Bulawayo youth launches shoe cleaning company in Poland

24 Jan, 2023 - 00:01 0 Views
Bulawayo youth launches shoe cleaning company in Poland Nqobani Sibanda

The Chronicle

Angela Sibanda, Business Correspondent

AN innovative Bulawayo youth who is pursuing medical studies at Vincent Pol University in Poland has launched a shoe-cleaning company that is receiving overwhelming endorsement in that country.

Mr Nqobani Sibanda (22), launched the ‘Shoe Laundry by Que’ on 6 January in Lublin, Poland with the agenda of providing a shoe cleaning and customising service.

The launch was facilitated by an African-run business initiative called the Entrepreneurs Networking Forum whose focus is to empower international citizens in the diaspora and enhance entrepreneurial collaborations.

The forum was founded by Poland-based Zimbabwean poet, author and publisher, Mr Mthulisi Ndlovu.

In an interview with Business Chronicle, Mr Sibanda said the launch was made possible through long-term investments and perseverance.

“I have been saving for this business for the past two or so years and finally reached the target of my capital investment,” he said. 

“I actually started saving up a bit before I even settled in Europe and the success of everything is also owed to the support that I got from close friends and family who chose to invest in my vision.”

A product of Inkanyezi Primary School in Lobengula suburb, Inyathi High and Tennyson Hlabangana High School, Mr Sibanda embraced entrepreneurship from a tender age.

Raised by a single parent, he routinely sold food items on the streets with his brother. His idea of cleaning shoes might be overlooked by some but it is proving to be a step in the right direction for him and his team.

Within two weeks of establishment, Mr Sibanda said his business venture is receiving overwhelming support from the local community.

“We are four guys and we clean all types of shoes from formal to casual sneakers and honestly we were not prepared for such a response from so many clients,” he said.

“So far, we have received positive feedback and ratings, a clear sign that people appreciate our services.

“My friends and relatives have been forthcoming and we have received so much support from the Vincent Pol University, which also endorsed our brand, therefore enhancing confidence and broadening the sphere of potential clientele,” said Mr Sibanda.

 On average, they clean 30 pairs per week.

Apart from cleaning shoes, the company also does shoe customisation, where according to Mr Sibanda, they pay attention to traditional Zimbabwean and African creative emblems and symbols, which include Ndebele patterns, African vectors, Adikra symbols mostly common in West African countries.

“In shoe customisation, we do specific desired paintings on shoes or change shoe colours. This enhances cultural exchange and fosters diversity, tolerance, and general exhibition of the richness of our creative African history.

“There is so much power in this form of storytelling as we incorporate it with fashion designs,” said Mr Sibanda.

The shoe laundry initiative was also motivated by Mr Sibanda’s obsession with shoes and prioritising clean footwear from a tender age. 

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