Nkwane Finds Solace in Tannery

| May 15, 2015

Government has been providing the Remote Area Dwellers (RAD) with various empowerment programmes to help bring them on par with the rest of the society in as far as economic dependence is concerned.

Such programmes include among others bakery, leatherwork and processing, horticulture as well as fashion design and dressmaking. Resident are free to choose whichever programme they are comfortable with, depending on various factors such as training, passion and even home training.

For Mr Mohibidu Nkwane of Sorilatholo, passion and home training were the reason he chose leather works and processing.

Funded in 1999 under the Remote Area Development Programme (RADP), Mr Nkwane designs shoes, belts, handbags and saddles as well as attire for traditional troupes around his village.

“I was enrolled for different trainings where I learnt to design and make a range of leather products,” he said. He said his passion for leatherworks did not come as a coincidence as his grandfather was a great tanner who made traditional mats, trousers, and suits using leather form wild animals.

He said he buys hides and skins of domestic animals from different people especially during weddings, funerals and other events where such animals are normally slaughtered. He however, decried what he called a failure by most Batswana keep raw animal skins safe.

Despite that, he said he is content with the progress of his project. “This project is doing well even though there is little or no market in Sorilatholo. I mostly sell my finished products at Letlhakeng and Molepolole where there is a large population of the working class.

He said the business is doing well despite challenges like lack of equipment and transport. He said in the next five years he wants to have his own factory as he is currently renting at the local market place.

“The building is small to accommodate machines and other equipment that my trade requires. I also want to have transport so that I can travel anytime to market my products and collect hides. I am also planning to open a craft shop along Khutse Game Reserve road where I will sell my products to tourists.”

Mr Nkwane also indicated that he will seek aice for Local Enterprise Authority on measures to promote his products.

The elderly leatherman encourages young people who want to start their own business not to shy away from seeking aice where they do not understand. He also urged the youth to take aantage of the programmes introduced by the government to improve their lives, and aised them to get into leather business because it still has a market.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Business & Finance

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