Facebook spins money for budding Motswana entrepreneur

Khumagadi Setlhare
Khumagadi Setlhare

What started as mere passion for gadgets and technology has suddenly metamorphosed into a money-spinning business for Khumagadi Setlhare.

The bubbly Gaborone-based young woman, popularly known as Cyoyo, is making money through selling cellular phones as an agent for retail stores. “I sell brand new phones that are boxed and sealed from shops with warranty,” she explained.

Setlhare started her business on Facebook in May 2014 when she was playing the ‘middleman’ between a seller and a buyer. “I used to sell a variety of things, then suddenly I developed more interest in my phones and I had the urge to start hustling,” she said.  She said she secured deals with shop owners after they saw her good intentions. She got a deal to sell phones from stores at a discounted suppliers rate. She has acquired exclusive rights to sell phones  from six stores in Gaborone. She acquires phones from the retail stores on a supplier’s rate and sells them to the customers at a cheaper price and gets a commission. “The customers have to make appointments with me first for me to be able to allow the shop to sell to them at a cheaper price as I am the only person that can give the clients those cheaper prices,” she explained with a twinkle in her eye.

Setlhare said that her clients have to make an appointment because she has to separate her business with her day job as a travel agent. “Yes, I have a job but I’m now thinking of quitting because I want to put more focus on my business of selling phones as it is proving to be profitable,” she said. The business has been booming in the last 10 months. She has named her business Zezuru Hustle Inc and created a Facebook page to boost her advertisement and sales.

She sells the latest brands of Samsung, Blackberry, Nokia, Sony, LG, Huawei and others. The prices range from P1,000 to P10,000 depending on the make and brand of the phone. On a good day, she said she sells at least five phones, which is very good for business. Today Setlhare, who is in her mid-20s, is gradually living her dream of becoming an entrepreneur. While her peers make merry and browse the Internet during their free time, she advertises and sales her gadgets on social media.

“I market my business online everyday when I wake up and before I sleep through the use of social media. Facebook has been my greatest form of marketing,” she said. “My love for gadgets and technology is out of this world and I also love and enjoy selling and marketing. All these gave me a push to start this type of business.”

A gifted merchant, Setlhare said she never lets a potential customer slide through her fingers to go and buy from a competitor. She usually encounters a challenge when a competitor drops a phone price below market rates. This tempts clients to abandon her and go to the competitor.

However, with her self-proclaimed skills of marketing and sealing a deal, she said she always makes sure that she gets customers despite the challenges. “I always make sure that the sale takes place no matter what. I have that slick business tongue,” she brags with a smile.  On average, Setlhare works for 10 hours a day. Her typical day begins with advertising through posting on numerous advertising pages and groups on Facebook before heading for work at 8.30am.

When she breaks for lunch, she rushes to the shops to sell and then comes back after an hour to continue with work. “I then knock off at 5.30pm to go back to the stores where we close late,” she said.

Her formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur includes courage, hunger to achieve, passion, seeing the big picture, being a motivator of people, adaptability, initiative, being decisive and prioritising. She said an idea can become reality only if one starts working hard on it. She said people should follow their dreams. If she had the chance to start her career over again, she would become a business analyst, although she has not given up.

Setlhare has had her fair share of failures from which she has learnt lessons. “I remember at varsity, I had failed modules because I had helped friends copy my work hence I was penalised. That was a major drawback, hey. I have learnt that nobody is perfect… I am not my mistakes, I am human,” she exclaimed.

With hunger, drive and passion to win, Setlhare said her detractors motivate her more because she always wants to prove them and everybody else who did not believe in her wrong. Her secret to generating ideas is through meeting new people, travelling, reading, researching and hanging out with those who give her positive energy and uplift her.

“With God, nothing can stop me from pursuing my dreams. As long as I don’t have to compromise what I believe in, then I will risk all and I want to be a high flyer, the type that has achieved everything. I also want to be a woman of virtue who motivates other women. I also want to have children and start a family,” said Setlhare.

She pointed out that having to divide her time with family and friends at the moment is not easy. The more she works the more she feels neglected. She regrets that right now, it is difficult for her to meet and woo potential life partners. “The stress of running my business can at times bring the worst in my character and fatigue might leave them feeling neglected,” she said.

She emphasised that the hours she spends on her business are very odd and that some of her friends and family cannot cope, yet they understand. She wants to invest in a wellness parlour and retire at a young age so that she can travel the world.  In her non-work time, she said she watches movies and enjoys reading and shopping. “I love being in solitude because it helps me meditate and grow spiritually. I listen to a lot of hip-hop and RNB too,” she disclosed.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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