Image: Instagram

Lethabo Mokoena’s inspiring 8-year business journey

BY Nkosazana Ngawdla

Washing your sneakers can be quite a daunting task, especially if you’re a sneakerhead with lots of pairs – and don’t us started on trying to get a stain off suede material, a nightmare!

That’s why when local entrepreneur, Lethabo Mokoena started his sneaker-cleaning business in 2015, he knew he would be successful; because let’s face it, everyone loves a good pair of fresh, clean sneakers.

Lethabo started his business at his home in Daveyton, a township in Benoni, Gauteng, with just R700 as capital and he named it Walk Fresh. “I had to drive from Daveyton to Braamfontein to get access to some of the key resources & knowledge that molded me to be the entrepreneur I am today,” he wrote on Instagram.

“Walk Fresh is a boutique sneaker cleaning and shoe-care service providing the best sneaker cleaning, suede/nubuck refurbishing, and maintenance for all footwear brands, makes, and materials,” the brand website reads.

Eight years later, Walk Fresh has four branches across South Africa with the prospects of even more growth.

“We find our freedom in what we do. We get the chance to define ourselves and be part of a family. Some of the processes and techniques we use are not found in textbooks or on the Internet. They are original; these are skills handed down by those before us. This is a legacy from our grandfathers, fathers, uncles and now us. The skill of utilizing a toothbrush for polishing shoes to using tissue paper for drying sneakers are those we have inherited,” the website continues.

Because Lethabo is passionate about transferring skills for the betterment of others, he launched Sole Survivors: an institute dedicated to teaching youngsters in townships how to clean sneakers and run sustainable sneaker-cleaning businesses.

Now that’s inspiring!

Image credit: Instagram

Drip founder, Lekau Sehoana, shares his experience of owning a chicken business before starting Drip

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

Most entrepreneurs say they’ve always known that they needed to start their own business from the very early stages of their lives. Although most business owners struggle to get their companies off the ground at first, with perseverance and proper research, they thrive.

The story of Drip Footwear dates back to 2003, when founder Lekau Sehoana had to make the most out of what he had, which sparked innovation and creativity. Growing up in an informal settlement of Ivory Park, Lekau Sehoana, didn’t have any shoes to wear.

He then saw an old torn sneaker and redesigned it using Denim and Polyurethane. This sneaker became a local hit and led him to enter the shoe-making business, and exchange pain for profit, for the next 5 Years of his High School life. A few years later, Drip was born, and it has been one of South Africa’s favorite shoe brands to date.

Lekau recently took to Twitter to share how just six months before starting Drip, he was running a chicken business that wasn’t doing so great.

“These pictures were taken exactly 6 months before I started DRIP. I learned so much from this journey. Running a business and bleeding money every day, literally. Each day when it came, I went further into the negative. This business tested me in so many ways,” he wrote.

All the testing was clearly just a path leading him to greater heights, and what Lekau has done with Drip is commendable and inspirational – just the motivation we all need to kick off 2023. This is your sign to go for that dream job, start the podcast, and don’t be afraid to reach for your goals. The fear of failure will only hold you back from greatness.

And in Lekau’s words: “One thing about entrepreneurship, you must never panic. Even in the midst of the worst storms, stay calm, think of solutions, and move.”

Close Bitnami banner