Turning lemons into lemonade: The rise of App A combo

22 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
Turning lemons into lemonade: The rise of App A combo Junior Garnet Mandlenkosi Dube

The Sunday News

Thembinkosi Khumalo, Sunday Life Reporter
IN this universe, no one owes anyone a good life or success!

Sometimes one’s environment may be the cause of one’s misfortunes, but its only when these predicaments are allowed to fester that they define a person. This was the case Junior Garnet Mandlenkosi Dube, a young man who once found himself homeless but now runs one of Bulawayo fledgling online food ordering and delivery services.

Unknown to some that follow him, he is a musician as well, who has worked with a number of prominent artistes in Bulawayo, including the likes of the late Cal_Vin, and The Shoemaker among others.

The late Cal_Vin

Years 2014 to 2015 marked the period where he decided to permanently move to Bulawayo, from Hwange, to better his music career, which somehow looked promising when he got endorsed by Chicken Inn FC in 2018.

Unfortunately, his stay in Bulawayo took a wrong turn. However, going back to Hwange was never an option.

He became homeless and went for days without food, proper clothes, and shelter. Still, that did not deter him. A few years later, he seemed to have turned lemons into lemonade, as he managed to start a mobile restaurant called App A Combo which means (WhatsApp a combination).

In an interview with Sunday Life Junior Garnet said, “I started the restaurant after I had been homeless a few months earlier that year and experiences on the streets made me realise that there are people on the same streets that fail to secure a plate of food each day and as soon as I opened my restaurant, I started giving away a meal to the less privileged in the streets as a way of trying to make the world a better place, one plate a day.

The dream is to be able to take these people out of the streets for good.

“I started App A Combo after about five years of dreaming and planning. Real-life struggles are what pushed me to finally try to do something meaningful and solid with my life, for my family back home too. In the next five plus years, I want App A Combo to be a household name, to have franchises outside the Sadc region, and grow to help communities.”

Networking on Twitter earned Garnet an opportunity to meet someone who was selling pizza through the social media platform. It was on 22 July 2020 when the mobile restaurant started operating.

“There was a guy who allowed me to sell his pizza using the newly created App A Combo social media accounts and got paid through commission.

“He would give me a $1 per pizza. I saved until I managed to start buying material enough for me to introduce my own menu which was chicken and chips. A friend by the name of Tendai Svosve came through for me and helped with a recipe that took Bulawayo by storm.

“I never went to school for any cooking lessons, I did woodwork as a practical at high school, and after high school, I pursued electrical engineering, in the background I was doing music which helped me pay for the courses which I, unfortunately, could not conclude as the music money became scarce day by day,” he said.

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