For the last seven years, Lone Galedibelwe has made his money by fumigating homes and eliminating pests of all shapes and sizes, from fleas to rats and bats.
His business, Bukharlicious Pest Control, was born by chance in 2017, when he went round to help a friend whose house was slowly being overrun by cockroaches.
Realising such vermin, as well as other small nuisances like ants and termites, were a common problem in many households, the Thabala village native saw an opportunity to cash in, while also bringing a smile to people’s faces by providing a much-needed service.
“This just started when I was staying in Mmopane where I had to help a friend of mine to get rid of cockroaches. Following that I realised this is a business I can tap into. Further, where I rented, the house was tormented by termites, another situation which pushed me into this type of business,” explains the 36-year-old, a Business Information Technology from Gaborone Institute of Professional Studies (GIPS).
While his job is worlds away from what he studied at tertiary, it is a vocation Galedibelwe takes great pride in.
Aside from pest control, the company’s services extend to eliminating grass for tillage and ploughing as well as in yards.
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“The business is not bad at all right now because I mostly get customers who are recommended by others who have already had experience with my services. So word of mouth has kept us going since I haven’t heard of any customer who has lodged any complaints with us for poor services,” he says.
Charges vary depending on the distance Galedibelwe has to travel, the size of the house and the service required, with the minimum charge for a small house being P200.
Although he currently doesn’t have a car, Galedibelwe’s lack of wheels has not hampered his mobility, with pests as far away as Maun and Francistown not safe from the one-man company.
Speaking of the chanllanges he faces, the cockroach-killer says, “Chemicals are very expensive and scarce at the same time and that makes profits less. Further, the scarcity of materials sometimes makes it hard for me and this leads to me getting to work very late which does set a bad precedence about us as a business. Another challenge is that when we give people prices they assume we are expensive and seek discounts but at the end of the day we offer them a lasting solution to their troubles.”
Going forward, Galedibelwe’s dream is to grow the business to a level where he’s in a position to open an office and start employing others.