Businesswoman of the week
My name is Simangaliso Gorejena. I am from Zimbabwe, currently living in South Africa (Gauteng).
I was an exhibitor at the recently concluded Proudly263 Business Expo and Trade Fair, and I have been fielding a lot of inquiries since May 18 – and all because of these bugs that you see on the picture above. Cockroaches.
This is a funny way to make my way into the newspapers, but here is the story, but if insects are in the news, then so be it.
Since I arrived in SA in the quest for a better life as a foreigner, I tried looking for work but as you all know its very difficult to get a job here in South Africa while you have so many responsibilities to take care of, school fees, household chores, talking care of the folks in Zimbabwe and so forth. Life, as we know it – is a constant struggle.
Besides not being educated or holding professional papers, I have always been business minded , and I would love to let women all over the world know that they can do anything that they put their minds to – that is business related not to sell their bodies for income.
MM CHEMICALS INVESTMENTS is a family business which I started after I had came across a situation where I needed a product for domestic use in the house.
Bugs were running amok, and I found that the flat where I was staying appeared to have this problem – as everyone of my neighbours was complaining of insects in their rooms.
I was really irritated as I do not like these creatures at all.
The product that I was looking for was a cockroach killer that would provide a lasting solution.
I tried everything, sprays, powders, chemicals – but they were not working according to what I was expecting as a worldwide known product.
So as time went by I met a man at one of the taxi ranks who sold me a product which he said worked very well and killed all bugs and cockroaches instantly.
At first I did not believe what he was telling me. I bought a sample and used it, and within minutes, the roaches were falling off from the cupboards and the crevices.
I went back to the man at the taxi rank and told him how the stuff was working. We struck a serious conversation – and the man agreed to teach me how to make the chemical.
Since then I have not looked back as I learnt how to manufacture the solution, and a few other products which previously I was not aware that the man was manufacturing (products like hair shampoo, degreaser, foam bath, dashboard cleaner, carpet shampoo, oven cleaner etc).
I agreed to the training, but paying an amount of money. I quickly ran to register my company as I had seen a business opportunity and a chance to make a difference as a woman in my life and my family.
I started marketing my products to my neighbours, and sell it to them, and so with time I went on supplying to different customers in different cities, and they would get good results.
I took on the challenge and submitted my time along with my son.
We started selling what we had manufactured to various people but transportation has been an issue in our business but we have managed to make our products know in Kempton Park and received quite a number of good feedback and testimonials from people who are extremely impressed with how the bugs have been exterminated by this product.
Challenges of running a business
I’m not surprised that my product has been selected as one of the top products that were on display at Proudly263Global, and if you go through the messages on our business forum, you will see what I am talking about.
In the first stages, there were challenges of capital to pay to the gentleman to train me, buy the machines to mix and raw materials.
Also getting market has been a challenge and is still a challenge because it affects the cash flow of which we have to pay different stakeholders.
I have faced a challenge of picking the niche in making other products besides the cockroach chemicals.
But so far so good I have a vision of being among the big companies supplying chemicals in Africa and we intend to study more regarding chemicals for better production.
I am hoping that my story here will serve to encourage every woman or man regardless of your educational qualifications that you can learn ‘do it yourself activities‘ that could really change one’s life.
I am also thankful to the organising committee of Proudly 263 for giving us this opportunity to market and advertise our businesses.
May God bless everyone here.
Proudly263Global CEO Stan Makwara checks out some of Simangaliso Gorejena’s products at the Trade Fair and Expo.
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