Mmegi Online :: From shoemaker to maker of leather goods
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Last Updated
Tuesday 19 February 2019, 13:38 pm.
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From shoemaker to maker of leather goods

When he started mending shoes during his secondary school days, George Seisabogadi could not have guessed that he would end up a shoe manufacturer.
By Staff Writer Wed 20 Feb 2019, 04:15 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: From shoemaker to maker of leather goods








Today the physically disabled man finds himself inundated with orders for shoes. His products are in such demand that he wishes he had the necessary equipment to produce more leather sandals, belts, handbags and wallets.

"A colleague of mine with selling space at the Veterinary Department in Gaborone invited me to meet experts who train people in leather tanning," recalls the 37-year-old Gabane-born Seisabogadi. He says all three trainees were from Gabane. That was in 2003.

The Veterinary Department invited them again three years later, this time to train them in sewing leather. But the other two from the first group could not attend the sewing course because they could not get time off from their regular jobs.

Seisabogadi was joined by people from other villages on farms in Mmathubudukwane and Matlolakgang for the leather-sewing course.

"The six-week course equipped us with skills in sewing leather belts, bags, and shoes," he says. "It was very rewarding.

"If I had money for the fees, I could

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have even gone to RIIC (the Rural Industries Innovation Centre in Kanye) for further training. We went to Matlolakgang with three goat skins we had tanned in Gaborone."

Seisabogadi says he bought leather from Bontleng in Gaborone last year and started making sandals, which were soon sold out.

"I used the money I had made from mending shoes and my home-based care allowance to buy the leather and shoe soles. I soon added wallets and bags to my product line," says the single shoe manufacturer.

Like all businesses, shoe making has challenges. Seisabogadi's include meeting growing demand from couples preparing to get married, who are among his customers. A friend helps with marketing and placing his products at flea markets in Gaborone.

Prices for children's sandals range from P65 to P80, while those for adults are between P100 and P120.Seisabogadi says he needs training in management.

He also needs to acquire appropriate equipment, which costs approximately P55 000.
(Sila Press Agency)

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