June 2024 2nd edition

Shining a light into entrepreneurship

Written by Sinovuyo Mfiki


Meet Makatu Tshi- vhula, a young entrepreneur who went from working at a candle manufacturing factory to owning one.

The 26-year-old from Soweto is the founder of The Light Candles, a company he started in February 2020. Their catalogue ranges from regular household to fancy scented candles. His candles are popular among churches, traditional healers and event organisers.
After working for a candle-making company for five months, he used his newly found skills and knowledge to manufacture and distribute candles to his community and courier to other provinces.

He said he was determined to start his own candle-making business after working at the factory and acquiring the skill. 

However, he concedes that the journey has not been smooth-sailing, having had to overcome numerous challenges. Chief among these were funding and access to markets through distribution channels. 

“Currently it has been four years since I started the business, and it is growing stronger by the month. There are now more people who know about The Light Candles. I get over a mountain, and a new mountain appears, so I have been taking it one day at a time and it has been going quite well,” Tshivhula said.

What sets The Light Candles apart in the market is that they can makes up to thirty different colours. “Moreover, The Light Candles products last up to twelve hours whilst other brands last between six and seven hours," continued Tshivhula.

“From the idea of candle production, you need to have an idea of the type of candles you want to make, and you must look at what type of mould you want to have." There are diverse types of moulds, such as the human body figure, a car, cake, and moulds of a heart.

Furthermore, different shapes and sizes of moulds can be fragranced.  

The process of moulding a candle includes melting solid wax and pouring it into a mould of your preference while it is still hot.
“After a few hours you have a fully functioning candle,” he explained.

With South Africa celebrating Youth Month in June, Tshivhula said there should be a spotlight on young entrepreneurs for their businesses to be given exposure. 

“Young people play a huge role in the economy... We might not be making a lot of money, but it is a step in the right direction,” he concluded. ¥


For more information about The Light Candles, contact Makatu Tshivhula on 079 320 4106 or email him on makatutshivhula@gmail.com. You can also visit The Light Candles page on Facebook. You can also follow @lightcandlesza on Instagram.


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