March to a different drummer and open a music franchise

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

Success in the music industry is many people's dream, but few realise their vision because they can't see beyond the obvious ways of entry into the industry.

"A franchise is not necessarily limited to food businesses," said Philip Nkomo, who is the owner of Soweto's first Reliable Music store.

Nkomo opened his first Reliable Music Warehouse at Protea Gardens in April 2005, and the demand was so strong that he established a second one at the Jabulani Mall in September.

"I wasn't sure how successful we would be, and we had put all our own money into the venture," Nkomo said.

"But the support from the community was amazing. We now employ 10 permanent staff members and another two part-time people who come in on weekends and public holidays," he said.

The stores seem to be catching fire, and Nkomo intends on opening another store at the new Maponya Mall in Dube, Soweto.

He said: "The township market is very keen on the store and its image, and I think the access to original music can also have an affect on reducing piracy."

Though the Soweto stores are the same as those in the suburban in urban locations, there are slight differences.

"We have a different market here. Our customers aren't really that much into international music; we stock a lot of local artists and R&B. Gospel also moves quite quickly."