Motlagosebatho&Matshidiso Story

Goabaone Sewing company owners, Motlagosebatho Motlashuping and Matshidiso Tshilo, saw a new business opportunity when President Cyril Ramaphosa made face masks mandatory in public places to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The two business partners had been stuck at home in Delareyville, a village outside Mafikeng, living on meagre savings since the start of the nationwide lockdown at the end March. Meanwhile, factory-made face masks turned out to be unaffordable for many people in a country crippled by poverty and hyperinflation.

Motlagosebatho (40) and Matshidiso (50) jumped on the opportunity to make money by sewing and selling cheaper cloth masks for their customers from home and at intersections. “We saw it as an opportunity to grow our business and also to play our own part in fighting the pandemic and started selling these masks after noticing that people intending to board buses were being turned away,” said Motlagosebatho.

Matshidiso, who will not be able to reopen her stall until the lockdown is lifted, concluded by saying that ‘during this time of coronavirus, selling these masks is helping us make a considerable income. We only started sewing these face masks now because of the coronavirus. We can sew up to 100 of them per day, but there is a shortage of material.’

Madibogo branch DF, Hellen Baloyi, added that “I admire the creativity of our clients by being adaptable and finding ways to fit within today’s market. However, I have noticed some people keeping their face masks dangling below their chin and pulling them over their mouth and nose only at the sight of police or government officials. It seems many are wearing their masks for the wrong reasons. They are doing it more out of fear of arrest than for their own safety.”

Like Motlagosebatho and Matshidiso, many of our clients are skilled entrepreneurs just lacking the capital to get started. A little credit goes a long way towards helping these women reach their full potential.

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