Mathapelo Shai Turned Her Plaiting Hobby Into A Thriving Business


By Theodorah Mawasha

LENYENYE Mathapelo Confidence Shai who hails in Lenyenye, Greater Tzaneen is a young entrepreneur with success stories from the township.

The 32-year-old hairdresser took Tzaneen Voice down memory lane as she recollected on her journey that began as a mere hobby, years ago, when she was still in high school.

“Believe it or not plaiting people’s hair for me was just something I enjoyed doing while I was traveling to school in a bus. It was a pastime. While other kids were being mischievous and getting up to no good, I would be playing with people’s hair using pens and pencils. I would at often get asked by teachers and friends to fix their hair. The passion inevitably cemented itself. The rest, as they say, is history “. She said

Shai said that she considers herself fortunate to have been able to keep afloat during the pandemic when companies were closing down and that she is still around to prove that

“kgomo go tsoshwa ye itsoshang” loosely translated, God helps those who help themselves ,”

“I am consistent and disciplined. I haven’t experienced drastic challenges in terms of financials in my business prior to and during the pandemic. During the lockdown, I did house calls from time to time because people, particularly women, love looking their best every day. I would say dealing with difficult clients is the greatest challenge in my line of work, I take it in my stride and make sure I satisfy my customers nonetheless. I know if a client leaves happy, I will most certainly get referrals,” she continued.

The entrepreneur further stated that her children are her biggest motivation and inspiration and that she draws inspiration from people around her, most of whom, are her friends and family. She told Tzaneen Voice that, her long-term goal is to branch out and open a beauty parlor where she can have beauty classes.

The young businesswoman concluded by encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs not to be ashamed of their hustle and to follow their dreams. Mathapelo can be contacted for appointments on 079 3664 807

Facebook page:Mathapelo Confidence Shai.


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