More than 43,000 South Africans make a living sorting through people’s waste, separating it for sale to recycling agencies. 8,000 of these impoverished South Africans call the townships and slums of Johannesburg home. Sifiso Ngobese was lucky enough to receive an education and wanted to give back. He quit his job in banking and started Unconventional Media, empowering informal waste collectors and giving them hope for a better future.
Sifiso designs and manufactures functional and durable recycling collection trolleys with sufficient space for corporate marketing turning “Abomakgerezas”, a slang term used to describe waste collectors but which actually ‘means people who work extremely hard on the streets to survive’, into mobile billboards.
Not only do his team of Abomakgerezas now have stable trolleys in which they can fit more recyclable materials to sell, they also share in the profits generated from advertising on their trollies, providing an additional source of income.