“To be honest, I have to make ends meet” – how South Africans earn money through their sideline activities – The Citizen


The pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainty, job losses and despair, and many people have struggled to make ends meet.

Usually people are looking for alternatives to make up for the financial loss and better options to make extra money. The Covid-19 pandemic changed all of that.

These five side hustlers have made the most of their losses and unforeseen challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. An entrepreneurial journey that was in the works but driven by the coronavirus. These jobs require entrepreneurs who stand out from the crowd.

Artisanal candles

Zimbini Tokwe-Pakati, a marketing agent who has always had a passion for the entrepreneurial space and has been in business in the past, opened another way of her business, D’Light Candles and Diffusers, in 2020 to make extra money during the uncertainty .

She said, “To be honest, I’m going to have to make ends meet without those extra R1,000 putting you in a bad situation. I might not be feeling comfortable, I had to somehow get it working and I had more time to invest in my business because my full time wasn’t taking up most of my time. “

D’Light candles and diffusers. Image: Instagram

D’Light pronounced as joy is what the brand is about, what is fun. “You want something that you would love, that the customer would like, and candles tend to do that.”

Deciding which business idea to tackle, she said she’d eliminated what most people were doing right now and realized that something she enjoyed and loved was making scented candles and diffusers.

Providing consumers with a wide variety of options with different shapes, sizes and fragrances, Zimbini says that D’Light candles are elegant, affordable and of high quality. As with any new business, there were a few problems on the road. She explains that finding the right supplier is everything.

D’Light diffusers new range. Image: Instagram

“Due to Covid-19, the supplier was no longer in stock, which affected the shipment. It was challenging, daunting, I had to look for a new supplier, develop an assortment and start over. However, I have found a new supplier and things are slowly picking up again. “

D’Light was largely funded by using her money from her full-time salary, but she is happy to report that the deal is now balanced. Zimbini concluded that she has always worked to make it work by all means.

“To be honest, I’ve never been a person who wanted an income stream, and I never believed in having an income stream. This is something I want to develop and grow, from candles to diffusers to home decor. “

Gourmet snacks

The massive downsizing of jobs has affected many people locally and around the world. The need to create another source of income selling products that people don’t regularly find in a supermarket is growing in popularity.

Faiyazi Brey is one of the many people affected by the pandemic who have lost their jobs.

“When we were banned for the first time, I lost my job in April 2020. For this reason the side business was started and so began Gourmet Brittle. For me, it was breaking out of a rut I was in for eight months when I lost my job. “

Brittle only by its name, it is a hard candy made from a golden brown sugar syrup that is mixed with peanuts and can harden. It’s a very popular snack. But Gourmet Brittle is a healthier version, it’s homemade with different flavors like macadamia nuts, pistachios, dried fruits, and even other special flavors like salted caramel.

Noticing a trend, Faiyazi said, “Healthier foods are trending and I thought maybe I should work some healthier ingredients into my brittle.”

They come in simple packages and are perfect for snacks, great for kids, can be stored anywhere and are also very accessible.

Snacks that offer healthier options are becoming increasingly popular and Gourmet Brittle is offering them. Image: Delivered

Faiyazi also sees Gourmet Brittles in stores, businesses and the hospitality industry. Fortunately, she didn’t have a major difficult process.

“I created my Instagram page and was surprised to be contacted by an interested company that sells wholesale products. They asked me if I would be interested in getting my stuff from them so it wasn’t difficult. If your offering is unique, it won’t be difficult to find people to work with you. “

Gourmet Brittle – Dried Fruit Option. Image: Delivered

The future is bright, she concludes: “Ninety percent of people don’t want to work for a boss, we want to be the boss. So yeah, I want this to be my full time. Covid has forced people to do more than one job. I’ve just started a new job in a media agency. It’s exhausting, but to bring the two together well. “

To bake!

As more and more consumers ask for bespoke cakes, sweet treats, and many smaller features due to home lockout restrictions. Home cooking has become the answer. Visiting a bakery may not be the first option right now, but home-made pastries can challenge any professional bakery business.

