Women Sew for Living

| June 17, 2015

Sewing is one of the pastimes that Batswana engage in and also use to earn a living. The same goes for Ms Tshanonoka Khamandisi (46) from Gerald Estates who plies her trade in the city center.

As life offered her a hard time while she was selling sweets, mophane worms and bananas, Ms Khamandisi decided to opt for sewing in the outskirts of Ntshe House. In a recent interview with BOPA, she said that she has a passion for sewing and learnt the basics when she was in Zimbabwe.

She noted that whilst still sewing at her work place she was offered the opportunity to go and learn more about sewing at the Francistown College Technical Vocational Education (FCTVE) in Gerald.

At the end of December 2014 she was funded under the poverty eradication program. She was given two machines and some materials to start the business which she did along with her son, Blessed Khamandisi.

From the business which she started with her son, she was able to pay for her land which was in arreas, paid the bill for electricity to be installed in her house and also took care of her family needs.

However, she noted that like any other business, she encounters challenges every day. “The problem is that some people prefer to go to the shops than buying here since shops are well ventilated and enclosed.

Not only that, shops use electric machines while we use manual machines ones which disaantages us and make us work under pressure,” said Ms Khamandisi.

She added that lack of electric embroidery machines is a setback because the machines they use are time consuming when attempting to make the garment neat and appeal to their clients.

Furthermore, she said the fact that clients come to her without having visualized a pattern makes sewing a challenge which means would be forced to choose a pattern she deems suitable for the client. When the final product is done, they demand a refund because it would be a pattern they had not anticipated.

Therefore, she pleaded with all her potential clients to present their patterns whenever they request her to design an outfit in order to avoid any inconveniences.

Despite the challenges she faces, Ms Khamandisi’s business continues to thrive noting that she appreciates the good customer feedback she has been receiving and the support the government and Batswana in general give her. In future, she hopes to own a store and have her own unique brand name.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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