Young riders scoot(er)ing into a bright future
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Cape Town – Three young scooteristi will soon be starting their own businesses, and all because each of them decided that they needed to (literally) expand their horizons by learning to ride.
Kelly du Plessis (23) was referred to Scully’s Scooters in Green Point by the Harambee employer intiative. Quiet and unassuming, she nevertheless did so well in Scully’s riding and business skills programme that she wound up working for the Western Cape Community Development Foundation, helping young people like herself – educated but unemployed – realise their potential.
Caroline Phike (25) completed two years of a law degree before she ran out of money and turned to Harambee, looking for a way to make a living; after successfully completing the Scully’s programme she was introduced to Charl van der Walt, head of Macdonalds’ delivery division, where her riding skills, feisty nature and infectious laugh soon made her one of his star riders.
Recardo Swail (27) is a true self-starter - he walked in off the street and signed up at one of Scully’s open days, completed the school’s riding and business skills course and rode into a job at Macdonalds. But his huge smile, gentle nature and genuine motivation had so impressed Scully’s local head Linlee Solms that when she was asked to recommend three star riders for a business opportunity, his was the first name that came to mind.
Not-for-profit social upliftment enterprise Relate raises money for international charities and create jobs in South Africa by selling beaded bracelets (as worn by Britain's Prince Harry and his girlfriend, Meghan Markle).
It was Relate’s Neil Robinson who asked Solms to hand-pick three candidates for a new entrepreneurship mentoring initiative. Soon Du Plessis, Phike and Swail were being intensively coached in small business management and advanced riding skills, and on Friday 24 March the three graduated from the programme. Robinson presented each of them with a brand new MotoMia scooter and full riding gear and by the end of the month each will be running their own Uber Eats delivery service.
But the story doesn’t end there; Phike will be focusing her services on Cape Town’s law firms with a view to a possible internship and a return to her law studies, while Du Plessis will also be studying in the mornings and doing deliveries in the afternoons.
Swail, meanwhile, has been selected as the first of a planned group of riders who will be collecting breast milk from new mothers whose babies are being treated in Groote Schuur Hospital’s neo-natal unit and ferrying it to the hospital where it can, quite literally, save these infants’ lives.