WRITTEN BY: OMEGA NGEMA
As the Covid-19 dusts starts to settle and we strive to navigate our way in the corollary, in a parallel reality we notice that mother earth had a different experience during the turmoil. Evidently, the mother used the hiatus in human ecosystems to restore itself from centuries of callous destruction.
Humans may very well be the most innovative and evolutionary creatures walking the planet, however the ominous nature of some of their methods to attain this evolution is undeniable. During the covid-19 pandemic much of these methods were brought to a halt, resulting on the rejuvenation of the mother of existence.
Natural habitats were restored, and as the oceans cleaned themselves out, and the trees breathed a fresher air for all us animals, we found that our machinery, our souls also slowly became rehabilitated.
The latter was one of the longest standing South Coast venue owner, Leka Reddy’s humble lesson from the Covid-19 aftermath.
She, like most others admits the economic devastation to her business and her material livelihood, however she also well received the beckoning of the earth to nurture deeper exigencies.
“I have learnt to keep it simple. To go back to the basics, respect Mother Nature, appreciate what we have, give thanks to the universe, live clean, and finally to live in the moment but keep moving,” said Leka.
She and her husband Vasen, own the 15 year old Bcubed Guesthouse, which serves as the idyllic entrée to the exquisite South Coast tourism haven. Set right before the coast’s first economic hub, in Southport, the venue off ramps directly off the main highway from Durban and invites visitors to the tranquility of the South Coast’s natural habitats with the Bendigio Nature Reserve right next door to them.
The Reddys have explored this aspect of their venue even further during these changing times. And as a result an added feat to their offering, Bcubed Guesthouse will be introducing exciting Nature Trails into the Bendigo Nature Reserve via the property, where a small fee will be charged to upkeep the reserve.
The free spirited Leka may be the laugh and shine of the merry venue now however she is no stranger to hardship, and her story is testament that through hard work, perseverance and bravery one can overcome the most trying of times.
When most 16 year olds were enjoying the silliness of teenage escapades floating on their dreams of glossier futures, Leka’s dreams were cruelly usurped from her when she was traditionally married off to the son of a very wealthy businessman.
For the next year the once professional lawyer hopeful worked in one of the many family businesses with the other lady folk of the family. Within a year or so she fell pregnant with her first son, Kivesh, who is now 23 years old. However the birth of her son would be the straw that broke the camel’s back for Leka.
“Post having my son, I was expected to stay at the neighbouring house and take care of baby. I gladly stayed indoors alone all day and night until I became depressed, lonely and sad. About nine months thereafter I decided to leave this situation,” said Leka who then chose to return to her parent’s home as a single mother at only 18 years old.
Leka would then work to provide for her baby while completing her studies at the same time. She successfully completed matric and further studied a Business Management Diploma from a local institution.
In 1999, two years after her escape from her captors, Leka met current husband Vasen at age 20 and the two lovebirds officially tied the knot in 2004. Shortly thereafter however, in 2006, Vasen was forced to resign from his day job, due to unforeseen circumstances.
The new family was forced to find other ways to survive and that is how Bcubed was born.
“We had to take a business loan to start the Guest house only to find as we were going along that we were going to need a second loan to complete it. After pursuing this we opened to operate on 1 December 2006, just over 14 years ago,” said Leka.
The business has evolved over the years adding a Function/Venue Room, a Restaurant (Leka’s) as well as combined packages.
“Our Venue is amazing in that it is located near a main road access route. It is also set on a large property with tall trees, green grass, a flowing natural stream, and not to mention the protected Nature Reserve right next door to us. Bendigo Nature Reserve boasts an array of indigenous trees, birds, wild life and trails, hence the name Bcubed – (Bendigo, B&B equals 3 B’s),” said Leka.
She said if she could start the chapters of her life over again she would learn to make more strategic decisions, particularly in terms of her business by working smarter and not harder.
“My humble advice to anyone thinking of starting their own business would be to be authentic. Listen to advice but sift through the information and adapt your thinking with each lesson. Remember the energy you give off is the energy you will attract. Always give off your sweetest energy, and laugh often,” said Leka.