Success did not come easy for Mohapi

"SUCCESS is the willingness to want something and get up and get it," says Jeanette Ngwane, chairperson of the South African Women inMining Association.

"SUCCESS is the willingness to want something and get up and get it," says Jeanette Ngwane, chairperson of the South African Women inMining Association.

"We must have the desire to win, not a hope, not a wish. Let it be definite," Ngwane says.

Ngwane was speaking at the inaugural Bojanala Platinum DistrictMunicipality's Small, Medium and Micro Entrepreneurs Awards ceremony in Rustenburg at the weekend.

The Bojanala municipality is an umbrella of five local councils - Kgetleng Rivier, Madibeng, Moses Kotane, Moretele and Rustenburg.

According to Bojanala mayor Raymond Motsepe, the municipality is serious about supporting and growing small businesses in the area.

Motsepe said the idea was to help such businesses to become globally competitive.

He echoed the advice of several local business and political leaders who urged the entrepreneurs who made it to the finals to be strong and relentless in their quest for success.

Motsepe said South Africans should take the lead from the government and support local businesses.

Small businesses were chosen from all five local municipalities. They were given space to market themselves at an exhibition hosted by Waterfall Mall, Motsepe said.

The entrepreneurs had the opportunity to showcase their skills and products to over than 50000 people who visit the mall every week.

Overall winner Katlego Mohapi, of Bothakga Clothing and Projects, said that when he started his business with limited resources four years ago, people had tried to discourage him.

"You are crazy to do this without resources and will fail," Mohapi said his peers had told him at the time.

Mohapi, 25, said he started with one industrial sewing machine. He has grown his business to nine machines.

"I made deals with schools and partnered with local women who had small machines to make uniforms, badges and emblems," said Mohapi, who is based at Mmakau village in the Madibeng municipality.

He said he now had contracts with seven schools for which he produces uniforms. He also produces uniforms and golf shirts for over 20 companies.

The criteria for choosing a winner was sustainability and job creation.

Another winner was Mpata Khunou. He said he dropped out of high school in Grade 11 to pursue a career as a jeweller. He started working at a jewellery store while still at school and, through the Construction, Education and Training Authority, qualified to manufacture jewellery.

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