By Agreement Mabunda
NKOWANKOWA – The challenges of having access to clean has also been a problem that many communities come across in their day-to-day lives.
One of those communities is Nkowankowa and Katekile Nyeleti Mathye (34) had a vision of changing that and acted on it to start a business of water purification.
Born and bred in Nkowankowa township under Greater Tzaneen, Mathye says the idea of purifying water begun when she had to travel to town to get clean drinking water.
She then started to bring clean drinking water to the people within her community and other surrounding communities.
The business of purifying water was started in 2015 and was named Theledi Beverages but it is known as Mati in the community that she serves.
Mati is a Tsonga word for water. The nickname was inspired by the fact that she is black and she operates in a relatively black community hence she wanted a name that everyone can relate to and have ownership to.
“I chose to start in Nkowa-Nkowa because it is a community that I was very familiar with. So, there was not a more perfect place to start this business,” she said.
Today, the 34-year-old entrepreneur runs a full-service business because of the inspiration she got from the winners around her, the small business owners in the community, and people who see the opportunities and potential of the business.
LOCAL BRAND: Mati is a Tsonga word for water
“I was inspired to start a business that has not been tried and tested in our community”, says Katekile.
Katekile believes that her business benefits her community and surrounding communities as she has a lot of local clients, regular clients that always stock up when visiting Nkowa-Nkowa.
“We also support local initiatives, especially by our local people, and employ local people,” she said.
According to katekile, starting a business is not easy hence she gives her one piece of advice to someone who is just starting, to say:
“Starting a business is not easy, it takes a lot of hard work, passion, and dedication. If you ever feel like quitting, hold on just a little bit longer, you are guaranteed to succeed”.
Theledi beverages purify bottles and sell water to the government, hotels, spaza shops, and the public.
Katekile Mati also personalizes bottled water for private functions like Funerals, Weddings, and Parties. They also have clients that use their bottled water as part of their marketing.
Theledi beverages are advertised on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
“We also do interviews and most importantly, because of our excellent water quality and service, word of mouth has always been our number one marketing tool,” she concluded.
Visit any of their two branches at 1696A Bankuna Road Nkowa-Nkowa, next to Nkowa-nkowa Community Hall or 1023 Main Road Lenyenye, and/or Facebook page, theledi_beverages and Instagram page, mati. water, Call/WhatsApp 076 7245 198.