88 Vilakazi Street is home to Beach 88 a thriving business that is celebrated for bringing a luxury party beach vibe to Soweto’s most famous street, it features a large area of beach sand.
Kaya Biz with Gugulethu Mfuphi spoke to the owner of the establishment, a budding businessman Nkululeko Dada Maseko who shared his entrepreneurial journey, and how he started selling muffins in high school, moved into corporate and made a full circle back to running his own business.
Listen to the full conversation here:
On the impact of the lockdown
The Covid-19 lockdown might have changed the face of 88 Vilakazi Street but the pandemic hasn’t been able to stifle the creativity of Nkululeko Dada Maseko.
He has reinvented his hospitality business in Soweto’s Vilakazi Street, a tourist drawcard that is the only street in the world where two Nobel Prize laureates – Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu lived.
He shared how he had to relook his business model.
“The impact was quite severe, we went from three to four good months of good trading to the next day having to close our doors and not being able to trade at all. These were businesses that were our foundation. We were looking to build those businesses to leverage them to other properties. We then went through six, seven months of not trading. It built our entrepreneurial awareness to diversify the business.”
Maseko’s business, 88 Beach also manage to get help during the Covid-19 lockdown and was one of 400 hospitality industry businesses that are receiving support from Diageo South Africa after the financial losses caused by the pandemic.
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They were helped with stock injection and marketing support, as well as a movement to ensure the promotion of responsible drinking.
During the lockdown, he also started playing in different sectors that also helped with sustaining him when there was a lack of income.
He shared plans for the future, a possible hotel on the property, how he plans to turn the venue into an all season entertainment hub.