Shoe Designer – The Leather Empire

Boitumelo Khumalo

Name: Boitumelo Khumalo
Business Name: Leather Empire
Job Title: Manager Director
Cell Number: 0784399994

Tell us about yourself?

I am a mother of two: Sakhile 7 (boy) and Nandi 14 months (girl), a wife and a sister to many. I love working with my hands, I have a great sense of humour and enjoy spending time with family.

What motivated and inspired you to start your business?

Well my sister, Hunger inspired me! It all started when I was dancing in Joburg in 2004. It happened that one day as I was waiting for a taxi there was a shoe crafter on the bus stop. He was busy making shoes and I got a chance to see what he was doing. I was captured by the art and a few months later I met a lady who would introduced me to a shoe maker. He taught me the basics of how to make a shoe, I then later on met Ntate Godfrey who then became my mentor, he has help me a lot in terms of learning the in’s and out’s of the industry.

Tell us about your business?

The name of the my business is LeatherEmpire we produce leather products like shoes, bags, belts, earrings, ottomans and mirror frames. There is also a co -operative named GRABS that I’m part of and there we manufacture shoes only.

What have been your biggest challenges so far with running your business?

Not having enough machinery and equipment for production.

What do you look for when hiring some-one?

A person with a high self esteem because when you are have a high self-confidence you’ll always have room for improvement. A person with a high self esteem has room to be motivated and they always strive to be better and good at what they do. They are about the job and the work at hand. Its
always easier to work with them in a team or individually.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

Enjoy your business, have passion for what you are doing and little bit of gratitude everyday will do wonders in your business!

What does it mean to you, to take a leap and what has been that leap that you took as an entrepreneur?

To throw myself into the sea with big busi-ness man and woman and see if I swim or drawn: What I mean is that trusting myself and my work to the extend of presenting my work to the highly respected business people and asking them to buy my products with the knowledge that
I got from the street ,not tertiary level. That’s taking chances and having good work to back it up.

About you

Can’t start my day without ….giving thanks for life!
My style is …. Comfort then classy! I always have to be comfortable in every outfit I wear!
Coffee or Tea …. Tea! I love my ginger tea!
Love is ….. Iyoo sister that is a big one! I guess to me is feeling good about a
person even though they have done you wrong or snapping your fingers with a hammer while working and still continue working or walking for hours in the sun looking for buyers of your products and still be happy!
Hard work is ….. Being dedicated to what you are doing even if you feel like giving up persistence!
I believe … that what goes around, comes around! That’s my religion!
My favourite quote is … what you resist persists baby!

Rolene Strauss – Miss World 2014

Rolene Strauss - Miss World 2014

While enjoying my Sunday afternoon watching Miss World, It suddenly dawned on me who these beautiful girls are about. They are DIY Diva’s; they are changing the communities that they live in. Yes, it’s a beauty contest but it’s just not about beauty, it’s about social entrepreneurs and women empowerment.

It was such an exciting moment when our very own Miss South Africa Rolene Strauss -Fourth year medical student at the University of the Free State- was crowned Miss World 2014 last night. As a Kovies student myself I’m so happy for her and her achievements, I guess only a Kovies knows the feeling #the Boss Lady Club.

Rolene has truly done an amazing job during her year of office as Miss SA she was part of the *Always Keeping Girls in School * campaign.

Miss World - Rolene Strauss

The goal of the *Always Keeping Girls in School* campaign is to empower female learners and to keep them in school through providing them with puberty education, Always sanitary protection, access to educational resources and motivation to stay in school. The campaign is a partnership between P&G, Department of Basic Education, UNICEF and the Small Project Foundation.

So would you agree with me when I say that Beauty Pageants aren’t just about beauty and nice clothes but its more about what this DIY Diva’s are doing for their communities and the world. It’s really amazing what girls can do when they put their minds to it.

Fashionista and Founder of Disebo Cancer Foundation

Teboho Mahamane

About you and your foundation

What motivated and inspired you to start your foundation?

