he took that as a lesson, that if you do not succeed at first, try again. Msimango comes from a disadvantaged background and his biggest inspiration is his late mother who sold cold drinks to sustain their household.
“I aspire to rescue my family and myself from poverty and break the cycle for the next generation. I am the first to get a degree in the family and I want the next generation to follow in my footsteps,” he said.
Msimango has diversified his business offering by also venturing into the gardening and landscaping business to supplement the revenue stream while he waits for his broiler chicken business to grow. This subsidiary called Lawn Masters Gardening and Landscaping is relatively new, but it has managed to secure work with four local schools and fifteen households.
“We are looking forward to signing contracts with more schools for their gardening maintenance services. To expand my business, I want to introduce other services that are not available in my community such as roof cleaning, water tanks cleaning and school painting,” said Msimango.
The DUT alumnus credits the DUT Midlands Entrepreneurship Centre and Student Desk (Centre) for its contribution to the success of his business, expressing that the Centre is the source of all his business knowledge.
“The Centre offered basic business training and taught me everything I know about business, most importantly, they trusted my business idea and provided me with funding to make it a reality,” he continued.
The major challenge for the entrepreneur was self-doubt, but with the assistance of the Centre, he was encouraged to believe in himself and his capabilities.
His advice to students who wish to start their businesses is to surround themselves with the right people.
“Choose the best crew that will believe in you and that will help you grow, for example, the fellow student entrepreneurs that I met at the Centre motivated me to become the person that I am today, hence the saying show me your friends and I will show you your future,” said Msimango.
Msimango indicated that in the next five years, he would like to see himself owning a even more businesses, including a poultry academy.
Pictured: Ntokozo Msimango