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Thato Nkaota produces and sells skin products that have found a market in South Africa. The National University of Lesotho (NUL) student’s collection includes skin repair creams, a glycerine soap, a lemon soap and essential oils. “The products are designed to work together to produce the best skin you can have,” she said. They are called Slick Products.


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South Africans are mad about Lesotho products for reasons not clearly understood.

“But there is a feeling among many South Africans that products from Lesotho are of high quality,” she said. “I have experienced this not only with my own products. I’ve experienced it also with products that I used to export from other Lesotho producers.”

She thinks we just have to increase quantities of our produce because South Africa is ready.


Milco is the chainstore that will sell only Lesotho products. Join it here:

One other good thing about South African market is that, Oh Boy! Are those folks willing to pay!

“South Africans don’t complain about prices!”

Now, let’s get into the story of the self-made entrepreneur, Thato Nkaota, and how she got here.

She considers herself a born entrepreneur and her history bears that out. “I loved entrepreneurship right from when I was young,” she said. She had no sooner started her standard 3 than she was already organising her peers to sell sweets and to share profits at the end of a year.

Every time she was asked, “where do you want to work when you grow up?”, her answer would always relate entrepreneurship.

Later, she would also learn and share the importance of saving with others. For instance, when they got pocket money from their parents, she realised that buying one pack of snacks at a time was more expensive than buying in bulk. “So me and my friends would buy in bulk, just so we could make savings!”

Come High school and she was already a Project Manager of a project called Savings and Accounts. In this project, the school gives accounting students seed money once at the beginning of the year. At the end of the year, the student groups are expected to have created profits by engaging in businesses. Then there is a competition to find those who excelled.

One of the things they learned from such projects were the ability to keep records of debits and credits.

All these experiences kept building in her the love for business.

Fate would see her attending School in the Roma Valley, NUL. Guess what she wanted to do in there? Accounting. The entrepreneurial spirit was still burning in her. “I could see that NUL students loved good clothing (ba ja lesela).”

She saw an opportunity.

“I bought and sold them clothes.”

She saw another opportunity. Having learned about the love for Lesotho products in South Africa, she started exploring that market by buying Lesotho products and reselling them there. “The performance of that business was beyond expectations!” she said.

However, just when things were so good, lightning struck.

It came in the form of Covid-19!

That meant exporting to South Africa was no longer easy.

Then a lockdown stamped it all by putting her in isolation. However, she used the lockdown as a time of thinking and reflection. How on earth could he come out of this? Ideas started streaming. She finally settled for the business of producing her own skincare products. In her experience selling other people’s products, she had realised that skin products were popular and profitable.

It was time now to explore.

She learned as much about skincare as possible, “in fact, I even took up an online course on production.”

Fortunately, she had accumulated good savings during the good ole days before Covid-19.

“I used that money as seed funding for my new business,” she said. She bought raw material and equipment and she hit the ground running.

Since she had skin problems herself, she experimented with the products on her own skin. Then she tried them on family and friends. When she was happy, it was time to try the general public and the reception was good. In the end, she would find herself back to the exporting business.

“Although I was earlier exporting other people’s products, now I am also exporting my own.”


Milco is the chainstore that will sell only Lesotho products. Join it here:

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