Former Cape Flats gangster tur

Former Cape Flats gangster turns his life around and gives back

Khululekani Nyobole has turned his back on his life as a gangster and has started producing affordable eco-friendly products to market in townships.

Former Cape Flats gangster tur

It’s the story of an entrepreneur whose life was headed down a very different path, just a few years ago.

Khululekani Nyobole repeated Grade 10 three times because of his involvement in drugs and gangs. Now aged 26, Nyobole recalls a time when he only went to school so that he could rob his classmates before jumping over the school fence and spending the day smoking dagga.

Now, he is one of the entrepreneurs to come out of the New Ventures Studio incubator – an initiative of Salesian Life Choices, and he wants to make a difference to the community from which he has come.

Nyobole’s teen years were spent admiring gangsters. He explains, “You grow up thinking all that matters is to become the top dog. I did all sorts of drugs, and I mean all sorts. You name it, I’ve done it.”

After failing Grade 10 twice but persevering and completing it eventually, Nyobole went on to finish Grades 11 and 12. “Deep down, I knew the loser I had become wasn’t me. I tried really hard to distance myself from criminal activities. I knew I had the brains, so I persisted,” Nyobole recalls.

“It was shameful to wear school uniform. I would disguise myself in civvies that looked like school uniform so that the guys wouldn’t suspect this ‘gangster’ is actually going to school.”

After completing matric, Nyobole worked as a cashier at a food chain where he was promoted to supervisor. This inspired him to go to university, and in 2014, Nyobole was awarded a BA degree from the University of the Western Cape. He then began working towards an Honours degree in History.

As a student, Nyobole came across a concept in an environmental ethics class that resulted in a light bulb moment for him. This moment inspired the creation of his business, Nurturer, premium products made accessible and affordable to all South Africans, delivered to their doorstep.

“We say we want to sustain the planet and prevent global warming, but the mechanism through which we want to achieve this is not affordable to the majority of poor people. Eco-friendly products are often more expensive than the ones damaging the environment. You can’t blame people for buying cheap and more toxic products when the eco-friendly alternatives are almost twice as expensive.”

The Nurturer range was developed with the help of well-established natural product manufacturers who found the right mix of natural raw materials that would be cost-effective to manufacture on a large scale.

Nurturer’s business model of door-to-door sales will enable agents to educate people about the value of using eco-friendly products. Nurturer’s agents will be able to generate an income, which will create opportunities for unemployed people.

“When I learned about teleology, the suggestion that everything has a purpose and a deeper meaning, it changed my thinking about the environment. This theory confirmed something I instinctively knew as the truth: when we honour the earth we honour ourselves.”

To read more about Nurturer, to place an order or become a direct seller, go to