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Passionate about keeping dirt off

Mrs Nomhle Winny Leshomo is the current CEO and founder of the two businesses which specialise in cleaning, laundry and soap manufacturing. Leshomo describes herself as a born entrepreneur and remembers clearly buying herself a pair of school shoes from the profits she made after selling a packet of sweets back in primary school. Her first business MNPKR started with a few ladies whom she had trained. They would go to houses and clean, until her friend advised her to add laundry services as well. She has never looked back ever since.

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BUSINESS

MNPKR Cleaning& Laundry Services was founded in 2009. The other company, Speedchem Manufacture PTY Ltd started operating in 2013 and was registered in 2015. Speedchem manufactures powder soap, both low and high foam, industrial and domestic powder soaps. The company also produces cleaning chemicals such as thick bleach, bath foam, ammonia cleaner, dishwashing liquid and pine gel. Speedchem also recently introduced a small unit where they produce 100% natural products, such as glycerine soap, goat milk and caramel soap, African Black soap, body butter and African Black shampoo. MNPKR is an acronym which was formed from the first letters of Leshomo`s family names, husband and three children.

WHAT MAKES THE BUSINESS UNIQUE

Leshomo argues that they do their laundry in a unique way, not like any other. “We wash your clothes separately. We do not mix clothes even of the same colour”. “For example, my white shirt might not be the same as her white shirt, so it might contaminate”, says Leshomo. The energetic Leshomo further expresses that she has trained her employees that when they get to a house for a cleaning service they should start with the door frames, then electric plugs. “This is because these are the things which people do not focus on. Once you do it right, people will see the difference”, says Leshomo.

In expressing the secret behind her excellent service, Leshomo points out that “I love what I do and every time I do something for anyone, I do it as if I am doing it for myself”, says Leshomo. The enthusiastic Leshomo finds encouragement from making contribution to humanity. She points out that the fact that there are people working for the business is an achievement for her. “We start businesses for money but the main thing is to see other people benefiting from what we are doing”. “That is one of the things that give me much joy than money”, she adds.

ADVICE TO OTHER ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS

Leshomo motivates that perseverance, hard work and self-belief are the ingredients of every successful entrepreneur. She further asserts that for one to be successful he/she has to let go of fear of the unknown. “Start something that you love. Don’t try and copy someone else`s idea. Someone else`s idea will never be your own idea”, she cautions. “Even if people can steal what you come up with, they will never do it like you. Talk to anyone about anything because you will find help where you did not expect it”, she adds.

Experiencing Urban Family Market

Some of the vendors at the Urban Family Market

WHAT IS URBAN FAMILY MARKET

This is an entrepreneurial hub which offers small businesses an opportunity to showcase and sell their products. The first Urban Family Market which is planned to take place monthly, was officially launched on 29 July. “We have noticed that we actually have a lot of talent around Mafikeng. This is a way for us to try and get everyone in one space to showcase their talent”, explained Mokgabo Pule, the organiser and founder of the market. The market which took place at Mmabana Picnic Park hosted a total of 28 vendors. Pule says that her target is to host 50 vendors for each market as the park is big enough. Moreover, she asserts that “For me it is not only about the vendors displaying their products. I am aiming to create a network of small businesses”. Pule further emphasized that the network is meant to enhance communication between small businesses.

WHAT THE MARKET OFFERS

It offers a family set up which caters for every member of the family. One can expect food vendors, adult and child beverages, farmer`s corner, fashion and accessories corner and also a kiddies corner, amongst other things. Basically, people can expect to have an interesting outdoor and shopping experience while enjoying their meals, cocktails and music. “People are sitting under trees with skills because there are not affordable platforms for them to do something like this. This market is offering an ordinary person next door, to come and give us what they can offer”, emphasized the zealous Pule.

MOTIVATION BEHIND THE MARKET

Pule who describes herself as a perfect balance between being an introvert and an extrovert, a people`s person who loves outdoors, is an owner of multiple small businesses. She is currently having a nine to five job where she works as a financial manager for an engineering company based in Johannesburg. During the weekends she diverts her attention to her financial company, farming business, and now the market. In her response to how she manages she said “I think it is more about discipline. For a person to learn to divide their time they need to be much disciplined”. “I am not drowning yet but I do realise that there is going to be time when I need help with all of this”, she added.

Pule points out that she has previously been a part of markets around Johannesburg and other towns. However, here at home Pule did not have a fixed spot where she can be located and exhibit her products. “I figured it out that I need to come and start this for people who have the same issue as me. There are people who have a lot of talent but nobody exposes them”, says Pule.

