Limpopo born and bred Nhlanhla Mukansi’s mother raised him by selling clothes in various markets every day.
He knew that he would one day follow in his mother’s footsteps, and when the calling to be a businessman came, he answered.
Thanks to his mother, Mukansi’s clothing brand Dankie MaOledi is gaining traction.
The 26-year-old from Phalaborwa told Vutivi News that when he opened up his shop in 2019, he thought of his mother working to give him a good life.
The brand’s logo of a woman carrying a baby on her back with a traditional dish on her head, testifies to this statement.
Mukansi sells hats, masks, T-shirts, jerseys and cargo pants.
“My mother used to stock clothes from Small Street, and she would sell them,” he said.
“I wanted a brand that would represent everyone who, like me, was raised by a strong mother. I was inspired by my mother’s success in the industry and told myself that I can also be successful.”
He said after graduating with a Diploma in Public Management from the Tshwane University of Technology, he faced the dreaded reality of unemployment.
“Instead of staying at home, I decided that I would start a small business, and naturally I gravitated towards the clothing industry,” he said.
“I funded my own business and started off selling a few T-shirts. That’s where the magic started to happen.”
Mukansi said that before Covid-19 outbreak, his business was doing exceedingly well especially in Polokwane and Phalaborwa, where he has pop-up shops .
“It was difficult for me to purchase stock because all of the factories I buy from were closed. It also affected my business in that I could no longer courier orders to customers who are accustomed to buying from me,” he said.
His business recovered around December last year.
“It was a very busy month and it showed me that my brand is still in demand,” he told Vutivi News.
He told Vutivi News that he wants to own a few of his own shops to help contribute to the battle against unemployment.
Mukansi said that he has had opportunities to sell at various festivals and markets in Limpopo.
“Some of the students I know from different universities in the country assist me to sell by taking orders and acting as the go-between,” he said.
“Because they are volunteering, I hope one day to be able to hire them on a permanent basis.”