FRANCISTOWN: With her flourishing business, from the dusty roads of Mandunyane village, 26-year-old Lone Basupi has defied the odds and found an innovative way of making money in order to put food on the table.
The textile design graduate from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology operates a home-based business named Afriforte, which means African excellence. Afriforte deals with designing and manufacturing wide range of bags elegantly hand crafted. The business is located at Mandunyane village, which is approximately 35 km from the second city.
When speaking to BusinessMonitor, the aspiring entrepreneur said her self-funded business was established in 2018 but was formally registered last year.
According to the stylish and qualified textile designer, her company has a diverse range of bags from waist, toiletry, multipurpose and backpacks.
With the financial help from her savings acquired when she was working at Live Africa as a designer in Maun, she managed to keep her business running for the past four years. During her tenure at Live Africa, Basupi indicated that she designed various textile products and eventually her passion for making bags kicked in.
She shared that her strong cutting and machining skills have served her well since. She further stated that it all started as a job then hobby at home and turned into a small business due to social problems.
“When I had my son, I instantly knew that I have to come up with a solid plan in order to provide all the basic neccesities.This business was solely created in order to provide a basic foundation for my son and the rest of the family,” the business woman added.
She stated that a lot of people in her community including friends and family were so impressed with her creations and very supportive of her fabulous bag designs. Four years on, her company has gone from strength to strength with a thriving door to door home based business and customers from across the country.
The key to Basupi’s success is that she manufactures the highest quality bags with an exceptional taste of African designs.
She stated that her designs are made from fabrics and garments cuts from local shops here.
The go-getter highlighted that it is her mission to constantly grow the customers by designing superior and cost effective bags through contribution of new ideas.
Her words of encouragement to other textile graduates are that they should always remember that starting at the bottom is key to becoming a good designer.
“Always remember that working under someone else gives them control over you and limit your capabilities, hence let all start thinking outside the box. Let be employers not just wait for the government to give such opportunities,” she advised.