As they opened Lesotho’s newest outlandish Kemet Clothing Shop yesterday at the Thola-Tu Complex, opposite Ha Mafafa in Maseru, the thinkers behind Kemet Designs and Creations achieved a feat!
Now, as we speak, the company is making waves not only in Lesotho. Its echoes are felt as far as France and Britain—read about their latest adventures in a Paris based magazine— Khalala.
Teboho Moekoa’s eye for superior work and his almost unlimited capacity for patience have combined to give birth to a company that scooped First Prize at the First Bacha Entrepreneurship Competition, to the tune of M 174, 000, a “shot in the arm” for a small business, seeking its right footing.
The company has also been caught on the radar of influential men and women, the bigwigs of Lesotho and beyond. “We have been invited to produce some clothing for Standard Lesotho Bank and Letse’ng Diamonds,” Moekoa said.
Behold! Kemet has also teamed up with Aranda, the indisputable machine behind Lesotho’s infinite love affair with traditional blankets, Likobo.
Mr Tom Kripzinger, Arander’s Marketing and Sales Director, “is some kind of a personal mentor to me. He has taught me a lot about Marketing,” Moekoa unveiled.
Arander went further. “They have actually produced a unique Basotho blanket fabric only for Kemet,” he said. “You won’t find the design used by anyone except us.”
By now, the wisest among us are already thinking, “there must be a rich history behind this young man, Moekoa, and his infatuation with the fabric.”
Yes, there is!
“I have felt in love with art since I was very young,” He began to relate. “I used to memorize and repeat poems both in Sesotho and English and perform for parents when I was in mere standard 2 at SOS, and later at the Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Maseru.”
By the time he went to Cana High School in Ha ‘Mamathe, he was now writing his own poems, not just reciting the poems of others.
It is here, in Cana High School, that another dimension in love for art was aroused. “It used to be a norm that our older brothers would leave us with their clothing when they left school. As you can guess, some of the clothes would have seen better days, but wearable though.”
“I for one,” he continued, “inherited a jersey that would leave my elbows out and a pair of trousers without a zip!”
Why are you laughing? This is true, O!
The situation awoke another artist in him. You know, one of the few things that separate the most creative from the rest, is their ability to ask a question, “what if?”
So here we go. “What if” he cut the jersey right there at the elbows? He did that. Now it was as if the jersey was actually designed to leave his elbows out, it wasn’t! The trick worked, much to the delight of fellow students who gradually imitated him.
And “what if” he used buttons in place of a zip in his pair of trousers? He did it, much to the amusement, again, of his peers who later followed suit! Many of them now had their pairs buttoned rather than zipped.
He could influence people!
When he entered the premises of the NUL—where things happen—, he did not leave behind his creative spirit. In the contrary, he went there to nurture it. “I continued to experiment, not with the most expensive clothing to wear, but with how I arranged the fabrics and I still caught the attention of my peers even there.”
At that period, he met and worked with the late and renowned artist, Aba Zarah. They made and sold slim bags which proved to be popular among NUL students. Mind you! the bags were hand sewed!
Moekoa later met his old-time friend and weathered artist, Thabang Nts’ohi. The rest is history as the duo has worked tirelessly to develop the incredible Kemet Brand, named after a civilization period in the ancient Egypt called Kemet.
The brand, which uses Leather, African Print and Denim, emphasizes the Africanism of the fabric.
Their small factory at Ha Matala in Maseru, the size and location of which is inspired by the book, “The Capitalist Nigger” hires three more people and benefits the village society. “The placement of this factory in the village, to benefit ordinary people where they live, is the manifestation of the philosopher in me,” said the NUL trained Philosopher.
Now it’s your turn! Why not visit Kemet Shop in Thola-Tu Complex next to Ha Mafafa, and see for yourself, the talent that Basotho have? Warning! When you go there, be sure to have enough mula (Maloti). Leaving the shop empty handed would be the toughest nightmare you could ever endure!
Plus, catch them here: +266 58093759