Entrepreneur and co-founder of Iziko Stoves Mr Lindo Duma is positively transforming the Durban community by employing rehabilitated substance abusers and helping them reintegrate into society.
Iziko Stoves are innovative cooking and braai stoves made from recycled geysers, gas cylinders and paint drums. The stoves can utilise various fuel sources and are sold by rehabilitated substance abusers.
Duma was part of the Graduate School of Business and Leadership’s Champion Programme in 2015. The programme is, a community development initiative which is part of a partnership between the KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Department (EDTEA) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He says as a young man who grew up in rural Ladysmith his main goal has always been to change the lives of others through creating jobs.
‘While doing my BCom Accounting studies in UKZN, I got involved in a student organisation called Enactus UKZN. Enactus gives students a platform to use the knowledge acquired from their studies to develop small businesses in communities. It was from this two-year experience that I wanted to start my own business. It was then when Iziko Stoves was born,’ said Duma.
Apart from using his social enterprise to re-integrate substance abusers back into society, Duma is also empowering students through Iziko Stoves Student Work and Entrepreneurship Experience Programme. The three month paid internship programme provides students with an opportunity to learn about business and social entrepreneurship.
‘In our experience of working with new graduates we have noted that most of them lack skills required in a work environment. These include basic things such as how to send a clear email, communicating with stakeholders, sending proposals and also personal self-confidence. This programme is designed to allow students to master the knowledge and confidence to run and lead projects, giving them the opportunity to gain new skills and also expose them to entrepreneurship while they are still at university,’ said Duma.
Looking to the future, Duma is looking forward to expanding Iziko Stoves’ operations and encouraging university to students to be entrepreneurs.
‘For me, the beauty about entrepreneurship is that it’s a platform that allows me to change the lives of others through creating jobs and earning an income. I want to show people that it is not as scary as people make it out to be,’ he said.
Words: Thandiwe Jumo