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From pain to success – Ike Lekgoro tells his journey of becoming a handcraft shoemaker and designer

Ike Lekgoro Business

Lekgoro was jobless for 10 years when he came up with the idea to start his own business “I have realized that making a shoe most people do not think of it, and you need to have certain skills to be a shoemaker, I have been jobless for more than 10 years that is when the idea came up”,  he told Africa Newz.

After losing his son in 2016 due to heart failure his passion for making handcrafted shoes enhanced. He decided to keep his child’s name alive and honoured him, by naming his shoe brand Tlotlego.

“Tlotlego Handcrafts represents a traditional luxury man’s footwear, belt, and wallets, which advance and maintain the essence of credible natural art of handcrafting, complementing the confidence and personality of those who engage with it.

Lekgoro was born in Limpopo Sekhukhune Ga-Nchabeleng. Lekgoro has always loved entrepreneurship and that led him to pursue a certificate in Business Management.

Lekgoro said he is a creative person “I am a creative person and handy at the same time. It is easy for me to create something that I have never seen and it will come out perfect.

He also said the unemployment rate in South Africa has played a major role.  “The high level of unemployment rate forced me to think strategically until the thought crossed my mind.

I had a desire to break the chain of unemployment and that became my driving force that is when the idea of making shoes was born” he explains.

Making shoes is not easy and extremely difficult to master especially working with different sizes. But Handcrafted shoes are meant to last longer.

“It is not an easy task, one must have passion and work hard, invest too much time on it, it will take time but be patient and find yourself.

“It takes 2 to 3 days to make a pair of shoes and depends on the design I make and the material I am using” Lekgoro added.

Lekgoro has been on a show called Born Legend on SABC 1 and has been interviewed by numerous national and international Radio stations. He was selected to participate in the national exhibition at Hyde Park mall and Galaga estate for 5 years. And was also recognized by the Glencoe mine in Sekhukhune, who donated donated equipment to him.

Lekgoro said he likes to see some of his ideas picked up and produced by brands for a bigger market. He highly praises and wishes to collaborate with an American luxury man’s footwear brand Paul Parkman and an Italian brand Tucci Polo.

To contact the designer check him out @ Tlotlego handcrafts on all his social media platforms.

Ike Lekgoro

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