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Kasty Gaming Zone: Amos Mtsolongo& Musa Maphongwane

Two entrepreneurs see a gap in the township market and set up a business with massive expansion potential.

Juliet Pitman




Every afternoon hoards of schoolchildren descend on a brightly painted container in Soweto, clamouring at its entrance while they wait their turn to access one of the gaming consoles inside. This is Kasty Gaming Zone and business is booming. “We get about 150 kids through here a day. All of them come because they love computer games,” says co-founder Musa Maphongwane.

Finding the gap

He recognised the gap in the market while running a local IT business. “There was a Sony PlayStation gaming console at my place and the kids just wouldn’t leave it alone,” he says. Partner Amos Mtsolongo adds, “There’s not much for the kids to do other than play soccer, and their families don’t have the money to buy gaming consoles that cost thousands of rands,” he explains. Everything about the Kasty Gaming Zone model has been designed to provide township kids with affordable access to the latest gaming technology. Ten minutes of gaming time costs just R2. Mtsolongo explains how they scrapped their original idea of opening in shopping malls in favour of much cheaper containers. “The container costs R15 000 and on average we pay only R600 rental a month, including electricity. This keeps overheads low and allows us to open anywhere that has electricity and broadband access,” he says.

Getting up and running

Today the company has seven containers in operation, the first of which was funded through the partners’ credit cards, loans from family and a R100 000 windfall that the pair won in a Branson School of Entrepreneurship Soweto Business Plan Competition. They developed their own bespoke software that controls access to each of the consoles through a centralised system, and enlisted the services of a local graffiti artist to develop the distinctive Kasty branding which adorns the outside of the containers.

Licensing and copyright prohibit “play and pay”-type operations, so

Maphongwane and Mtsolongo approached game manufacturer EA Sports directly to discuss their concept. “It just so happened that they’d wanted to penetrate the township market for a long time. They want kids to get to know their games so they were happy for us to go ahead without having to pay the licensing fees,” says Maphongwane.

Fostering community buy-in

The fact that children came from as far as 10 km away is perhaps unsurprising, but what couldn’t have been predicted is the support that Kasty has received from parents and schools in the community. “Parents know this is a safe and supervised place for their children to be, and the schools like it because gaming gives the children an opportunity to learn computer skills and become familiar with computer technology,” Maphongwane explains. He and Mtsolongo run a tight ship when it comes to discipline. No child is allowed to play during normal school hours and the games, most of which are sport-based, are carefully selected to make sure their content is suitable. “We also plan to offer free basic computer skills training for two hours on Saturday mornings, for anyone in the community,” says Mtsolongo. These give-back plans foster community support but they make good business sense too, in order to generate income during the down-time of school hours.Kasty offers multimedia services like Internet access, faxing and printing and the more locals who can use these services, the better it is for business. “We’ve also expanded into computer repairs, and cleaning of DVDs and CDs,” adds Maphongwane.

Plans for expansion

With the right kind of financial support, he and Mtsolongo believe they can have 100 outlets in Soweto alone. The scope for expansion is enormous. Currently three of the seven existing outlets are franchised and while the company plans to continue with this expansion model, the partners first want to establish 40 company-owned stores. “This is the critical mass we need to be able to run a successful franchise operation that offers the support necessary for the business to grow nationally,” says Maphongwane, adding that the company has benefited immeasurably from the input of Franchize Directions, the Franchise Association of South Africa and Endeavor, who are helping them develop their management and business skills. Mentorship from the Branson School of Entrepreneurs and legal assistance from Adams & Adams, both of which formed part of their business plan prize, has also been invaluable.

Looking to the future

“Our vision is for all township children across South Africa to have close, easy access to a Kasty container,” says Maphongwane. They need R4 million to roll out the 40 Soweto stores and while that might sound like a big hurdle for a small township business, these entrepreneurs are not short of ideas, energy or vision for how to get there. Theirs will be an interesting business to watch.

Kasty Gaming Zone

Players: Musa Maphongwane & Amos Mtsolongo
Est: 2006
Contact :+27 76 481 5856   

Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.


