Johannesburg - A Durban man is hoping to take on electronics manufacturers like Samsung and JVC with his own hand-made affordable Bluetooth speaker that features four days of battery life.
Siyabonga Ndwalane decided to make his own Bluetooth speaker - called Turn UP - after he was forced to buy one after the other because three of his devices broke.
“I wasn’t going to buy a fourth one - I only had R600 in my pocket but I needed something to entertain myself, especially when I rode my bicycle around the streets of Durban,” Ndwalane said from the Durban University of Technology.
Using the broken pieces of his previous Bluetooth speakers, Ndawalane decided to make his own speaker, first building them into bags and broken guitars, until he eventually found out that a PVC pipe was the best for acoustics.
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“I attached it to my bike and rode around playing it. People began to stop me and complimented me on it; some of them didn’t believe that I had made it myself. I ignored the compliments because I made it for myself, but after about 30 people begged me to make one for them, I decided to try it out,” he told Fin24.
Ndawalane explained that his initial customers were security guards, domestic workers and other people who were low-income earners, forcing him to produce the speakers at an affordable price.
“I studied how electronics manufacturers like Samsung were producing Bluetooth speakers. Sometimes you just pay for the name of an international brand. The people I made the speakers for were very happy with the end-product and I decided to begin mass producing them,” he said.
Using components of two speakers for stereo, an amplifier, FM radio and other units, Ndawalane began building speakers by hand, producing up to 100 per month, having already sold 200.
Each speaker features wireless connectivity via Bluetooth, a radio tuner, an SD card input and an auxiliary port. The speakers cost R600 and Ndawalane produces custom-designed ones for R700.
“My dream is for every household to have one of these affordable speakers. Radio and music is important for people, as they need to stay entertained and informed,” said Ndawalane.
He is now working towards a goal of producing 1 000 more speakers as his next milestone.