Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Lere Mgayiya

The 32-year-old founder and owner of Lere's Shoe-Shine Experience

Lere Mgayiya, a young South African, is pitching his business idea to a room of entrepreneurs and students in central Johannesburg. He plans to offer the shack communities across his country much-needed access to baths and showers. The target for 2010 is annual sales of R2.9m (£230,000).

Is this the same person

Lere Mgayiya is no stranger to the word “no”. The 32-year-old founder and owner of Lere’s Shoe-Shine Experience, a familiar feature of both Cape Town and Johannesburg International Airports, has stood outside more than his fair share of closed doors

Lere started his career as a boarding cards distributor for South African Airways, and after a few years, he earned an enviable position as a supervisor. At this point, he felt he was fast approaching the peak of his career, but unknown to him, life held a different agenda.

After five years with the airline, Mgayiya was made redundant. A transition he never envisaged, at least, not yet; but one that would later become the push, he needed.

“I wasn’t ready to leave,” he recalls. “If the truth be told, I was afraid — it gave me a push.”

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