Woman Finds Solace in Doormats

| January 21, 2015

Ms Sekani Mongwato (38) is determined to make ends meet through a business field.

She believes that running a successful business depends on a good a strategy, no matter how small the business could be. Ms Mongwato devised a simple strategy of sewing doormats using her free-hand sewing skills and the business does not need anything much to operate.

She uses empty maize-meal sacks and small pieces of cloths, which are easy to find. Speaking in an interview recently, she said the materials that she used were not costly as she collected empty maize meal bags from local restaurants and also get different pieces of cloths from her fashion designer friend.

Not academically gifted by her own admission, she says it is a blessing in disguise and the fact that she failed to aance her education never discouraged her but rather motivated her to keep her life on track.

“I could not make it any far at school, so I depended on short term jobs such as laundering to make ends meet. The money I received did not sustain me to my satisfaction,” she said.

For that reason, she then decided to use her free hand sewing skills in order to earn a living. Looking at her holding the needle, piercing and tucking in pieces of cloths into a maize meal sack, one can tell she is into this business with passion.

Ms Mongwato says credit should be given to her grandmother who taught her the basics on free hand sewing. “I grew up under the care of my grandmother and she taught me several free-hand sewing stitches and when I failed to get a reliable job, I decided to cling to the skills so as to fend for myself,” she said.

She started her business three years back and she operates in any easy to find area just along the main road, which leads to the Tutume Central Business District (CBD).

Ms Mongwato says she opted to operate along the main road because there is a lot of movement and customers can easily locate her. She says though she sells some of her products to local guest houses and lodges, most of her customers are individuals who frequent the CBD for different errands.

“I sometimes sell some of my doormats at the guest houses and lodges here but most of the people who buy my products are those people who come here for shopping and other activities, they never fail to stop by my stall,” she said.

Ms Mongwato indicated that though she spends most of the day sewing, she does not get bored because she interacts with different people on a daily basis, who at the same time happen to inspire and motivate her. She also said although her business is small, she does not despise it but takes it so serious and gives it the attention it deserves.

“My business is relatively small but I attend to it with a serious manner. I hate to find customers waiting for me, so I start my day as early as 0800 hours and ends it in the afternoon at 1600 hours with the reason that I get home early and attend to other household activities,” she said.

A single mother of one says the prices for the doormats vary depending on the size and the preference of the customer. So far she is able to raise enough money that she can attend to her basic needs satisfactorily and she saves some for rainy days.

Another opportunity that helps Ms Mongwato supplement her doormats profits is that she also repairs worn out clothes using her free hand sewing stitches and also sells some items such as air time, sweets, head scuffs and others.

Ms Mongwato says although she repairs worn out clothes using her free hand, her customers never complain of the service because she takes her time. This self-made small scale entrepreneur is aware about government programmes that are meant to financially assist aspiring business people.

She says she has not yet considered seeking financial assistance as she is currently content with her profits and the progress of the business. Furthermore, she also revealed that so far she intends to introduce patch work as well as to sew other items like cushions, curtains, seat covers and bags.

One thing that Ms Mongwato is impressed about is that though she failed to excel academically, she managed to use her handy skills to earn her family a dignified livelihood. She aised other people to consider using their skills and talents to create employment for themselves instead of relying on the government at all times.

Ms Mongwato laments that life without any form of education is difficult therefore her aice is that people, especially the youth should always take their education in a serious manner and seek other entities that will empower them academically.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Human Rights

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