By: Tebogo Mokwena
When business partners Sibusiso Kubeka and Lerato Molebatsi realised that more South Africans were moving towards identifying with their Africanness, they decided to take advantage of this. The business partners also saw this as a means to create a brand that resonates with those on a journey of discovery. They now own the Johannesburg-based clothing brand KingSaint. Molebatsi, who is a graphic designer, is the innovator and creative mind of the business, while Kubeka, who studied IT, is the technical and business backbone.
The business manufactures polo shirts, t-shirts, hoodies, caps, aprons, towels, and other customized apparel. As an e-commerce platform, KingSaint sells its products mostly online to clientele across the country. They also sell their clothes at markets and social events, which helps build their solid client base. Molebatsi told Vutivi News that the business was started in 2019 from their own salaries and they received no funding. They currently employ two people.
“We saw a gap in the market where there weren’t really any clothing brands that relate to the African child’s journey and saw a need to fill that gap through the clothing we provide,” he said. Molebatsi said that running an e-commerce platform has many advantages. “We are living in a space and time where the digital landscape is dominating businesses spaces, selling through the internet means that we can reach more people than those in Gauteng,” he explained. “However it is also challenging not to have a physical store, as we believe that this would give us access to clients we normally would not have access to.”
Molebatsi also said that they enjoyed being able to contribute to the “spiritual movement” of South Africans through their clothing. “One thing that people do not understand is that we are more than clothing; we are a movement that represents those that came before us.” The pair joins a list of rising businesses that aspire to have an international footprint. “We’ve reached places like Dubai, France, Morocco and the United States of America through our clothing, and this has made us an international brand where we have taken our ancestors’ words from Soweto to the world,” he said. “We see ourselves owning our business’s entire value chain and owning our own factory with equipment that will allow us to manufacture our clothing and create jobs.”