Pearl Mahachi’s Pearly Cakes began in 2016 after she was completely unhappy with the outcome of her father’s birthday cake order.

“The experience wasn’t great; They billed me for an arm and a leg. You didn’t follow the instructions I gave about what the cake should be like. I complained and they tried to fix it but the cake looked like a hot mess in the end. If you can’t do things right, you can do it yourself. “

As a self-taught baker, she says that Pearly Cakes wasn’t a good year for her either personally. Eating becomes a comfort, found baking was therapeutic and made her feel a bit better. Pearl slowly picked up speed and grew orally from 2018 to 2019. Pearl had some loyal customers who made delicious baked goods.

Pearly Cakes stunning birthday cake for a customer. Image: Delivered

But there have been a few pauses over the years where self-doubt has been admitted to fruition, but 2020 was a different kind of pause.

“2020 was tough, the tough locks in Levels 5 and 4 where the baking business wasn’t seen as essential. People wanted things but they weren’t accessible, I couldn’t bake cakes, but this time I was able to experiment and create for my family. “

Pearl says baking was a way for her to make money to keep her going, as she was still doing some part-time jobs and trying to find a full-time job. Now she’s juggling a full-time job as a sourcing consultant and says it was difficult.

Pearly Cakes OTT Cupcakes. Image: Delivered

However, she wants 2021 to be the year she continues to pursue something that she loves and that she loves passionately.

“I have to find a balance and set limits. Pearly cakes will continue to be one of my sideline occupations. It’s not the only thing I want to focus on in the near future, but the baking of cakes and sweet treats for people will continue. “

Handcrafted jewels

Local accessories and merchandise have boomed over the years, and South African consumers have been demanding prouder, locally made fashion clothing and accessories.

Gugulethu Tshabalala Reise for her bespoke stunning GT Meadow earrings came about after she was laid off as personal assistant last year.

“After I was disappointed, I panicked, I had a baby, I had bills to pay, the feeling wasn’t nice. I had a lot of time to search for souls. What’s the next part for me? What do i want to do “

During this difficult time, she was currently studying digital marketing and helping her sister with her podcast and social media. She was able to discover her creative side and her love of fashion, the name GT comes from the initials of her first and last name and Meadow comes from Meadowlands, Soweto, where she was born.

GT Meadow earrings. Image: Delivered

She describes her earrings as modern African, colorful, stylish, funky, not a typical cliché of African designs, but still inspired by our bright and colorful nation.

It also struggled with inventory shortages due to company closures.

GT Meadow earrings. Image: Delivered

“I am African, I celebrate Africa, everything I create is everything I do. It’s a young company I’m just trying to navigate through making the best quality products. Everything is still out of pocket. “

GT Meadow is a busy business. Gugu would like to take the floor and add necklaces and rings to its range in the near future.

Local clothing

Kgomotso Makhubo, a graphic designer who created Mercury Wear, offers us more customized prints and clothing. It’s been a passion project for years but it was finally released after it took a lot of spiritual will and letting go of self-doubt.

“I needed some time, I needed perfection, that was the problem, the idea of ​​designs for Mercury Wear was in my head. I kept designing new things, playing with the logo and changing things. I felt like I was losing my mind, and when Covid-19 came I knew I had to go further and get it out of there. “

Mercury ware. Image: Delivered

He says this got him pushing, reshaping, and rethinking himself about how people viewed him, KG with some advantage.

The feedback improved KG’s mood: “People would say I’ve never worn anything like this. Ask yourself why they’re only finding out about it now. ”He prides itself on the turnaround time that people either order their t-shirts, bucket hats, and caps.

Mercury Wear. Image: Delivered

With budgeting and marketing concerns, a space that has largely become more saturated, new clothes sometimes take time to gain notoriety.

“Any competitor could say what makes them different from the quality. You won’t find a logo similar to mine. It is something you cannot copy even if you try to copy it. It doesn’t look the same. It’s all in the details. “

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