What began as a way to make pocket money by two final-year students is now making headway in their community of Lwandle.
In 2015, the duo Thando Fatyela and Siya Mtsako started Blvck Africa, a clothing range to make extra cash and meet some of their school needs.
They started selling their clothing in the backyard room of a garage. Now the pair is running a successful business at the Nomzamo Business Centre. They sell a range of items, including beanies, tracksuits, t-shirts, hoodies and jackets.
In an interview with City Vision, Fatyela said the enterprise had come a long way. He added he and Mtsako wanted to see their brand expand across the country.
“Our clothing line is there to celebrate black pride and being proud of who we are,” he pointed out. “From the T-shirts, caps and everything else we do we always have our African cultures, patterns to instil a sense of pride on being Black people.”
Fatyela said when they first posted the idea on Facebook in early 2015, they saw that what they wanted to do was receiving positive feedback.
“People on our social media platforms liked our designs, and we received a number of orders. Since then, we knew we were on the right track and things started to happen for us.” He said the clothing attracted both young people and old. The two have since employed one person who runs the store.
“The support we have received from our community of Lwandle and surrounding areas has inspired us a great deal. People around here have been our mainstay all these years. We don’t take light the support they have given us all these years.”
Fatyela says a store at Somerset Mall or Canal Walk is something the duo hopes to achieve. “Where we come from having a lease is really something and would make us very excited. It means a lot to us. Our plan now is to approach bigger spaces to operate our business,” he said, adding that can bring them another market.
Fatyela hopes to grow the business to improve the living conditions in the community.
If anyone want to order anything they can also WhatsApp Fatyela on 078 374 9278.