Mar 2020 1st Edition

Water entrepreneur’s thirst for success

Written by Dale Hes

Sister and brother team Sanele Masilela and Banele Nkosi are looking to inspire a whole new generation of black entrepreneurs, as they chase their own dreams of success.

Masilela (29) is the director of a purified water business in Germiston called Cystil Water, which she started with just R500.

Ever since she was a little girl, Masilela has dreamed of being successful. Sanele Masilela runs a purified water business called Cystil Water.

After matric, Masilela could not afford to study further  and found a job at a call centre company, which she hated. She then found a sales job which promised good pay.

“I began selling flavoured water for the owner and making her a lot of money. But at the end of the month, we would not get paid.”

Masilela knew that she had a talent for sales and a passion for entrepreneurship, so with just R500 starting capital, she decided to start selling her own water in 2016.

“I started alone, buying some stock and selling it to shops. On the first day, I came back with R800 and had made a R300 profit,” said Masilela.

Masilela steadily saved up her money to buy a water purifying machine and began producing her own water from her mother’s garage. She now employs three people to assist her, while Nkosi is the company’s business development strategist.

“We have secured clients, including clubs and pubs, to which we sell branded water. We also get orders for events, like weddings. The business is not where I want it to be yet, but it is growing,” said Masilela.

Nkosi says he admires his sister’s complete dedication, passion and hard work.

“She has been relentless in chasing her goals. Even when everyone around her questioned her and even when she wasn’t making money, she stuck with it.”

Nkosi added that they want to inspire a whole new generation of hard-working black entrepreneurs.

“The mindset of many of our peers is that government will give them everything. We want to inspire a new generation that achieves success through their own hard work and determination.”


Masilela’s five tips for success

  • Choose to do something you are passionate about or good at.
  • Use the internet to research the field you want to start your business in.
  • Train yourself on how to start a business. Understand all the challenges.
  • Save money and invest it back into growing the business.
  • Keep working towards your dreams no matter what people say.
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