 

Meet the Acting Municipal Manager for Ramotshere

Ms Matlakala Matthews Acting Municipal

By Dirontsho Sebego

Matlakala Irene Matthews is the first female candidate to be appointed as the acting municipal manager for Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality. She was appointed as per council resolution in July 2017 to act as Municipal Manager for a period of three months.

Matthews, a gender activist and trade unionist has the relevant qualifications and work experience. She has obtained a master’s degree in international relations, Bachelor of Administration (hons) in Public Administration and Political studies from Turfloop University. She also has extensive experience on labour relations, conflict and dispute resolution matters.

Before her secondment to Ramotshere Moiloa, Matthews was working as Municipal Manager in the Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality and also worked as the Director of Corporate services in Matlosana and Tlokwe municipalities respectively.

As expected, Matthews is appointed with full delegated powers i.e. she will be responsible for general managerial duties of the institution, Ensuring sound management of Council Budget, render advisory services to Council and its committees, ensure that the municipality complies with all applicable legislations, IDP review, budgeting process, Community participation, ensure that Council implement LED projects aimed at empowering local people and creating job opportunities.

Matlakala had a brief engagement with senior and middle management upon resuming her duties and she indicated that she is looking forward to working together with all officials. “I hope that we are going to learn from each other. You are familiar with the environment and I cannot just come and change things. My interest will be to assist on issues relating to compliance and legislations. I operate on an open door policy but please do not take advantage. Let’s stick to issues relating to taking this municipality forward”, she said during the introductory meeting.

She will continue to engage with the rest of the staff member through one on one session.

 

Life propelled by love for cooking

Chef Manoto in the kitchen, which is where he spends most of his time.

Andrew Manoto, a chef by profession was born and raised in Itsoseng Township, approximately 8km from Mafikeng CBD. Now a chef lecturer, Manoto started working in the hospitality industry from 1999 and has never done anything outside his profession ever since.

THE JOURNEY BEGINS

Chef Manoto reveals that the motivation behind his choice of career came from his upbringing. He is the first born with two younger brothers, and a little sister who came in much later into the picture. Growing up as three boys, they were given specific responsibilities in the house such as cleaning and cooking. They had to alternate days of when and who should cook. Manoto loved and preferred to cook Sunday meals.

The chef realised his passion at a tender age. Immediately after matric he studied Food Service Management at the Vaal University of Technology. From there he started working as an entry level chef. This inspired him to work even harder. “I started to pull up my socks. I told myself from that time that every day I want to learn something new. I want to achieve something that I have never achieved before”, says the passionate chef.

Manoto has been employed as a lecturer by the Hotel School Mafikeng since 2007. He has been serving for close to 18 years in the industry. The devoted chef specialises in the hot kitchen, which is where the main catering activities take place. In other words, that is where starch, meat and vegetables are cooked.

INFLUENCE OF GENDER ROLES IN THIS PROFESSION

Manoto argues that the number of male chefs exceeds that of female chefs in the industry. “This is because it is not an easy job. It requires a lot of energy. It is labour intensive career”, he says. Being of a Sesotho ethnicity and brought up in a traditionally rich home, Manoto does not dispute the fact that cooking roles are traditionally assumed to be for women. According to the zealous chef, there are two ways of cooking. That is, cooking as a responsibility and doing it with passion. “I do not want to make cooking my responsibility at home. I do it with passion”, says Manoto who prepares meals occasionally for his family.

ADVICE TO ASPIRING CHEFS

The chef cautions that just like with any other career path, one has to do thorough research and be sure before going into the profession. “Every chef must be passionate, energetic, creative and be willing to learn new things”, said Manoto in pointing out the qualities of a good chef. The devoted lecturer also asserts that a good attitude plays an important role for survival in this industry. “When you have a good attitude in this industry, every chef will want to share experience with you, especially if you are obedient. Those who have a good attitude and are willing to learn prosper very fast”, he says. Manoto further emphasises that “this needs to be in your blood and you need to be sure that you want to do it. You must have passion and be willing to learn new things”.

 

 

A glance into Mo`Molemi`s farming and music journey

Mo`Molemi at one of his stalls

Many will kill to be in the spotlight but Mo`Molemi has a differing view as he prefers farming as opposed to music. His last album “Asia” was released in 2013 and he asserts that throughout his music career “the objective was always to establish a brand name for myself, Mo`Molemi and use it to drive agriculture”.

