When Grassy Park resident Genay Solomon found himself without work for nearly three years, he knew he had to get creative about earning an income.
So he used what was at his disposal – his bicycle and the goodwill of his community – and started a mobile car wash.
Before losing his job, Mr Solomon, 36, had worked at Cat Support System manufacturing knit wire meshing and doing deliveries.
With the help of Grassy Park residents and the Proudly Grassy Park Facebook page, Mr Solomon has been able to promote G Shine Mobile Car Wash and travels around by bicycle providing customers with a mobile valet service.
His aim is to be able to provide for his mother, his girlfriend of 10 years and his nine-year-old foster child.
Two women, Madenia Bedford, 45, and Rayleigh Van Der Merwe, 39, helped him launch the business by supplying him with cleaning supplies, a vacuum cleaner and social media promotion.
Ms Bedford said they tried to support entrepreneurs, which had become even more important as more people lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
One of Mr Solomon’s customers, Rif-at Booley from Zeekoevlei, started using the mobile car wash service three months ago. At the time he was still working at home and couldn’t always find the time to leave his desk to take his car to a car wash.
“While he was working, I watched him through the window and was amazed at how passionate and skilled he was. I knew at that moment that this man wanted to work and wanted to help his business succeed. I went on Facebook, posted how happy I was with the service with a short background story of Mr Solomon. The next morning I woke up to over a thousand shares on my post”, he said.
Mr Solomon said that his success is all thanks to the community and their continuous support. His business was started with donations and recently he was gifted a suitcase worth R2 500.
For now, he says, there are times his business runs at a loss, but with every car he washes, he earns the trust of his community – and the confidence that his hard work will pay off.