South Africa’s very first strictly dry hire company, Guquko Technical Rider, has been established by a young entrepreneur, Phumzile Sibanyoni. Guquko is the Zulu word meaning “to turn around’ or “to reform’, a pertinent name for a company that hopes to bring a fresh wind of change to the industry.

Making an investment of 12 Robe Spiiders, 24 Longman 4 Ups and Prolyte stage decks purchased from DWR Distribution, the objective of the company is to rent out high ticket line items that are specified by lighting designers on a daily basis.

“Because we were just starting out, we looked at gear that would be beneficial to the growth of Guquko,’ said Phumzile.’ The company has started trading, and with the Robe Spiiders currently high in demand on shows, their units are out already creating revenue.

Duncan Riley of DWR says Phumzile was wise enough to see the gap in the market for a professional dry rental company who don’t do shows and who only rent out gear. “It’s a trend in Europe,’ he commented.

Phumzile started working in the events industry in 2014. She offered a service which covered a broad spectrum including staging, technical equipment, decor and catering. She realised that by focusing solely on equipment hire, she would create a niche in the market, and be able to assist rental companies with the supply of well-kept gear and excellent service.

Before that, her career has included working at Eskom for ten years as a Senior Plant Operator. “I have always worked in a male-dominated industry,’ said Phumzile. “I’ve always found men to be helpful, open to assist me and great to work with. I know there are not many women in the live event industry, but it’s something we need to encourage. It’s a warm environment with good people, and I’m very excited to be in this space.’