A few years ago I lost both my mother and grandmother to cancer. My mother was

diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and I found a lump in my breast the same year but it wasn’t cancerous.

Late 2010 my grandmother was also diagnosed with cancer and passed on. Then in 2011 my mother was diagnosed with cancer again (pancreatic cancer) which in a short amount of time took her life. This was a tough time for my family because we knew nothing about cancer, what causes it and the treatment necessary for it.

I started doing my research and that’s where I came up with The Disebo Cancer Foundation named after my late mother. I started the Foundation to raise cancer awareness, help encourager women to go for regular check ups and help the less fortunate.

Tell us about your foundation?

The Disebo Cancer Foundation focuses on raising cancer awareness through projects such as advertorials, in addition to collecting clothes, non perishable food items and toys, which are then donated to those affected by Cancer during the Christmas season.


Name: Teboho Mahamane

Age: 24

What are you studying: Corporate and Marketing Communications

Organisation name: Disebo Cancer Foundation

Twitter handle: Tamzey_m

Tell us about yourself?

I am a Pisces. I love red lipstick (MAC). I used to be a tomboy in high school, and wore my first casual skirt my first year of varsity. I enjoy cooking and love eating . Shopping is my weakness. I have a passion for fashion and I’m busy designing a few thing s for summer. My niece and sister are the reason my heart is still beating. My partner is the coolest person ever. I love hard and value friendship.

What’s your style?

I love vintage. I’m into simple T’s and torn jeans.

What is your favourite clothing item?

I have a big obsession for white T-shirt. I have so many white T’s you’d swear I repeat the same shirt every other day. It’s actually embarrassing.

Who is your fashion model?

Tika Sumpter


By: Letlhogonolo ‘Lee’ Masilo

Corlé van Rooyen

Corle - Boss Lady


Corlé van Rooyen is a first year student studying Accounting but also an up and coming entrepreneur contributing to the education of children.

At the age of 19 she opened her own tutoring business, tutoring maths and accounting and it keeps on growing every day.

What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?

While in school I also took extra classes as I struggled with my subjects and wanted to earn distinction. I know how hard it can be when a teacher does not have patience with a child or is not capable of helping a child. This motivated me to lend a helping hand  and the opportunity came at the end

of 2013 when my tutor asked me if I would be interested in taking over a few of her students and helping them myself.

Tell us a little more about your business.

I offer a service by tutoring maths and accounting in the afternoon after my classes and also help the students with preparation and revision for exams. Children book hourly classes and they decide how many they need. They pay per hour and usually attend 1 to 2 classes a week depending on the time of the term.

What has been your biggest challenges so far with running your business?

Working with people as they do not always have an understanding for your time but expects that you respect their time. People also do not always pay on time and because the people I work with in terms of money are older and I still need to respect them although they do not always respect me back. It can unbalance your budget and even lead to debt.

Is it difficult to balance your studies and your tutoring business?

Not at all. The time is very flexible as I decide the hours and days I am available to tutor and during test week and exams I can decide not to tutor but will work on the lost time later.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

Know what you are capable of, know what your good at and then seek for the gap in the market to use your talents and skills.

What qualifications and qualities do you need in your business field?

I would say you would have had to pass and understand the subjects that your tutor in. You would also have to have patience with the students and know what effort it takes to pass and excel in those subjects.


Can’t start my day  without… Eyeliner and mascara

My style is… Chino pants and lace tops. Nothing too revealing.

Coffee or tea… Tea, warm or cold without milk and sugar.

Hard work is… to dedicate all your time, energy and effort into reaching your goals.

My favourite quote is… If you have the power to make someone else’s life a little easier in any way, DO IT! The world needs it.



