Vending with a passion

In the fast-growing busy town of Palapye in the Central District of Botswana stays one Ontatlhile Malatelele, a street vendor who dreams of growing his business.

The 52-year-old father of two from Palapye started his business in 2000 selling leather wallets, belts, hats, sunglasses, sweets and fruits at his stall located along the A1 highway.

Malatelele’s dreams nearly became just that as he was hindered by lack of capital.

Determined to make his dreams come to pass, he looked everywhere for assistance and found it in a group of other vendors. The group applied for funding from the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) under the financing body’s ‘Mabogo Dinku’ loan offer.

The offer provides micro-enterprises with funds for their needs such as working capital and small asset finance and through the cluster, he was in, Malatelele managed to get a loan of P7, 000.00.

The over-zealous business-man tells The Voice Money that with the loan, which he got last year, he managed to augment his stock and business has never been better.

With an average P350.00 made from daily sales, the enthusiastic vendor explains that he does not see himself going into a different business as he has over the years, managed to put his two children through school and made an honest woman out of his life partner.

“Ke kgonne le gone gorosa mosadi,” attests a visibly excited Malatelele who was obviously elated at the Voice Presence at his stall.

Looking to the future, the father of two intends to grow his business and rent space in one of the malls servicing the 36 211 population of Palapye (as per the 2011 population census).

“It takes hard work and determination as well as an understanding of business and customer needs,” he said.

He also revealed that, though he has a few years in the retail industry, he is still learning the tricks of the trade and believes he will one day be a big player in the economic ecosystem of Botswana fastest growing town, conveniently positioned half-way between the country’s two capital cities, Gaborone and Francistown.

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