Anton Ngwenya is a South African entrepreneur with a passion for doing good while changing the way people see disabilities.
At just 19 years old, this trail blazer is focused, driven & ready to make South Africa a better place.
From humble beginnings, Anton grew up with his 4 sisters & 2 brothers in Jameson Park (Heidelberg Town) staying with both parents, who earned a little, but did their best to ensure they provided what they could for all their children.
Anton started selling sweets when he was in grade 6 at Effort Primary School. The idea was born from the fact that his family could not afford to give him any money. He realised that he was not good at begging & needed to create his own income.
The business quickly grew & he was able to employ other learners to assist & earn their own income. He would purchase the stock & distribute to his resellers who would sell to their own communities.
Anton is incredible humble when explaining, “I think the best thing about opening that small business was being able to provide for the less privileged, like myself so as to positively impact on their lives.”
The business evolved quite quickly as Anton saw a huge need for micro-lending in his community… he decided to expand the business to concentrate on this aspect.
In grade 11, at 17 years old, Anton was involved in a car accident while walking to the store. A car skipped a stop street & knocked him over.
Anton had to be flown in an emergency helicopter to Baragwanath Hospital where he had to face a full leg amputation.
“I woke up from a coma, in the ICU & realised that my leg was gone, it was one of the most devastating days of my life”
He was discharged after being hospitalised for a month & went back home with a new outlook on life. His main focus was to inspire those around him & make sure that people understood that he would not let the accident affect him negatively, he would rather work twice as hard & create the best possible life for himself.
He went on to complete his matric while still running his business which grows daily.
“I believe in a ‘never give up’ philosophy… winners never quite & quitters never win”.
The micro-lending business sparked an interest for economics in Anton which encouraged him to study at the Central Johannesburg College towards a Financial Management qualification.
“I am doing this course because I want to be the best possible business-man that I can be & make a positive difference in South Africa. I want to help the underprivileged empower themselves & in turn teach them to empower others with work.”
His future goals are clear & do not involve ever seeing himself as disabled, if anything, he is incredibly enabled… to make a difference & continue making South Africa a better place.