10 July 2024

Nigel-born entrepreneur Zano Mnguni is expanding his 100% black-owned haircare business after striking a deal to supply selected Checkers and Checkers Hyper stores in Gauteng. In less than a year, Zee Afro Hair went from supplying just five to 15 stores.    

Mnguni has been able to employ eight people and foresees more jobs being created as the business grows. His small enterprise is making big strides, recently moving from its rented facility into a bigger and better factory space in Pomona, East of Johannesburg, and purchasing new machinery that Mnguni previously couldn’t afford. 

He left the corporate world in 2013 to pursue entrepreneurship and the idea to start a haircare brand came from Mnguni’s experience assisting friends who owned a salon in Duduza in Nigel, east of Johannesburg. This is where he also learnt more about the ingredients in haircare products.

Initially Mnguni sold his products through social media, salons and word-of-mouth. In 2020 he sought the help of biochemists to put his products through rigorous testing – including stability, enzyme and quality testing – with a vision to approach mainstream retail.

After knocking on many doors, Mnguni signed a deal with Checkers in 2022.

“I had seen an article about how they assist small businesses. I needed to get my foot in the door. Even one store would have been great. Checkers gave me more than that and accelerated our growth as a business. Now more customers have access to our products.”

- Nigel-born entrepreneur Zano Mnguni founder of Zee Afro

The Zee Afro Hair range consists of five herbal products focused on hairline restoration, and protection and growth of natural hair. Priced at under R100 each, the range of premium products offers excellent value. 

A young lady purchasing products from a store. Small haircare business makes big moves following deal with Checkers.