27 Of The Richest People In South Africa

Here are 27 of South Africa’s richest people, but how did they achieve this level of wealth? Find out here.

Nicole Crampton



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Learn the secrets of SA’s most successful business people, here is the list of the 27 richest people in South Africa:

In a world with growing entrepreneurship success stories, victory is often measured in terms of money. The feat of achieving a place on this list is, however, years of hard work, determination and persistence. “One has to set high standards… I can never be happy with mediocre performance,” advises Patrice Motsepe.

From the individuals that made the 27 of the richest people in South Africa list, actual entrepreneurs and self-made business people dominate the list; while those who inherited their fortunes have gone on to do even bigger and better things with their wealth. Over the years, some have slipped off the list, while others continue to climb higher and higher each year.

  1. Elisabeth Bradley
  2. Sharon Wapnick
  3. Bridgette Radebe
  4. Irene Charnley
  5. Wendy Ackerman
  6. Paul Harris
  7. Wendy Appelbaum
  8. Mark Shuttleworth
  9. Desmond Sacco
  10. Giovanni Ravazzotti
  11. Markus Jooste
  12. Gus Attridge
  13. Gerrit Thomas Ferreira
  14. Cyril Ramaphosa
  15. Adrian Gore
  16. Raymond Ackerman
  17. Michiel Le Roux
  18. Lauritz Dippenaar
  19. Jannie Mouton
  20. Stephen Saad
  21. Patrice Motsepe
  22. Allan Gray
  23. Koos Bekker
  24. Ivan Glasenberg
  25. Christoffel Wiese
  26. Johann Rupert
  27. Nicky Oppenheimer
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Watch List: 50 Top SA Black Entrepreneurs To Watch

South Africa needs more entrepreneurs to build businesses that can make a positive impact on the economy. These up-and-coming black entrepreneurs are showing how it can be done.

Nicole Crampton



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Early-stage South African entrepreneurial activity is at an all-time high of 11%, according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, and entrepreneurial intentions have also increased to 11.7%. With both activity and intentions growing significantly year-on-year, there are more businesses opening up around South Africa than ever before.

The increase in entrepreneurship has seen the rise of more black entrepreneurs across numerous sectors. From beauty brands to legal services and even tech start-ups, these are 50 top black entrepreneurs to watch:

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Watch List: 50 Top SA Small Businesses To Watch

Keep your finger on the pulse of the start-up space by using our comprehensive list of SA small business to watch.

Nicole Crampton



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Entrepreneurship in South Africa is at an all-time high. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), total early-stage entrepreneurial activity has increased by 4.1% to 11% in 2017/2018. This means numerous new, exciting and promising small businesses are launching and growing.

To ensure you know who the innovative trailblazers are in the start-up and small business space, here are 50 of South Africa’s top establishing companies to watch, in no particular order:

  1. Livestock Wealth
  2. The Lazy Makoti
  3. Aerobuddies
  4. Mimi Women
  5. i-Pay
  6. AfriTorch Digital
  7. Akili Labs
  8. Native Décor
  9. Aerobotics
  10. Quality Solutions
  11. EM Guidance
  12. Kahvé Road
  13. HSE Matters
  14. VA Virtual Assistant
  15. Famram Solutions and Famram Foundation
  16. BioTech Africa
  17. Brand LAIKI
  18. Plus Fab
  19. LifeQ
  20. Organico
  21. 10dot
  22. Lenoma Legal
  23. Nkukhu-Box
  24. Benji + Moon
  25. Beonics
  26. Brett Naicker Wines
  27. Khalala
  28. Legal Legends
  29. The Power Woman Project
  30. Aviro Health
  31. AnaStellar Brands
  32. Data Innovator
  33. Fo-Sho
  34. Oolala Collection Club
  35. Recomed
  36. VoiceMap
  37. ClockWork
  38. Empty Trips
  39. Vula Mobile
  40. SwiitchBeauty
  41. Pineapple
  42. The Katy Valentine Collection
  43. OfferZen
  44. KHULA
  45. Incitech
  46. Pimp my Book
  47. ART Technologies and ART Call Management
  48. Prosperiprop
  49. WAXIT
  50. The Sun Exchange
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