"Your background doesn’t define you" – Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala

Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala
Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala

My husband and I had always thought of SB kids, since we were dating and had discussed it. Our biggest motivation however, was when we found out that we were expecting a baby; that’s when we felt the urgency to start this clothing range with an African super hero called Super Shabba and an African princess called Princess Bokang.

SB Kids is unique because it’s a Proudly South African range, and have African faces as a super hero and princess. It’s the first of its kind in South Africa.

We decided to have the clothes at Jet stores because they’re big on Proudly South African products. They’ve also played a huge role in creating about 7 000 jobs in our country. SB Kids clothes are made from cotton grown and manufactured in SA.

Also, Jet sells more than any other retailer when it comes to kids clothing and we were more concerned with our clothes being accessible to all South Africans. We want our clothes to reach that little boy or girl in a village or township because they are the ones we truly want to inspire.

READ MORE: An 18-year-old started a fashion business on Instagram and the lookbook with her family is so adorable

We want African kids to be inspired by the story of Super Shabba and Princess Bokang; a boy from Soweto who starts with nothing and becomes an African hero and a girl from a village who gets the biggest crown on the continent and becomes the princess of the entire Africa. We want them to know they aren’t defined by their background. We want black kids to embrace the colour of their skin and texture of their hair. We want them to know they can be great and that they’re worthy of big dreams.

Getting funding was the most challenging part of the journey. When we started, we couldn’t get any funding, so we saved up for a year for the first launch of our clothing range.

It’s important to talk about challenges, because a lot of young African entrepreneurs or even those with great ideas don’t always find financial support. We hope they can draw some inspiration through our story and know that people won’t always believe in what you’re working on. Doors will be slammed in your face but you need to keep believing in your dream and never give up. Provision for that vision will come.

READ MORE: Lesego Mokoena on love, marriage and fashion

Our advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is: Don’t give up and don’t sell your intellectual property for a small percentage. When no one believes you have a great idea, don’t give up – good things take time. 

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