Swinky Mchunu (47) is what we call a Supersaver! With four established businesses, all started with her SaveAct savings and loans, this busy woman, with an easy laugh and kind smile, is now starting a new venture — children’s party entertainment.
She joined her first savings group in 2018, and is currently in two separate groups. Mchunu had always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and decided that she would fulfil this dream using her first savings group share-out in 2019. She bought a tent, adding to the one she already had, as she wanted to start an events company.
“I figured I should start with tents because I could hire them out for any type of event, whilst working on building up my events business inventory,” she said. The company has grown a lot since then.
In addition to the tent, she also used her share-outs and year’s loans to buy a 100 plastic chairs, and has since increased her inventory of chairs to 200, with chair covers. When clients ask for a frame tent instead, Mchunu hires one from elsewhere, but says this is something she is working towards getting.
For the following year’s share-outs, she bought tent decorative drapes, table décor such as underplates, and crockery, glassware, dessert bowls and cutlery. “I saw the tent draping at someone’s event and thought that it was easy, and I’d also be able to do it. I told my family that I could do that if I really wanted to, but they didn’t believe me. They said I’d have to go to school for such things,” she laughed. “But I did. Of course, I did,” she said proudly.
With the help of savings group loans, Mchunu also bought a stove and children’s chairs to hire out. She has since added a second stove, and has 20 chairs and tables for children.
“Every time I went to an event, I saw that children had no place to sit – and saw an opportunity. These could also be hired for children’s parties!’’ She now hires out her stoves and six big cooking pots she has owned for years, as a combo deal.
With her 2021 share-outs and loans, she bought tables. Initially these were plastic folding tables, but after realising that they kept getting damaged, she bought steel tables and then wooden tables. She now has 10 of each type. Sometime in that year, she added about 10 mattresses. “People are always looking to hire mattresses for visitors when having events,’’ she said. She planned to use her 2022s share-outs to add tiffany chairs to her collection “They’re so much prettier, don’t you think?” she laughed, “and much more popular. Getting them will elevate my décor.”
However, Mchunu decided that a jumping castle was actually the smartest move, as her children’s parties started gaining quite a bit of traction. “Instead of taking the R650 to hire and transport a jumping castle from someone, I figured I just needed to get my own. I’ve always wanted one anyway. Do you know what else? The adults love it too!”
She also shared that joining the children’s entertainment market has not only boosted her portfolio as events planner, but also kept her fulfilled, because of how much she loves children.
One of her long-term goals with future share-outs is to open a playground for children and families in her community. For this, she bought the plot of land at the bottom of her garden, that overlooks the lush, green, beautiful mountains of Khobongwaneni. The land, bought from the local chief last year, cost R1500.
Mchunu has big plans for this space. “I’m going to build jungle gyms, add swings and games. The jumping castle will always be up, and it will be a great place for children to come play, or have their birthday parties.”
Mchunu also wants this space to have a pool, “I’ll buy an inflatable pool for now, but as soon as I have my money together, I will build a proper pool.”
The events company isn’t Mchunu’s only stream of income. She also sells vintage winter coats and sweets in her extra time. Her entrepreneurial endeavours do so well she left her previous full-time job, and instead focuses on being an entrepreneur, and growing her business. “My husband brings home a salary, but I also wanted to be able to contribute significantly to our family,” she said.
“My businesses wouldn’t exist without SaveAct,” Mchunu said. “I can never put into words how glad I am that I joined these groups when I did.”