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ABOUT US

Ø  Party Hiring Concept                                    

Ø  Family

Ø  SA Jukebox Market

PARTY-HIRING CONCEPT

The family owned company Mohan’s Mechanical Machines was founded in 1934. 

We are manufacturers, operators, distributors, importers and exporters of jukeboxes, arcade games, pool tables, soccer tables, kiddy rides, pinball, gaming machines (amusement) and kiosks.

In 1982 we had a pool party at home and we used one of our newly imported German, NSM Festival, jukeboxfor music.  We had a fantastic time with our family and friends.  Everyone commented that the jukebox really added character and atmosphere to our party. The success of our function gave one of the directors of Mohan’s Mechanical MachinesV.J. Mohan, the idea of starting a division, namely The Jukebox Company, which specializes in the hiring of jukeboxes for functions. Thejukeboxes we use for party-hiring have been chosen especially for there shape, authentic “jukebox” look, size, sound and lighting.

 

The NOSTALGIC JUKEBOX, seen in movies, homes and pubs.

It’s melodies stirs the memories and lyrics touches one’s emotions.

It’s music puts people at a time, at a place, at a moment.

                                                                                    S.Mohan  

 “ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK” - Bill Haley

 

FAMILY

One of the oldest, if the oldest, existing amusement machine firms in South Africa, Mohan’s Mechanical Machines was founded in 1934 by Mr. MohanlalBagwandeen.

Mr. MohanlalBagwandeen was an innovator of note, his policy was to do and create what others said can’t be done.  He continuously challenged himself thus allowing the rapid growth of the business.  He loved reading Popular Mechanics and other innovation magazines and books.

By the early sixties he had one of the largest amusement and vending machine enterprises in South Africa.  The operations involved the manufacture, sale, servicing and distribution of his own products and imported lines.

In the 1965 he passed on but his five young sons continued with his legacy.  Under the Group Areas Act they were given notice to move from their central Durban (Umgeni Road) home and adjacent workshop and office premises when their father passed away.  The Group Areas Act created it’s own mega challenges, the eldest of the family, VJ Mohan aged 22, had to relocate a very large business with a family consisting of his wife and newly born son, his Mum and his four young brothers and two young sisters.  A mammoth task for a young man of 22.  The government had allocated for them land in an “indian” area which was 30 km from Durban.  This distance was unacceptable for the servicing and maintenance of the amusement machines which were largely situated in Durban central.  A family decision was made to scale down the business and purchase a home in the Overport area which was the closest “Indian” suburb in Durban.  It was far smaller than the huge premises in Umgeni Road which consisted of two floors of 400m2 each.   The Group Areas Act hindered the growth of the business and created a whole new set of challenges for the family.

After dealing with the loss of their Father and a scaled down business they proceeded with grit and determination to continue with their Father’s legacy.  Slowly but surely they continued to expand their business and even realised one of their Father's dream which was to create a Fun Park for the “non-white” community similar to the one on the Durban beachfront which was exclusively reserved for whites. 

They started the dream by purchasing two traveling Fun Fairs.  They combined the two to create Happy Land Fun Fair.   This well appointed fun fair included the only traveling Wall Of Death at that time in SA.  The played throughout SA for the “non-white” community.  Areas such as Soweto, Kliptown,Lenasia, Laudium,  Rhylands, Isipingo, Newcastle, Ladysmith, Pietermaritzburg.

In order to be economically viable, a white partner was brought in to play at the agricultural shows throughout SA.  When they played in the Orange Free State my Dad and his brothers could only be there during the day but had to leave as that province did not allow Indians to stay a night.   

About Mohanlal.jpg

                     Mr Mohanlal Bagwandeen                                                                              20 Grantham Place, Umgeni Road, Durban

 

“Tennessee Waltz – Patti Page”

 

SA JUKEBOX MARKET

Jukeboxes were popular throughout the 40’s, 50’s 60’s and 70’s..  We had jukeboxes in popular Durban spots like Goodwill Lounge and Victory Lounge, Daintees and Model Dairy Restaurant on the Marine Parade and in various pubs, tearooms and café’s.

In the late 70’s and early 80’s a significant decrease in income from these establishments.  This trend continued into the late 80’s. 

Basically to operate jukeboxes profitably one needed to concentrate on a dedicated pub environment.

When VJ Mohan innovated the idea of hiring out jukeboxes for parties he had no idea what an impact this concept was to make on the SA jukebox market.  

By hiring out jukeboxes to parties various people of different ages got a chance to experience a jukebox is and what it was about.

We introduced the first CD jukeboxes to the SA market and immediately used them for party hiring.  We hired out both Vinyl and CD jukeboxes.

At parties the older generation became reflective of their past memories of jukeboxes in particular places. The youngsters were totally in awe about “this machine”, some youngsters in the early 90’s had not seen a vinyl or 7 single record (the CD generation).

In the early years of party hiring the most important segment was the 19 to 40 age group.  Here we had people who were in various sectors of the SA economy.  The people in the entertainment and advertisement industry played an important role in spear heading jukeboxes back into the mainstream. 

Jukeboxes began to pop up in adverts (Fanta, Beechies), the radio stations started naming there shows after jukeboxes ( 5FM Alex Jay – Jay’s Jukebox, Lotus FM – Jukebox Selection, East Coast Radio – Solid Gold Jukebox). 

Milky Lane and Winston gave away jukeboxes as prizes.  

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We gave away a Wurlitzer 1015 jukebox (valued at R 125,000) as a prize in a national competition in conjunction with Club Music Direct.  This competition ran for almost a year with entry forms in national newspapers, magazines, etc.

Our name, logo and contact details was included in the entry forms and a Solid Gold Jukebox CD was released with our company details on the cover.

 People became aware that they can purchase jukeboxes for their restaurants, pubs and homes.

With the advent of Bhangra and remixed Indian music a new market needed to be tapped.  We once again innovated the idea of a jukebox for indian weddings, birthdays, etc.  To gain a deeper penetration into this emerging market we gave away two 60 CD player jukeboxes as prizes in the Lotus FM North and South Song of the Year competition. As a trade deal with Lotus FM ensured that our party hiring radio advert ran daily.

Into the new millennium digital jukeboxes are in all types of establishments, amusement arcades, pubs, pool rooms and restaurants. 

YOU can also hire one for ANY type of party with all TYPES of music, club, dance, rave, reggae, R&B, 90’s, 80’s, 70’s, 60’s, 50’s,Rock ‘n Roll, Kwaito, , SA House, Zulu, Afrikaans and Bhangra.

THE JUKEBOX COMPANY is proud to know that we have played a significant role in the resurgence of jukeboxes in the SA market and at the same time created and innovated jukeboxes which are unique in the world.

We are currently on the third generation and therefore feel that we have the expertise and experience gained over the years in the SA amusement market, especially in the jukebox manufacture and distribution.

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