Thabo Motheba Makhetha-Kwinana
What Does Your Company Do?
Thabo Makhetha Cc is globally recognised for using and taking inspiration from authentic Basotho blankets and creating a collection of winter wear jackets and coats. The Basotho blanket is a symbol of status with deep cultural roots dating over a century in Lesotho, a small landlocked country in Southern Africa ruled by a monarchy. Fashion designer Thabo Makhetha- Kwinana was born in Lesotho and raised in South Africa; my collection is an ode to my own Basotho heritage. The company hopes to inspire young people to use their culture and heritage for artistic inspiration and help in the revival of the clothing manufacturing industry in South Africa.
What is your Biggest Success?
What sticks out as my biggest success, is my runway debut at Vancouver Fashion Week in Canada 2014, where I was praised for my unique Basotho designs. This fashion show came after years of trying to make a name for my brand and company, with many doors being closed, however after the showcase I managed to form a strong presents in the South African Fashion Industry and affirmatively vowed to always work hard and create an impact in my society.
What has been your Biggest Hurdle?
I started my business in 2009 fresh out of varsity as I could get the job. My own employees constantly undermined me because of my age and lack of industry experience in comparison to them. There where many nights spent finishing off others work because they had not listen to me but at 5pm they where the first ones out the door. I had to grow up really quickly and get the self confidence not to be intimidated or pushed around. I knew what I wanted and had to learn to show people how to respect my work and take me seriously despite my age.
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