A budding young businessman from Harare is making waves in his community after successfully launching an interactive gaming café from his family home. Maliwa, who’s not new to business having launched his first business, a shisanyama in partnership with his brother last year, makes nearly R130 a day from the steady stream of curious children who visit his café to play games, charging them R1.50 a day.
As the Cape Argus reports, 24-year-old Lolwetu Maliwa says he is excited about the future and looking forward to expanding his gaming café, Hakumo, into neighbouring communities.
Speaking to the Cape Argus about how the idea to start a gaming café came about, Maliwa said he initially wanted to start an internet café, however, after noticing how congested the market was in his community, he went with the more creative version of an internet café that would still ensure foot traffic into Hakumo.
“I noticed how interested the children in the community were in games and saw the gap when I couldn’t spot a gaming café nearby. For me, this was an opportunity to keep these children off the streets and indoors learning creatively, while also learning about running a business and earning some money.
“I think it’s important that as young people we become entrepreneurs and also actively participate in driving the economy in our communities. I started with what I had, a few consols, and I built on that. However, to grow as an entrepreneur I still need support, there’s a lot I’d like to do so I need investors and sponsors to help me,” said Maliwa.
VPUU has been involved with Lolwethu and his brother Baxolile after they were won seed funding through the Siyayijika business incubator programme. Their business, Ekoneni Sweet Braai Place, sells affordable, quality braai meals to their local community in Monwabisi Park.
A key component of the Siyayijika programme is a 6-month mentorship. When Sinesipho Klaas visited Lolwethu, she was impressed by his new initiative, and decided to incorporate his new business into the mentorship programme.
As a mentor, I want to see Lolwetu succeed, that is why I began trying to source support and donors for him. I know he’s also appealing to organisations and companies that would like to assist and uplift young local entrepreneurs to come on board and help him grow his business. There are few things he still needs, such as chairs, desks and to put in place security measure, support would go a long way!Sinesipho Klaas, VPUU LED Facilitator
She plans to formalise his idea, and connect him to sponsors and partners. Lolwetu has his eye firmly on the future, and has big plans. He wants to grow the business beyond a gaming space into to a safe space where kids can come to learn about technology, have fun and upskill themselves.