Woman on the move
While she was studying business and Commerce at the University of North London, she met her would be husband through a dating site and it was love at first sight and the beginning of many achievements.
This mother of three is not your average 35 year- old young lady from Palapye living in London. Segopotso and husband, Neil Abbott, run an old age home in North London where they live. She also ships used cars from the United Kingdom to Botswana.
You may know her from her facebook pages; ‘Affordable cars & classics from UK to Botswana’ and UKcars via Namibia 2Jwaneng camp & GC! Find out what Mma Abbott, as car hunters popularly know her on Facebook, told Archie Mokoka while she was in Palapye recently.
Q. Tell me about yourself briefly
Which car do you want? Hahaha! I’m Segopotso Abbott, born, and raised, in Palapye on 13 July 1980. But I now live in North London. I relocated after I got married to an Englishman.
Q.How and where did you guys meet?
We met on a dating site and our first date was at Wimpy Restaurant. It was love at first sight. We’ve been happy ever since.
Q.Wimpy in Botswana?
Nope Wimpy in London, he ordered a cup of tea and I asked for cappuccino. Our first meeting was amazing. Conversation flowed all night and before we knew it, it was one AM.
Q.Had you flown all the way to meet him?
No way! I wouldn’t take a risk to fly all the way to meet a stranger. At that time I was already living in London because of school. I came here to study and met the man of my life in the process.
Q.What were you studying and where?
I was studying commerce and business at the university of North London.
Q.When did you leave home for school?
I left here in 2009
Q.When did you get married?
October the 6th 2013
Q.Do you guys have kids?
Yes I have three kids.
Q.What do you do now?
I’m the director of Comfortable Care Services Ltd here in London, and doing a business of selling and shipping cars to Botswana via Namibia.
Q.Tell me a bit about Comfortable Care
Comfortable Care was started by me and my husband Neil. We provide domiciliary care to vulnerable people including the elderly. We give them quality care at their own homes, and work with those with learning disabilities, sending our care staff to nursing homes and mental homes, we have a website; www.comfortablecare.co.uk
Q.Why this type of business?
Looking after the elderly is a big business in the UK.
Q.Any of you guys trained in that field?
Yes, I did a course on social and health care management and got all the NVQ levels required because for you to run this kind of business in the UK, you need to have the right qualification.
Q.When did you start?
We started just before Christmas in 2014.
Q.What about the car business?
I started ukcarstobotswana in 2011. I asked myself, if Chinese can ship cars to Botswana, why couldn’t we ship them to Botswana from the UK. So I got in contact with some people back in Botswana and got some customers and now we have a good customer base and have gone from strength to strength. W e only supply the best possible cars for the money.
Q.How many cars do you ship, say, in a month?
We ship on average 8 cars a month.
Q.How many did you ship when you started?
We started out small maybe 1 or 2 a month, but now people know how good our service and our cars are and we get a lot of business although we can always do with more business,
Q.How did you market yourself?
I started off on Facebook and through the help of friends and relatives in Botswana,
Q.Do you have staff?
Yes in Gaborone. Five employees.
People who falsely advertise new models at cheaper prices, and then send older cheaper cars in poor condition are a threat to the market. Once the customer gets the car it’s too late and there’s nothing they can do about it, this has happened a lot lately and we have lost customers because of it.
Q.How does that affect you?
For instance, if we quote P95.000 for a BMW 3 series 2006 model, fraudsters would quote say P 80.000 for the same vehicle so the customer would buy from them but when they eventually get their car they would get a 2003 or 2004 model with very high mileage and bad bodywork.
With us the customer gets what they see.
Other than that, we have faced challenges from various shipping and transporting companies but these have long since been sorted out and we now use only the best.
Q.How do you deal with the challenge of these ruthless thugs?
We do advise our customers that with us the car you see is the car you will be getting.
Q.What does the future hold for UKcars? Say…5 years?
It will go from strength to strength as we have already done this,
Q.What’s the plan?
In the future we’ll have our own second hand car dealership in Botswana.
Q.You run 2 companies, you are a wife and mother. How do you manage?
I have my husband who helps me plus members of staff who also help ease things along nicely.
Q.What’s your best dish?
I love Caribbean food, curried goat and a lot of rice based meals.
Q.What are you reading?
My husband baptized me in The Voice newspaper. But I also love to read news websites, true crime books and how to seduce a millionaire types of novels
Q.What did you listen to in the shower?
I listen to my own singing.