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From Volunteering To Business Owners

LUDO KWAPA
Innocent Matendele with Kelemogile Matlhabaphiri PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
What started as a spirit of volunteering turned into entreprenuership for Innocent Matendele and Kelemogile Matlhabaphiri who are proud owners of a landscaping company.

The two followed their passion for arts and crafts by volunteering their services at a local landscaping company, which they have now acquired.

The duo said in an interview with Monitor Business that they were made to like landscaping by a certain farmer who dedicated his time to teach them all about the trade.

“When we started, we had no skills or passion about the industry but cultivated the love as time went by. We wanted to just do something productive during our spare time especially when the schools were closed,” they said.

Matlhabaphiri and Matendele made a deal with the owner of the landscaping company, Nyasha Mhashu, that they would take over the business if they worked for two years without pay as he had indicated his wish to go back to his home country Zimbabwe. He later honoured the promise and gave them full ownership of the business.The Botho University students who are waiting to graduate with BA Science in Health Information Management have been running The Landscaper company since 2017.

Located in Mogoditshane, the company designs and makes flower pots, dry gardens and artificial lawns. According to the duo, reception has been great, as the company had already established clientele. They further highlighted that most of their competitors do

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not supply the same quality as theirs. “There isn’t much competition in the industry, we create the best quality products at an affordable price thus giving us an edge over our competitors. We make smooth and elegant flower pots which we normally sell for P100 and P250 depending on their sizes,” they said.

To expand their business, the two has opted to use social media to advertise their business.

They further noted that they sometimes fail to meet the demands of their customers by producing the specific kinds of molds that customers ask for due to the expense of the materials they need. “Our biggest challenge is insufficient funds and our location also is a disadvantage to us.

Having been located in the outskirts of Mogoditshane it is usually hard for customers to locate us.” The soon to be graduates said they had no plans of looking for work after obtaining their degrees as it’s hard to get a job these days but rather wish to continue and make a living out of their business.

They say their main goal is to grow and have a well established workshop and be able to create employment for the youth and be able to sell and offer their services country wide.

 



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