Nail-ling it

QUALITY PRODUCT: Fasteners Hub Nails

• Wetshootsile brothers transform steel manufacturing

In a country where importing goods is the norm, a new breed of Batswana entrepreneurs in Gaborone’s G-West Industrial area is breaking the mold by thriving in the industrialisation of steel nails.

The Wetshootsile brothers, 41-year-old Kagiso and 38-year-old Oratile, have turned their business venture into a booming enterprise.

The siblings from Kanye launched their company, Fasteners Hub, in 2022.

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Kagiso, with an Advanced Diploma in Sales and Marketing from Kimberly, South Africa, and Oratile, an Electrical and Mechanical Engineering graduate from the Francistown Centre for Technical and Vocational Education (FCTVE), have combined their skills to create a thriving business.

Their journey began with training from the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) and funding from the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA).

Fasteners Hub is a 100% youth-owned company specialising in manufacturing mild steel round head wire nails of various sizes, from 2 to 6 inches, as well as panel pins and U-nails (staple nails).

They also distribute bolts and nuts.

Kagiso, the Marketing Manager, shared insights into their operation.

“We source our raw materials from South Africa. Once it arrives, we gear up in safety equipment and start the manufacturing process. The wire is inserted into a machine for cutting, then moved to the polishing stage where the nails are shined with sawdust before packaging.”

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FAMILY BUSINESS: The brothers at the BB Northern Trade Fair

He proudly stated, “We supply collated nails in any quantity, from a few boxes to full containers. Our nails are straight, strong, and sharp. If it’s not any of these, it’s not ours.”

Fasteners Hub has already secured a significant client, Builders Mart, which owns 27 stores nationwide.

Despite their success, the Wetshootsile brothers face challenges.

“Customers often compare our prices with those from South Africa, factoring in currency exchange rates and Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) charges. We hope the government can regulate market prices and reduce tax charges for startups,” Kagiso explained.

Looking ahead, they plan to expand their product range to include different types of fasteners like screws and concrete nails.

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Their hard work is paying off: after attending the Business Botswana Northern Trade Fair for the first time last year without recognition, they won second place in the manufacturing sector this year, a triumph that has fuelled their motivation and belief in their business.

“Our win gave us more exposure and inspired us to work even harder,” said Kagiso.

The Wetshootsile siblings are proof that with determination and innovation, local manufacturing can thrive and set new standards in Botswana.

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