Ex-Soldier Thrives As Gym Owner

Odirile Rakaki
Odirile Rakaki

FRANCISTOWN: An enthusiastic ex-soldier Odirile Rakaki (38) left the military to become a successful entrepreneur by venturing into a lucrative business of running a fitness centre.

Operating under the trade name Body Active Health and Fitness Studio, the studio encourages people to live a healthy lifestyle by being physically fit, to be able to maintain their most optimum weight and also not to be prone to lifestyle diseases and other health problems. The gym is located at Ngilichi village at Ntshe location. The Lobatse-born gym instructor and owner, Rakaki told Business Monitor that Body Active Health and Fitness Studio deals with fitness in general and also includes wellness coaching.“We offer services such as aerobics, boot camps, aquatic fitness, personal training, fitness dance, corporate wellness, adventure training, body composition anlysis, wellness consultation and others,” he said. Rakaki said that he started his thriving business in 2012 when he was still employed as a Lance Corporal at Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Area S Camp. He said that his journey as a fitness instructor began after he sustained an injury during a rugby match. “What prompted me to start the fitness centre was an injury that I encountered when I was playing rugby.

After the injury the doctor referred me to a physio where I was prescribed to exercise regularly. By then I decided to join an aerobics club in order to recover and keep my body fit for duty,” he said. Rakaki added that he then realised the importance of excising and wanted to use his case to change people’s lives.He further said he started off by conducting aerobics and other fitness activities in an open area due to lack of operational space until they were blessed with a gym space at Ngilichi village. He said that the business is running smoothly and it will soon flourish because of the new operational space. Rakaki disclosed that he does not have any qualification towards running a fitness centre. “I do not have any business management skills, but with the zeal, intelligence and the skills that I gained from my previous employer (BDF), I am going to conquer,” he said.

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