Meet Lusanda Madinda, founder of Madinda Shoeshine. Lusanda is a passionate and inspiring entrepreneur. He grew up in the township of Gugulethu situated in the cape flats area of Cape Town. Gugs, well-known for much that is good from struggle icons to fun and entertainment yet the poverty and social dilapidation is hard to miss, perhaps more so now than it was during his upbringing.
Rather than accept the hardships as a reason for failure, Madinda attributes to them his ability to think out of the box. A trait that has come in handy not only in business but also his IT career before embarking on business ventures.
Five years ago, he took to the road and moved to Johannesburg; taking his learnings, positive outlook and unrelenting drive with him. Having ignored it for many years and choosing to rather focus on his career, it was in Joburg that he decided to bring his vision of a shoeshine business to fruition. In 2015, confronted by the same realities he’d left back in Cape Town; that very same poverty and deprivation, he decided to start MADINDA SHOESHINE.
Seeing how it would help close the gap in unemployment and stand at the forefront of the fight against poverty, he devoted time and committed money and other resources to bring the business to life and true to his new-found purpose, the first person he employed was someone he met on the street and this would be the person that would be responsible for the management of operations and other staff at the premises of their first client, Barclay’s Africa (ABSA Towers in the Joburg CBD).
He shares that upon reflection, “…I’ve always believed that I could do something with my life that would make a difference to other people lives because it’s very rewarding to do so. This was the seed that has created an appetite to start my own business.”
In the end, this is how MADINDA SHOESHINE was founded; to create a platform for job creation and skills development but not only that, he recognised that if it was to be sustainable, the business had to solve a real problem.
You’d have to work hard to miss his passion as he shares what he calls the Value Proposition. As if pitching to a prospective client, he shares the reasoning, that we live in a fast pace world. In the midst of these hurried lives, we hardly have any chance to take care of our shoes; on average one of the most expensive items of clothing we own. We invest so much money on them yet by not taking proper care of them, we shorten their lifespans considerably.
He explains that there’s a good reason for this. To take proper care of them, it takes time, attention and technique. All things that we’re short of. MADINDA SHOESHINE addresses that need. “…Our ambition is to promote the culture of shoe care and to enable our customers to extend the lifespan of their shoes and as such also enjoy a deeper relationship with them…” he shares.
MADINDA SHOESHINE has been in operation for nearly 2 years now, specialising in providing professional Shoeshine and Shoe Care services. They’ve now expanded their service offering to include shoe repairs and cleaning suede and sneakers. The company has 4 permanent shoeshine stations in major corporate buildings such as Absa and Growth Point, spread across Sandton and Johannesburg CBD, which operates from Monday to Friday.
The company also provides a premium shoeshine experience at events such as brand activations, conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, customer appreciation, product launches, and other suitable events.
Lusanda says, “Shoeshine experience is a proven winner that creates excitement and an eye catcher for many types of events. The guests enjoy a first-class experience; making them feel more important and well cared for.”
Two organisations stand out for him regarding the business’s journey. The first is ABSA (Barclay’s Africa) without which he feels the business would not even exist. They were the first to share his vision and the ones who gave him a lifeline which allowed him to give a lifeline to his employees. The other is Kiwi through their enterprise development programme.
He says they received, “…much needed financial support that has been vital to the development of our business. Through this collaboration, we have managed to establish and maintain a long-term relationship with Kiwi and other clients, as a result they use our services on a regular basis because they are very appreciative of the value-add we bring on the table.”
Throughout the period of running this business, we have managed to be part of big events such as Afropolitan 50th Edition Show, Soweto Fashion Festival, Pick n Pay & Spar Trade Shows, DSTV Delicious Festival, Shell Product Launch, Absa Customer Appreciation Month and much more.
“We are grateful and forever thankful for our relationships with Kiwi, Absa and Growthpoint Properties because they collectively helped our business to thrive and move forward. Quality and great customer service are very important in this business. Looking ahead, we aim to be a local preferred Shoeshine and Shoe Care service provider of choice and we want to see the business carrying on with exponential growth from what it is today”, he says.