PALAPYE: While it seems some people are ditching the government’s poverty eradication programme, Kgalalelo Shoshong has embraced it and it has dramatically transformed her life.
The Mahalapye-born mother of two is a living testimony of how the programme can bring change to poverty-stricken people.Today she owns a well-off business that has restored her dignity, peace and given her wealth she never thought she would have.
Coming from a poor family and being the sole breadwinner, her fortunes changed in 2014 when she was funded to the tune of P15,000, including the sewing machines she got to start her dress-making business called KAYLUC Investment.
Before the funding, Shoshong was also blessed enough to have been enrolled in the Brigade to study dress-making for four years.
“After funding, I started operating in my house in order to realise my dream from what the government gave me since I could not afford to rent a bigger space. I knew that in order for me to succeed, I needed to start with the little I have which in return will double up hence more expansion,” she said. KAYLUC Investment deals with designs of patterns, tailoring, clothes patching and altering of clothes. The busineess is amongst the best dress-making entities in Mahalapye and has consistently won awards through the poverty eradication programme. She designs about everything from wedding dresses to women and men’s fashionable attires.
She said the business has grown at a fast pace looking at the fact that it is only three years. She is also optimistic that greater things are yet to come.
Shoshong added: ”Looking at what I have achieved thus far, the future is certainly bright.
Shoshong said although she has achieved a lot, it was not an easy road since she had to deal with competition, lack of markert exposure and financial constraints.
She said one of the major challenges they face as small entrepreneures is competition from international markets and Chinese shops, which locals prefer. “Lack of support from our country fellow countrymen is what kills us. They would rather buy outside the country than empower one of their own. Moreover Chinese shops sell almost what we do including our very own traditional attire ‘leteisi’ therefore it is difficult to generate profits with such obstacles,” she said.
Shoshong‘s dream is to open up a firm that will encompass all, that is to fix and supply. She said she wants to be able to supply the materials to other entrepreneurs in her village since sometimes it is a struggle to find the right materials.She also aspires to create employment for the youth. Today she has only one employee due to limited finances. Shoshong has two children.