From Down On His Luck To Uber Bucks
Forbes Africa|October 2015
From Down On His Luck To Uber Bucks
He was living in a township and jobless and now owns three Uber cars and three companies. Rudolf Makopole Malaka is doing it with style.
Sunita Menon

Two years ago, Uber was unheard of. Today it’s a buzzword. You could argue that Rudolf Makopole Malaka has been on the same fast track. From humble township beginnings to a property on an estate; with three Uber cars and three companies – he owes it all to the mobile app.

Uber gives drivers the opportunity to be the CEO of their own company – they own their own cars and set their hours. Connecting riders with drivers through a smartphone app, users submit a trip request, which is then routed to Uber drivers. Since 2013, the online ride-hailing service has taken off in South Africa.

“People lack jobs. We decided to join Uber – not just to make money but to create job opportunities for our fellow brothers who don’t have jobs because we know how hard it is not to have a job. We’ve been there,” he says.

“I spent weeks eating only Weet-Bix. You go to school on an empty stomach, you walk long distances. I don’t want my kids to go through that, I don’t want kids from the location to go through that,” he says.

After getting his degree in IT, he was unemployed and disheartened.

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October 2015