SA entrepreneur creates face mask for the deaf

Published Oct 29, 2020


CAPE TOWN - A young South African entrepreneur has created face masks for those suffering from impaired hearing. The clear face mask allows the deaf to communicate effectively.

Young South African entrepreneur of 25 years old, Nkululeko Lehapa, Founder of Busani Clothing Enterprise, had seen a need and, with his team, came up with an innovative solution - a locally made deaf-friendly face mask that allows the hearing impaired to communicate effectively during the Covid-19 pandemic which is clear and fog-resistant to breathing and speaking.

“I’m very proud of our team, who have been innovative and considerate. Our community matters, and now deaf people will never be neglected," said Lehapa, "COVID-19 has taught me that an effective entrepreneur is one who can easily solve problems and adjust to current market trends, an entrepreneur who can see opportunity in challenges. I’ve learnt that I need to be open-minded, resourceful and adaptable. And most importantly, I’ll be able to ask for help when needed."

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The journey began for Nkululeko Lehapa at the age of 20 while still a student in Applied Maths and Economics at Wits University, he was unable to afford formal work clothing as he started working for an investment bank where paying off his fees with his income was the main priority, he then decided to learn how to make his own formal clothes and eventually caught the interest of colleagues who insisted on Lehapa making suits for them too.

Standard Bank recognised the small business as one with great potential and invested in Busani Clothing Enterprise thorough their enterprise development which has allowed the company to expand with the facility now employing 12 full-time tailors with a short and long-term goal aiming to expand even further for mass production, by creating more jobs and creating a sustainable future.

"I have a strong passion for mass production, as I believe that this is a strong solution for unemployment in our immediate community as well as a great contribution to skills development," said Lehapa.

If you would like further information on the deaf-friendly masks or place an order, visit

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covid 19