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The Power of Perseverance – Zukisani Myeko and Effort Mokoena, Zanecebo Consulting

We would like to introduce four performance-orientated businesses that leverage both Riversands I-Hub’s physical infrastructure and business development offerings to grow their businesses: KLM HIGH-giene Solutions, Rocky Brands, Dotty Moments and Zanecebo Consulting.

Having named their company Zanecebo after the Xhosa word meaning ‘come with a plan’, Zukisani Myeko and Effort Mokoena already had a winning recipe for a business that would combine their skills – Zukisani as Project Manager and Effort as Structural Engineer – to create service excellence in the built environment.

The duo had decided that they wanted to work together as far back as the early 2000s when they met and forged a friendship as university students. A plan was made, but what would emerge as the key ingredient to their success over time was perseverance.

“We met as university students. He was doing civil engineering and I was studying construction management and the friendship started from there. Starting a business together was something we thought we’d pursue in the future, but we needed to get work experience first. After we graduated in 2006, we went and worked for different companies, but we stayed in touch and started the planning for what we wanted to venture into,” says Zukisani.

Towards the end of 2011, Zukisani decided to quit his job and Zanecebo Consulting was registered in 2012.

“I pursued it on a on a full-time basis for the whole of that year looking for opportunities, but you know things were a bit challenging as a startup and we initially had minimal work, which wasn’t enough to sustain us. Over this period, Effort had continued working at his job and I decided to go back to work. But we were both still pursuing opportunities to get the business up and running.”

In 2015, Effort left his job to pursue the company full time and by 2016 both directors were fully active in the business.

Zanecebo Consulting now operates as a 100% Black owned engineering and project management company taking on work in the private and public sectors and employing a full-time staff of 15 and between 15 to 25 contract workers.

The majority of their work comes through the tendering process or via referrals in the private sector.

“We do anything from residential to commercial to public infrastructure projects, which includes anything from roads to water, power and sewerage infrastructure. The scope of our engineers is quite large so there's a wide range of services we are open to if the right client comes along,” says Zukisani.

“[Ultimately] we want to move to a point where we create our own work through property development, where we identify pockets of land, procure the land and develop that land. That way we won’t necessarily need to go out and look for any other work.”

Zanecebo joined the Riversands I-Hub in 2016, where they have benefitted from the Hub’s ability to network and refer prospective clients and mentors.

“One of the of the biggest benefits for us has been that we trying to get into the property development. We purchased a piece of land and we’re trying to develop that land. It’s been quite a long process but through Riversands’ network they organised a meeting for us with the CEO of Century City,” says Zukisani.

“In that meeting we were bouncing ideas off each other and he was basically giving us inputs and ideas in terms of how he started and where he is now, which is essentially one of the big guys [in property development]. He was given us insights in terms of what to avoid and how to move in the space and so that has been the highlight of our stay here.”

Although 2022 has been a challenging year for the business with a construction slowdown in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, they are excited about their prospects in 2023.

“Our property development, which we’ve been working on now for a good seven years, seems to be seeing the light in terms of raising funds … and we are currently negotiating,” says Zukisani.

“The thing that I’ve learnt as an entrepreneur is that you have to persevere. You just need to go through the difficult periods and persevere and eventually things get better if you stick to it.”

Related Tag:- Riversands Incubation Hub

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