Ekasi Dynamik Fitness was opened in October by a local bodybuilder and his business partner to help other Khayelitsha residents live healthier lives. They are still looking for additional funding to expand their business in order to supply healthy food options for residents, reports Mary-Anne Gontsana.
It’s afternoon and Khayelitsha gym owner Sibusiso “Sbu” Dlule whistles loudly to signal to his fitness class to move to the next exercise circuit.
Ekasi Dynamik Fitness was opened in October by Dlule, a former bodybuilder, and partner Lelona Mbobosi, as a “hands-on” personal training centre for residents.
The newly opened gym, situated in the Western Cape, is a unique addition to the busy Makabeni Road where the popular entertainment hub of Rands Cape Town is situated.
When we visited, Monica Tokwe from Ilitha Park appeared breathless and exhausted but determined to continue exercising.
“I’m a cancer survivor … My doctor advised me to exercise and keep active. I had been part of the coach’s [Dlule] training team since last August before he opened this gym. I come here almost every day because I enjoy the sessions so much,” said Tokwe.
Asisipho Ndamane, from Somerset West, said she joined the gym to lose weight.
With limited equipment, the gym, currently built from a repurposed shipping container, only has a rowing machine, a bike and a bench press donated by a friend.
“Sbu has always been passionate about gyming and bodybuilding. When I first met him, he was part of a fitness training group called Fit Movement Camp (FMC) with a few other guys. That’s where I saw his consistency, so when he split from that group, I followed him,” said Mbobosi.
She said they started with training sessions at Lookout Hill and at a park in A Section during lockdown last year.
How it started
In order to fund their new business venture, Dlule sold his car and Mbobosi dug into her savings to secure a rental space in the small business park.
“We do not have any sponsors yet. The sandbags we use we made ourselves; the mats were mine; and we paid someone to do the fencing for us. The container was here when we rented the space,” said Mbobosi.
She said what made their gym standout from two other facilities in the township was that they are very involved in their clients’ journeys and progress.
Their dream is to expand the business to include offering nutritional meals and better equipment.
“There are so many places around here that sell junk food, so we want to be the place for proper healthy meals and smoothies. We also sell activewear on the side and would like to expand that as well,” she said.
Ekasi Dynamik Fitness is open seven days a week. They charge R100 admission fee and R199 monthly fee thereafter.
- This article, written by journalist Mary-Anne Gontsana, was first published by GroundUp.