Fashionasta – Lee

diy diva academyName: Letlhogonolo Remmogo Masilo

Study: I’m still studying majoring in governance and political transformation at UFS

Work: the founder of Vision-Elle NGO aimed at empowering young girls *Vision-Elle*

Lives: Bloemfontein, Free State

DIY Diva Academy


What’s your style: I am a self-professed feminist, very passionate about advancing women and gender equality. I have a love for all things beautiful and take pride in being unique. I’m opinionated, often rebellious but an overall creative.

What is your favourite clothing item: I have two, my white converse All Stars and my beige safari style shorts

Can’t start my day without….Praying

DIY Diva Academy

Love is… Corinthianns 13v1

Hard work is… as Important as breathing

I believe… that fashion is fleeting, but style is eternal.


diy diva academy

GREEN QUEEN – Margo Fargo


“My biggest challenge so far has been believing in myself, but I’ve learned to go for my dreams and listen to myself”

*Name: Margo Fargo

*Age: 22

*Job description: Top 16 Miss Earth South Africa, 1st princess Miss Freestate & Student

*Social Networks:

Facebook: Margo faith Fargo

Twitter: Margo_Fargo

Instagram: Margo_faith

margo fargo

Margo Fargo is a name you will never forget! This beautiful lady is a final year Consumer Science student at the University of the Free State who juggles studies and being a green Ambassador. Margo is the only MESA finalist from the Free State Province.

1st princess for Miss Free State 2013,

National Face of Southern Sun, SAA and Hotel Magazines

Models for local boutiques.

The only way she gets things done is to keep sane and balance, balance, balance.

In 5 years Margo wants to have an established business in Cape Town and there is no doubt that this rising talent will be a role model to young girls, not only for Bloemfontein but internationally.

Miss Earth South Africa is a leadership programme that aims to empower young, South African women with the knowledge and platform to create a sustainable difference in their plight to combat the destruction of our natural heritage. The programme helps to create an awareness of sustainable development, the environment, wildlife, conservation of the natural legacy in South Africa and ultimately the preservation of Mother Earth.


Q:  I can’t start my day without?

A: Breakfast

Q: My style is?

A: vintage hippie 

Q: Coffee or tea ?

A: Both

Q: Love is? 

A: God

Q: Hard work is?   

A: Sacrifice

Q: I believe?

A: In possibilities

Q: My Favourite quote is? 

A: Psalm 37: 4 –  *Delight yourself in the lord and he will give you everything you desire

By: Masedi Kopi

Babysitting becomes a joy!

Jolandi Kotzé

She thought it was just extra pocket money but then she fell in love with the kids.

Jolandi Kotzé started doing babysitting in her matric year after her life orientation teacher thought a joke was an application to babysit.

Where did you hear about the opportunity?

We made jokes in class about babysitting my teacher’s children, nothing serious but later my teacher got an invitation to exercise with her friend and approached me to babysit.

Why did you decide to do this job?

At first I just wanted to earn extra money for matric vacation and it also looked easy.It was also a flexible job that adapted to my schedule which was necessary in my final year of school.

Jolandi Kotzé


What is the most challenging part of your job?

Naughty times!

Time can also be a challenge especially when the parents are late of understandable reasons and the children get difficult because their routine is getting changed. Something that can also be challenging is when the children ask mature questions and you do not know how to respond to question.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Those silly little things children can say. The unconditional love and acceptance the children get for you over time and also the things you learn from each other.

What advice will you give to other teens that wants to earn extra money?

The cliché thing to say would be DREAM BIG but for me it is to start small. Start with the people around you, your family and friends, and get notice by others and let your reputation be spread by word.


Jolandi Kotzé

What qualities do you think someone should have that is babysitting?

Energy!                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Patience!

A Sense of humour is also necessary as children can make little jokes that can sometimes be very honest.                                       Authority is also needed as the children should still know who is in charge. I also think a feel of security as the children needs to feel safe with you.

Can’t start my day without…brushing my teeth

Coffee or tea… rooibos tea with milk and sugar

Love is… undefinable

My dream job is… CA

My favourite quote is… Life is not about escaping the storm but about dancing in the rain.


By: Zelanda van der Walt