Nchupetsang went from living on the streets to uplifting his community with a bicycle shop
At the age of 19, Meshack Nchupetsang left his home in Mahikeng with a single-minded goal.
He moved to Cape Town with his sights set on completing his Marketing degree and starting a business. But two years down the line, he was unable to continue supporting himself.
The situation spiralled, and Nchupetsang ended up living on the streets.
“I found myself homeless and fighting for survival with nowhere to go,” he says. Hope arrived when he managed to get a job.
Then, he got retrenched. Stuck in a cycle of struggle, Nchupetsang discovered the motivation to start again in the form of two wheels.
While volunteering at the Cape Town Cycle Tour, he was inspired to open his own bicycle shop.
With hard work and determination, Nchupetsang completed a mechanic training course and established On Bike Works, a bicycle empowerment centre encouraging his community in Westlake to cycle.
Through his business, Nchupetsang is supporting locals to gain employment.
“The purpose is to promote the usage of the bicycle through skills training, creation of jobs, with the aim of alleviating poverty,” he says.
In South Africa where public transport is not always readily available, Nchupetsang is mobilising others to be able to pursue their own livelihoods and aspirations.
From living on the streets to finally achieving his dream of owning a business, he demonstrates just how far a bicycle can take you.
“I'm building a better future for myself and my community,” Nchupetsang says.