Successful entrepreneur Vukile Nontlanga is one of the newest additions to the CREAM team. The franchisee of CREAM’s new branch at Kyalami on Main Shopping Centre has a sentimental tie to the car wash industry that dates back to his childhood.
Find out how Vukile went from washing Mrs Buchanan’s car twice a week as a primary school learner to an experienced and successful entrepreneur that has just added a CREAM franchise to his portfolio:
“At 18, I started my first business, which is still operational today. I was determined to become a successful businessman and this determination, combined with my business management skills, has landed me opportunities to venture into various businesses.
I’m the Managing Director of Vukokuhle Holdings (Pty) Ltd and the company’s Strategic and Solutions Specialist. Over the past 22 years as an entrepreneur, I have managed to start successful businesses in the logistics, hair and beauty and ICT industries.
I have vast experience in both public and private sectors and have undergone extensive training to assist sales employees with enhancing their sales and problem-solving skills. I have worked with the well-known IT companies such as Xerox SA, Canon SA and CanCom SA and in the field of logistics, I have worked with the likes of Vital Distributors and the Edcon Group.
Making a gold Honda Ballade gleam
Looking back at my life, my love of offering my services, seeing a happy face, hearing the magic words of “Thank You” and receiving a token of appreciation started when I was around 8 years old. At the time I was living in Durban with my aunt, a domestic worker employed by Mrs Buchanan.
Mrs Buchanan loved me and looked after me as if I was her own grandchild. I went to live with my aunt when I was only 2 years old and I was told that Mrs Buchanan bought a baby stroller for me and always took me with her when she went to the shops and for walks in the park. As this was back in the 80’s during Apartheid, people were baffled by this.
When I was about 8, Mrs Buchanan saw me pushing a grocery trolly for someone in exchange for their change so I could raise pocket money. She called me and made a deal with me: I would stop pushing trolleys and wash her car twice a week before she went to play Bridge on Thursdays and Sundays before church for some pocket money. This was a much safer “job” for a young boy.
I still remember her gold Honda Ballade 160. I used to take my time to wash it sparkling clean. Mrs Buchanan used to say it was her lucky charm. She joked that whenever she went to play Bridge they would be focusing on how clean the car was and she would be focusing on winning.
That’s how I learned that I love washing cars and that a clean car makes the owner and driver feel good about him or herself.
Becoming a part of CREAM’s winning formula
Over the past year, I had been looking to invest in a car wash franchise. The Covid-19 pandemic put a hold on that search, but on June 4, I received an email that would change that. Nadeema Chothia, a Regional Manager from CREAM wrote to tell me about their franchise and winning formula. I was immediately interested and it reminded of Mrs Buchanan’s deal, which still holds sentimental value for me.
It took us a month and 11 days to seal the deal. I visited the CREAM branch in Heidelberg and then started looking for the perfect location, which ended up being Kyalami on Main Shopping Centre.
I was introduced to the CREAM team and received a welcome call from Alan while boarding a flight from Durban to Johannesburg. That call got me smiling for the whole 45-minute flight.
I can’t wait to be part of CREAM’s winning formula, with their technology and methodologies, and my passion for washing cars and seeing a happy customer driving away in their spotlessly clean car.”
CREAM Kyalami on Main will be opening very soon. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for the newest branch news and great specials!