Pics by: ECN
Pic caption: Baby Swag is popular with children in townships around King Williamstown.
With more than 50 % youth unemployment rate in South Africa young people are slowly starting to identify entrepreneurship as a way to make a living and contribute positively to the growth of the country. Some local young people are already coming up with innovative and interesting business ideas that are not associated with township lifestyle.
Baby Swag is one such business venture which offer a unique vibe to township children’s entertainment started by Ntuthuzelo Mbeseza, which he started in 2016.
Mbeseza hires out miniature cars to young children for their amusement, and his business has been a hit the locals who do not seem to have enough of his service.
“I started the business with the sole idea to bring toys seen as rich people’s toys to people that cannot afford them in the township. The business was welcomed by the community from the start and I have been inundated with enquiries about the toys and bookings from different races and class since I started.”
Mbeseza said that the business started by chance when people started to show interest from the day he purchased one toy for his child in Johannesburg.
“ I went to Johannesburg to buy one toy for my child and it was while we were waiting to be given a clearance to board the plane back home that he became impatient and nagged me to let him ride his toy. I relented and let him ride it around OR Tambo airport and everyone could not take their eyes off him, it was the same when we got back home. I took him to a mall here in King Williamstown and he was like a celebrity, people were taking pictures and that was when I decided to buy and hire the toys out to the community because its expensive to buy them, ” he said.
With the business structured in a way that local children can afford the thrilling experience of riding the cars right at their doorstep, this has also presented its owner with new challenges.
“The growth of this business has its own challenges that makes it difficult to serve my clients. I am having difficulty transporting the cars because of their size, I have to transport them one by one using my car when a customer needs many toys.”
Mbeseza is aware that for his business to grow he needs to invest in a modified trailer for transportation, and he is grateful to have been allocated a space which he uses as a park where children can come to ride the toys.
The cars are offered on rental for birthday parties or are hired out for a day of fun and returned the next day, they are also sold on two to three months to pay arrangement for those who can afford them.