A local entrepreneur, Thatayaone Motlokwa has found a niche in leather making through his company, Zekis Leather Work. Already,the leather man dreams of becoming a great entrepreneur who will transfer the skills to others to help them produce leather products.
Zekis Leather Work manufactures leather products like belts, sandals, bracelets and leather paintings; it also deals with shoe repair and upholstery covering of car seats, chairs and sofas. Narrating his journey, Motlokwa explains that it all started in 2003 when he studied upholstery at Industrial Affairs Training Centre at Matlolakgang ranch in an endeavor to master the craft of producing leather goods. He later enrolled in another sewing course as a way of sharpening his craft to become a fully-fledged leather man. Motlokwa was fortunate enough to be afforded an opportunity to attend Canada World Youth leadership training, which was held in Canada and Cape Town respectively in 2006.
About six years later, Motlokwa who resides in Thamaga then applied for a Youth Development Fund grant, which was successful and birthed the leather producing enterprise. “I have been operating under the above name even though I am currently struggling with registering my company which is preventing me from starting a leatherwork corporation.
I want to become a great entrepreneur, and teach people how to produce leather goods. It is also my dream to gather a variety of artists in the entertainment and arts industry under my wing and merge them to achieve a common goal,” he said. His business targets individuals, companies and tourists who mostly prefer bracelets and belts. Motlokwa showcases his products at Botswelelo Pottery for easy access to tourists.
He told Business Monitor that he imports the leather at a very high price, which ends up affecting his pricing. However to address that, he intends to use local hides and skin for production, the type he says is of preference and liking to tourists.
“Thamaga’s market is not appetising hence I am planning to relocate to Mogoditshane which I think can be a better market. We have no competitors in Thamaga; no one is doing leatherwork”.
However, he said he has a competitive edge over others as he has the machinery noting that he even hosts some of them in their workshop. In addition, he said his products are of good quality. He further decried lack of industrial space, which the founding owner of the business has been struggling to acquire.