By ‘Muso Nkhasi
In 2019, Teboho Julius Molotsi and Lehlohonolo Nelson Ncube from Berea Sekamaneng, started an innovative furniture art store named Visionary Infinite Sotho Décor and Landscaping. This was to create income for their living while also promoting cultural wear furnishing.
They use exotic materials to produce coffee tables, side lamps, table bowls, hanging lamps – all of the mentioned few using animal hides, Sesotho trees known as Mohloare and Kolitšane but to name a few that is always paired with leather. Prices depend on the size and design of the product.
They say expressing their work through art is meaningful to them as it is a means to communicate that which cannot be said verbally. They believe their art explains who they are to themselves and others.
The two did not go to school for art but the creativity developed in them and grew. The aim is to attract more tourists in Lesotho and sell to hotels, guest houses, and individuals, who are welcome to request custom designs. As their brand’s own initiative, they plan to start producing awards trophies soon.
Innovation and creativity can help Lesotho youth to start their own outstanding businesses and we see the two young men as part of the youth that is proactive in this regard towards entrepreneurship despite the obstacles they face as an independent business. These include inability to reach targets due to lack of advertisement – which requires financial muscle. There is also scarcity of tools to use to meet the desired quality standard for their products.
Their greatest challenge is lack of machinery that produces well refined skin hides and, fade away pests that tarnish the quality of the hides. The machine may be outsourced in South Africa, which highlights a plea to artists and potential investors to assist towards acquiring at least one machine.
Art is a unique business that youth can consider for exportation and value chain chances of businesses.