Refugee gardener’s business is growing

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October 31, 2016
Refugee gardener’s business is growing

BUSY: Dawood Kasozi , 62, from Uganda runs a gardening service. CREDIT: Brendan Magaar

Perseverance turns Ugandan man's efforts into a blooming success.

This gardener is a familiar sight in Cape Town’s southern suburbs, waving as he zips by on his motorised bike.

Everyone has come to know and love Dawood Kasozi, a 62-year old farmer who left his native war-torn Uganda, to find better opportunities in South Africa.

Dawood left his wife and three kids behind, and after years of hustling, he is now the owner of Dawood’s Gardening Services.

He received his asylum papers, and was able to get a job as a security guard.

But he lost his job, and used his last money to buy a weed eater for R400, because the former farmer had a bigger dream – he wanted to do landscaping.

Dawood then helped Somali stall owners in Wynberg with setting up and breaking down their stalls.

“I was given between R5 and R10, while others gave me R20. It was a little, but I saved all the money I got to print flyers,” he says.

Dawood explains: “I would walk though Wynberg with the weed eater over my shoulder, knocking door to door asking if I can cut their grass.”

He started off with two customers, but as word got out, he became in demand.

“The fact is if you are trustworthy and hard working, things become easier for you.”

When his gardening equipment became too heavy to carry, he added a R250 motor to his bike, and someone donated him a small trailer.

Today, Dawood has 15 clients in the Wynberg, Plumstead and Constantia area. He also employs two Malawian nationals.

“Don’t cry, work is there, we just have to think and make a start somewhere,” he says.

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