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Twenty-five-year old Vuyile Maliti is a City Campus Business Management student who founded his own clothing business in 2014, called "WISER WAN" (‘wiser one’). Vuyile, a sole proprietor purchases clothing in bulk: T-shirts, hoodies, track pants, vests and caps, and brands them with his logo (WISER WAN) and popular motivational quotes. His clothing items are marketed via direct sales at a student-run Zumba class at the City Campus, business collaboration with another College of Cape Town student that enables both to share in the profits.
This is not Vuyile’s first entrepreneurial venture, he proudly states that he previously ran a cooking business in Port Elizabeth specializing in African Cuisine, this helped him to financially support himself and his mother in Queenstown. He also takes an example from his brother, Viwe, who owns a company called Maliti Group, a Health and Safety Management Services Consultancy in East London.
“The inspiration for the name of my clothing business came from my peers back at home who teased me for being the older and wiser one,” says Vuyile. “Where I come from, it’s not easy to get motivated, so seeing somebody in the street with an inspirational quote on his T-shirt can be very powerful. I would like my friends to get inspired through the promotion of business culture. Gangsterism, drugs and unemployment statistics are high, and I am happy to contribute to its decrease through my business initiatives.”
When asked about the next steps for his clothing business, Vuyile talks about expansion and mentorship. “I would love to receive support in the form of mentorship and sponsorship, and perhaps open up my own clothing manufacturing centre. I intend to have many partnerships and reach out to other brands in other nations, and develop my marketing outreach.”