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Andile Lorraine Sibiya on campus. Photography: Supplied.

Graduates often face an uncertain future due to demands from potential employers to unveil years of work experience along with academic accomplishments, which is near impossible.

The only possible solution to resolve this matter is to dabble in side hustling. Side hustling is a way to make some extra cash that allows you the flexibility to pursue what you’re most interested in. Cue the advent of innovative and entrepreneurial millennial spirit.

For 2018, a total of 1,060,312 students are projected to enrol in public universities with 208,308 of them being first-time entering students according to Africa Check research.

These students need to pay for course materials, transport, food (not just two-minute noodles), entertainment, utilities, internet (if you’re in private housing), insurance, toiletries, extra study expenses apart from actual University fees. Without a trust fund or uber-wealthy parents, students are forced to find alternative methods to earn cash.

The cherry on the top? Adding work experience on your CV through your side hustle.

TYI chatted to four Durban university students who are making money moves through side hustling:

Ntokozo Ngidi (33) from the KwaMashu Township, holds a National Diploma in Operations Management and is currently studying towards his Bachelor’s degree. He started selling key holders at various Durban campuses and shops that led to Ngidi founding ‘Arts Unity’, a wire and craft business that makes hand and customised crafts.

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“I was introduced to the art of wire and beads, by a friend. When I was doing my third year, after seeing the good responses I got from selling key holders, I then decided to start my company which was later registered in 2017,” says Ngidi. “We want to reach a bigger audience, we are pushing for ways to promote and market our business better, but that is all in progress.”

According to Ngidi, exhibitions offer marketing opportunities for his brand and allow him to interact with potential customers and investors. Ngidi hopes to expand his company and introduce his products to the international market.

He added that he was inspired by role models, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie and Marcus Garvey, who organised the first American black nationalist movement. He said that their lives inspired him to be humble and to remain true to himself as a Black person.

A third-year student, Andile Lorraine Sibiya (21) from Newlands West is currently studying Graphic Design at Durban University of Technology. Sibiya struggled financially, so she decided to work part-time. Sibiya claims that freelancing has helped her create a portfolio and gain skills.

“My sister took a loan to fund my studies when I started my first year. When I was doing my second year, I tried applying for bursaries and NSFAS but still with no luck,” said Sibiya.

Sibiya creates logos, illustrations, gifs, t-shirt designs, marketing campaigns and offers photography as part of her freelance work. Sibiya is working on finishing her degree and also wants to grow her business.

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Phindile Nqumako (22) is a third-year Journalism student from Durban University of Technology. Nqumako is from a township called KwaNdengezi where she lives with her elder sister who encouraged her to start a baking business. Nqumako said she started her business so she can pay for her transport and buy important essentials at home.

“Students on campus buy my muffins and also the lecturers. In a week I would make R700 and I would then use that money to buy my ingredients, buy electricity and use some at home for things like groceries and for transport,” she said.

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“Life was not easy at home, hence we were living off the salary of my sister who works as a nurse. My sister is the one who is paying for my fees, she didn’t want me to be left with debt from using NSFAS.”

Nqumako is currently doing her internship with a community newspaper based in Durban because she also wants to become a media mogul.

Nkazimulo Gumbi (24) from KwaMashu township, is a student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal currently doing his post-graduate degree in Business Management and holds two degrees. Gumbi started an initiative called Dial and Mind.

“I look up to Gugu Zulu and Sibusiso Leope who…I aspire to be like. Dial and mind helps students in university with skills development and mentorship,” said Gumbi.

Gumbi says they work with over 3600 students from universities in KZN and Pretoria. KZN tertiary institutes that Dial and Mind cater to include Durban University of Technology, Boston College, and eThekwini college.