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8 entrepreneurs who built proudly South African businesses [3 Women made the list]

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The Business: Dlala Nje

Michal Luptak is certainly an unconventional self-starter. While working at a lucrative auditing firm he took the crazy decision to live in Ponte Tower.

But this decision would lead to a social entrepreneurial quest with a project that had legs, and a very big heart.

“We realised that there were between 300 to 500 children in the building with no safe place to play. Their parents were hesitant about leaving them to play in the streets where Johannesburg’s underbelly of crime was prevalent and a strong influence in their upbringing. So the idea of Dlala Nje (“Just Play” in isiZulu) was born.”

When Luptak and his partner opened up Dlala Nje they were both working in their corporate jobs, supplementing the running of Dlala Nje with their salaries. But after only a few months they were thinking of closing shop as the numbers weren’t showing much of a profit.

They were asked to give a talk at The Bioscope in Maboneng around living in Ponte and an audience member asked them whether they could take guests around on a walking tour through Hillbrow.

Two weeks later they were called with a booking for 22 people to join the walking tour and these walking tours gave their organisation the legs to continue.

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