An entrepreneur and paramedic driven to assist his community provides emergency service vehicles to respond to their medical needs. Sthembiso Ngubo is the founder of Afromed Medical Services, a company he started after acknowledging the gap of ambulances in the townships including his own in Maphumulo, KwaZulu-Natal.
After years of a challenging life, Afro-med owner started working as a gardener for Vicky Januk who encouraged him to further his studies. That’s when he returned to school and received his matric certificate in order to gain access into a higher institution, which is when he studied to become a paramedic at Red Cross.
His qualification from Red Cross enabled him to secure himself a job under his former employer’s paramedic company, where he gained more knowledge about working in the health department. He used the 12-years’ experience from that job to start his own business. Although it started on a rough patch, he did manage to kick start it through his boss’s guidance.
“Working for Mr Januk taught me multiple values of being a paramedic, mainly because when I worked in black communities, I saw how people needed emergency vehicles to their rescue. However, most of them preferred not to attend to the needs of peoples due to fear of being hijacked,” said the businessman.
He then partnered up with Nelisiwe Ngcobo in 2012 to officially open for business; a process that took them longer than they had anticipated. The pair began by hiring Mr Januk’s ambulance with the intention to start rendering their services to the people in townships. Their companies fate changed when they won the Lion’s Den Competition in 2013, followed by an Umyezane Business Awards for Best Youth Owned Business in 2013/2014. All these achievements prove to them that someone appreciates their work and the effort they put in catering for marginalized people’s needs.
Ngubo explained: “In all honesty, it was not easy reaching the point we are at today, we knocked on doors for financial support. Instead, we took the educational advice we received from different organizations. People think that starting a business is only about money, one needs to have a passion for whatever work they may do in order for it to succeed.”
Afromed has summed up a fleet of 11 highly kitted ambulances and six rapid medical response support vehicles that are utilised by 25 permanent staff that is trained, as well as an additional 15 temporary staff that is put together to serve clients 24 hours and 7 days. They ensure that the hired staff is 100 percent youth and skilled to do the best job. Their most important trait is that they want young people whom they have provided with an occupation to do the same for others when they make it in life.
The organization focuses on events such as soccer matches from the Premier Soccer League, festivals happening around KZN and just recently they have ventured into working in other provinces. These occasions need approximately 60 workers to be on duty and to respond to emergencies whenever there’s a need to do so.
Their ultimate goal is to educate the black society about emergencies and the need for paramedics in a community. Besides that they see themselves opening educational classes that train people to be professional medics.
To use Afromed services contact the numbers 031 309 1562 / 073 333 6656 / 073 351 5133 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org