ON POST-COVID, South Africa has witnessed the rise of the fashion and textile industry at an unprecedented rate.
With the assistance of some of South Africa's leading organisations on entrepreneurship support and programmes, this allowed many businesses from the township economy to compete in both the local, mainstream and international markets.
This has placed the spotlight on an entrepreneur in the fashion and textile industry, Kabelo Selekolo, who is the founder of Mswenko Footwear.
Hailing from Molorwe Village in the North West province, Selekolo was raised by his caring aunt and uncle since the age of four and would visit his parents during school holidays.
His journey into entrepreneurship began at the tender age of 10, under the guidance of his aunt who ran a thriving business, selling various items like cold drinks, beers, snacks, and even winter clothes.
Selekolo was entrusted with an important role in the family business.
He took care of the business by ensuring sufficient stock was available in the fridge.
If needed, he would handle the finances diligently, setting aside profits and providing detailed reports to his aunt.
Just like any other seasoned entrepreneur, the whole experience of managing a family business sharpened his business acumen and therefore allowed him to start the brand Mswenko Footwear despite his financial challenges.
Kabelo's journey to establish the Mswenko brand took off in November of 2021, where he delved into various initial concepts and conducted research.
This process continued until the official launch of the brand in October of 2022.
Throughout this time, Selekolo remained committed to his vision of providing footwear that is not only fashionable but also comfortable and convenient for all wearers.
In the fashion industry, Mswenko holds great significance as it is closely associated with people's perception of fashion.
The brand's appeal lies in its commitment to delivering three essential elements to its customers: style, comfort, and convenience, suitable for both fitness and casual wear.
This unique combination places Mswenko in a favourable position, catering to a substantial and diverse market.
In conversation with The Township Economy, Kabelo mentioned: “Mswenko is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of others.”
“With every pair sold, we contribute R10 towards charitable causes. We carefully accumulate these funds to ensure that when the time is right, we can provide much-needed support to orphanage homes, assisting them with essential needs like food and other necessities. Giving back to the community is at the heart of our mission, and we take pride in making a difference through our donations," he said.
In disrupting the market, Mswenko is looking forward to introducing an array of additional colours, precisely tailored to meet their preferences and an extended range of sizes to cater to customers' specific needs and desires.