THE MAN BEHIND THE CRAFT

Motlapele Morule popularly known by his stage name Mo`Molemi grew up in Bakang Farm, Ramatlabama approximately 30km from Mafikeng CBD. This is where he is currently residing with his family. Mo`Molemi is a shorter version for Motlapele wa Molemi. The Molemi part of his name comes from his love for farming.

Morule contends that his passion lies more with farming than music. He is currently not with any recording label as he is winding down his music career. The 36 year old describes himself as an introvert, secluded and a very private person who enjoys his own space. “I have always known that I will never make a big success out of music because music is something that is very people related”, he explained. “It has never been my ambition to take over the world as a rapper but instead to use rap as a vehicle to help me establish my dream as a farmer”, he added.

Growing up in a farm with a father who is a well-established farmer, served as a major motivation for Morules`s choice of career. “I realised earlier in life that I have what it takes to be a great farmer. I just needed to put in the amount of time and energy that it requires to become a farming success”, he said enthusiastically.

HIS TRANSITION INTO FARMING

Morule started farming in 2003 and has been on and off for the past eight years. However, he asserts that last year he had the opportunity to concentrate more on farming than music. Morule admits to experiencing internal conflict at times. “It has been four years now but every day I still wake up with a feeling that I can actually do a one killer album”. My heart wants it but it is not in my plan. It is just that struggle everyday of what the heart wants and what is actually supposed to happen”, he explains.

Regardless of this, Morule maintains that the two careers exist in two separate worlds and that they cannot co-exist in the same space. As a husband and a father to three daughters, he admits that at times when farming was struggling to pick up he had to rely on his music for income. Despite this, Morule points out that he has been conscious throughout on winding down his music career. With three solo albums under his name Morule conveys that when he did his last album “Asia” he was really saying now I am coming to an end.

Morule has done a lot of short courses prior to commencing a BSc degree with the North West University. Now a first year student at Mafikeng campus, he discloses that the reason to empower himself academically is motivated by the idea that he wants to interact with other young people who are clued-up about the digital world. The aim being to come up with ways of incorporating digital methods into farming.

The crop and vegetable farmer Morule, argues that farming is not a bed of roses. “Farming commercially is a big challenge for black people in this country because we are competing with white farmers who have had more than a hundred years advantage of farming”, he lamented. Morule has not allowed these challenges to quench his passion which is clearly evident in his expression. “I get pleasure from small things. When I plant seeds and see them germinate. It is like a success story”. “When my transplanted crops turn into crops that I can harvest and sell. It is the little milestones that I really cherish because it is all I have to build on”, he said.

HIS FUTURE PLANS

The enthusiastic farmer says that he is very fortunate that in his twenties he has lived out his bucket list. In his forties he wants to see himself running a successful commercial farming business where he is producing and packaging a variety of fresh products. His goal is to distribute to the SADC countries and make food available and affordable to the rural villages surrounding Mafikeng. Currently he is serving a reputable client in Botswana and sometimes sell his produce at his own stalls in Mafikeng CBD. Morule also supplies a local supermarket with Giant English Spinach and has regular clients which buy his vegetables.

Part of Morule`s plans involves packaging all his albums into a single collection then rebrand and resell them. He plans to do this at a later stage in his journey. “Every time when I am forced to do these things. I always think jealously of my time. Stopping to pursue my farming dream and trying to fix this music thing which I really never want to pursue”, he protests.

Morule expresses that he feels that he is slowly evolving more into a full time writer. He says that he is looking forward to publishing his second book which he hopes will be more engaging and will set him apart as a writer from being only a rapper. According to Morule, his first book “Motsamai; a walk in the park” was published last year. The book was available only online but they have since then shut down the download so that it gives them an opportunity to print it into a hard copy. The aspiring writer intends to publish his next book in the winter of 2018.

HIS UPCOMING EVENT

As an initiative of the Huizbraak company, on 22 July Morule along with other artists will be performing songs from his 17 track debut album “Amantsi”. The year 2017 marks 10 years since the release of Amantsi. The motivation behind this 10 year celebration of Amantsi is that “a lot of people invested their hard earned money to support me. The event is all about saying thank you”, he explains. “I meet a lot of people who come to me and say, I was going through a really hard time in my life. I listened to your tracks, such as footprints in your album. You really inspire me to be what I am today”. “This is the moment where I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported my career”, he continued. “God is giving me so many opportunities in Agriculture. I am not really trying to fill up the dome. I am happy where I am”, added Morule, who explains that Amantsi is a work of genius because he does not really see how he can relieve Amantsi, especially in terms of its quality. His live performance will take place tomorrow, 18:00 at BRS, Mafikeng.