Meet Lubang, the inventor of mobile car wash business in Juba

Mobile car washer

By Adia Jildo

Creating something in mind to earn a living comes through relentless research and analysis, but Friday Joseph Lubang who invented the first ever mobile carwash in Juba says, capital is the only factor hindering youths’ talent.  

“As youth struggle with livelihood and a way of survival, some drop out of school due to hardship and look for ways of survival which might be long term or short term. Capital would be one factor hindering but also support by the community or authorities for a struggling youth would be another” Lubang said.

Lubang, who dropped out of school after his primary eight due to shortage of money became a car wash vender, and now have invented a mobile car wash to help him reach customers at their destinations.

Speaking to our reporter, Friday Lubang said he had been washing cars for the past six years in Malakia, Juba to earn his living in 2016 after dropping out from school due to lack of school fees to continue his studies, besides home responsibility that he had to handle.

He said, the decision he took was tough, but because of the intolerable condition, he had to decide between his family and education.

Years after the struggle, Friday lost his washing machine and had to resort to washing using buckets and washing sponge. “We are always disturbed. If we get a dirty place, we clear it and start our car washing bay but it does not take long before the land owner chases us away,” he said.

The 26 year old gentleman said, he thought of making a mobile car wash after he was chased out from where he was doing his business to avoid the disturbance or being chased from one place to another. “I opened a washing bay where I can wash cars and motorcycles but later, I was chased some months after having many customers that occupied a large piece of land” he said.

“My machine was no more, I lost customers that time because most people wanted their cars to be washed using a car washing machine not brush and net. They complained that the net would not wash it clean till the inside parts,” Lubang continued.

Currently, Lubang is enjoying his business as he moves freely to the destinations with a piece of mosquito net and a bucket of water. He said that, he would buy a drum of water to constantly scoop from and wash cars but it was good at all time since he would be chased anytime.

The 26-year-old has now bought the second rickshaw, welded a tank on it which has eased his businesses. He said that even if it has cost a lot of money, he believes that he can gain profit from his handwork.

“The rickshaw is a second hand that cost 150,000 SSP, a new machine for 160,000 SSP, two other wheels for behind at 28,000 SSP, tank at 28,000 SSP and the welder took 20,000 SSP. People now call me for my service. I no longer have to look for customers. A person will just park his/her car and call me. I will go where he/she is in, park my mobile car wash rickshaw and wash my customers’ car. Later after finishing my work, I will get my money and leave with my service rickshaw,” he said.

According to him, he is able to wash about 12-15 cars daily, but sometimes if he did not get many customers, that could be 9 cars a day.

He said he will continue doing the work because his family depends on the car washing business. “I am not ready yet to quit this car washing because my family depends on it. If I make enough savings, I would like to rent a place where car care servicing will take place. I will hire mechanics to do that as I wash cars, this will create jobs for young ones” he said.

Mr. Lubang is now able to provide employment opportunity to his fellow youths. Currently, he has employed some youth to help in the business though others left the work as they demand a huge payment yet sometimes, they do little work.

He said criticisms were overwhelming as he was repairing the rickshaw stating that his idea would never work. For a moment he thought about his situation and his family and yet saw no option than to do what he thought was good for survival.

Lubang, a father of two now supports his family of two children and a wife.

He was able to buy four motorcycles using the bay service for washing cars and he opened a small business for his wife.

“My wife is able to buy her personal needs now and will not interrupt with the small business. The money for the bay service and the motorcycle now support the general family needs and demands such as medical bills, school bills, rent and my siblings and my other family,” he said.

He was able to employ a young boy to work with him as a co-worker at the mobile car wash. He said he was even afraid to employ him because of his age but had to, because of the condition and the hard work he was able to offer.

Emmanuel Natale Louis, a primary seven student of Malakia Primary school is almost three years working with Friday to enable him buy his personal school equipment.

“I go early in the morning at school and at around 2-3 PM, I do return home. I will wash my cloths, iron the other and rest for a while before I come to the mobile car wash service where it has been parked”.

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