from old geyser to new braai stand (Supplied)
From old geyser to new braai stand (Supplied)

  • Matome Maphala, who completed his studies in electrical engineering, turns old geysers into new braai stands. 
  • The 30-year-old struggled to find a job after completing his studies and decided to experiment with an old geyser in his parent's backyard. 
  • His work has gained popularity and he plans to courier outside of Limpopo. 
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Matome Maphala completed his studies in Electrical Engineering in 2017, but after struggling to find a job, he decided to turn an old geyser into a braai stand – and he did not expect what came next.

Matome Maphala (Twitter)
Matome Maphala (Twitter)
    

To kill time, Maphala decided to learn a few new skills with welding equipment owned by his older brother.

"My brother had recently bought a welding machine. I was already a qualified electrician by that time so I figured while I'm still looking for a job, let me just use my brother's machinery to do something," he said.  

While figuring out what to do, Maphala suggested to his brother that they turn the old geyser in their parent's backyard into a simple braai stand.

"We took the geyser, and we built a braai stand. It came out so perfect," said Maphala. "We didn't see it coming. All we wanted to do was to try and build just a simple braai stand but it came out so perfect."

(Supplied)
(Supplied)

The 30-year-old who lives in Seshego, Limpopo, decided to continue the business. He went on a hunt for old geysers from neighbours, but only got a few which he converted to braai stands and sold when he could.

"It was slow at that point. I would get customers, but one after a long while," he said.

Maphala braai stands (Supplied).
Maphala braai stands (Supplied).

He decided to promote his work on Facebook, and thanks to other social media users, the business recently gained popularity after being promoted by big accounts on Twitter.

The braai stands range from R1,000 to R3,000, and prices are influenced by other materials that he needs to build a complete braai stand.  

Maphala's various designs (Twitter)
Maphala's various designs (Twitter)

"The pricing is determined by the additional material that I buy, since people only give me a cylinder alone.

"Everything that I use, I calculate, including the time that I spend working on a braai stand. Cutting up and cleaning a cylinder is a lot of work," he said.

Maphala has since stopped working in his parent's backyard and now makes the braai stands with the help of his brothers and a friend at a spacious empty piece of land owned by his father.   

Maphala's braai stands (Supplied)
Maphala's braai stands (Supplied)

At the moment Maphala delivers his products to nearby areas in and around Polokwane including Seshego, Turfloop, and Moletji.

His plan is to courier to other provinces as demand grows.

"I've been receiving calls from Cape Town, Durban, and Gauteng. People like my braai stands, so I'm searching for a suitable courier service so that I can courier to those places from next year.

"I can’t just let these customers go. They love my work," he said. 

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