Thebe Obonetse Lives Childhood Dream

| November 19, 2014 | 0 Comments

He was 12 years old and attending primary school when he started receiving special orders from his schoolmates to make toys and “sling shot” for them.

He learnt all the tricks from his uncle who is a carpenter. He used to watch him at home doing his work and he developed keen interest and started making toys.

Mr Thebe Obonetse sold his products to his school mates and it was then that his talent was recognised by many people in his neighbourhood.

He said he would even get orders from his schoolmates requesting him to do small decoration products for them. “I charged them little money and they always admired my handy work,” said Obonetse.

After completing his schooling at Shashe River School in 2005, he decided to venture into carpentry on a full time basis. He moved from making hand-sized materials to bigger things, which included benches, chairs and tables among others.

At that point in time, he was not making those products on a larger scale because he did not have the right equipment. “I had not done well at school and my uncle aised me to do carpentry on a full time basis,” he said.

The 27-year-old Mr Obonetse from Tonota realised his talent of working with wood at an early age. He worked well with his uncle for over a year from home and displayed their products by their gate to attract customers.

“People are very interested in the products and some request for decorating products,” he said. Mr Obonetse said as a result of the high demand for their products, there was a need to look for a place of operation which they eventually found.

“The place was not ideal for work but at least we were able to store our products there and as such, enabling us to have enough space at home,” he said. Mr Obonetse vividly remembers that fateful day when he was kindly asked by the owner to relocate from the place they had used as their store house.

“One of the challenges we usually face is that people make requests for products and after we have made them, they do not collect them in time and that calls for storage,” he said. With the closure of the store place, Mr Obonetse approached the Department of Youth in Tonota in 2013 to seek funding.

Within four months of submission of his proposal, he received P67 000 funding, which he used to buy equipment including power drill, circular saw, squares, hammers and bubble levels among others.

Mr Obonetse said when he received funding, he parted ways with his uncle as he was now engaged in other things. He said even though they no longer work together, he is eternally grateful for the gateway he provided, acknowledging that if it was not for him, he would not be where he is today.

The challenges he encounters include the delay by customers to fetch their products and the cost of ordering wood if not using mophane and mongana trees among others. Mr Obonetse has urged other young people to use their talent to create jobs instead of looking upon government for every provision.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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