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Mebala: Colouring the world with an innovative African product

Tech-driven fashion brand, Mebala, is anchored on a collection of bold designs, quality materials and expert craftsmanship. Its core goal is to provide solutions to the problems its clientele experience with their luggage and to redefine the luggage and accessories space.

Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it infuses technology into its offering. With the slogan ‘fashion is innovative’, Tlhalefang Moeletsi believes that fashion doesn’t need to come at the compromise of functionality and style.

Mebala, ‘colours,’ is made in Africa, by Africa but for the world and is built on a client centric-approach and a passion for innovation. It was birthed through Tlhalefang desire to find a specific backpack with a unique design, and when he couldn’t, he sought to make his own and this is where he realised that there was a need for a brand that enabled clients to customise their design. Mebala filled this gap by offering products that could be personalised and were innovative without compromising on quality.

Even though it was conceived in 2017, it was only in 2019 when Tlhalefang started doing business but in the last two years, the brand’s reputation speaks for itself. Tlhalefang plans to contribute to a new African narrative – in essence, to be part of the made in Africa campaign through his work and to create solutions that are sustainable, innovative and create opportunities that add value to the lives of his clientele.

Building on a foundation of ubuntu

His work ethic, passion for problem-solving and product development has filtered down to his people. And has managed to not only build a team that shares his vision but has upskilled and trained other artisans. Tlhalefang passion for manufacturing, expert craftsmanship, comprehensive customer service and creating proudly African products that are innovative is evident in the range of Mebala products.

Having worked in the corporate industry to avoid some of the toxic traits he witnessed, the growth of Mebala is based on four principles; respect, ubuntu, discipline and accountability. This was important because Mebala is a brand that is big on promise- your word is binding.

Capitalising on Technology

Doing business in a digital era has enabled Tlhalefang to reach potential clients without the constraints of distance or geographical barriers. Social media has slashed the barrier to entry and simplified the marketing process. It has created a platform for entrepreneurs to provide quality service and products, which has allowed him to retain clients. Tlhalefang competitive advantage is that Mebala offers a convenient and unique customer experience, and by telling an authentic brand story, his story, his customers connect to him and the brand.

The Essence of Entrepreneurship

Even though his biggest fear is failure, public failure to be specific, Tlhalefang draws strength and inspiration from the feedback he gets from his clients and it is the same feedback that inspires him to generate new ideas.

Some might think luck plays a huge role in being a successful entrepreneur. For Tlhalefang success is ‘impact,’ as an entrepreneur you need to know what type of impact you are having on the world and the people around you and if people can testify to this impact, then you are successful. Joy and fulfilment is also a huge indicator of success, Moeletsi says that one needs to draw joy in whatever you are doing and be able to leverage that traction.

Even though one’s journey to entrepreneurship may be unique, but the destination is the same. In Tlhalefang case, it’s a destination that will revolutionise the luggage and accessory space.

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