Mr Tshifhiwa Mulaisi manufactures fashionable shoes. Photo: Kaizer Nengovhela.
Tshifhiwa Mulaisi’s story is an inspiring one and he was proud to tell Limpopo Mirror how he went from being unemployed to an established shoemaker who is now able to provide sufficiently for his family.
Mulaisi hails from Ha-Sinthumule and he started off by selling shoes for someone else. One day he decided that the time to do something for himself had come, so he took the first step: asking for advice. “I met with friends who manufacture shoes and I asked how I can start my own business, as I was unemployed at the time.”
He had no formal training in shoemaking. All it took was a little creativity to develop his skills and get started. “It was not easy to establish myself, as it required hard work, perseverance and dedication,” he said.
The man makes his shoes by hand, as he does not have all the relevant machinery for this trade yet.
The material and soles he buys from local shops, and he uses shoe glue, crochets, special knives, needles and threads to make an attractive product. “It needs creativity, because one needs to make something that will attract the public to buy the products.”
He sells his shoes in Louis Trichardt and surrounding areas for between R70 and R250, depending on the material used.
Today, Mulaisi brings the fruit of his hard labour to the table. The money he makes from his shoemaking business enables him to look after his four kids, who are all still in school. “My children no longer go to bed on empty stomachs since I became a shoemaker. I can now pay their school fees and provide them with basic needs, so that they can proudly face the future like other kids,” he said.
Though the family does not have a fixed monthly income, they keep their heads above water. “My income depends on the availability of customers. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel because I no longer struggle to survive.”
Mulaisi said that many opportunities to make money existed, but that laziness was a common stumbling block for success. “Our people do not want to use their brains profitably. Laziness breeds misery, and our people must learn that they can survive even though they are not formally employed. We need to wake up and do something to contribute to the economic development of our society.”
He said people must stand up and do something to uplift themselves. “There is no use to wait for miracles, because we are the ones who can make things happen.”
Mulaisi can be reached on Tel 072 465 3090.
Date:25 September 2021 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.