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Making shoes for a living

Rumbidzai Ngwenya Features Writer
Jack Port Shoes is an emerging company operating at 72 Kaguvi Street in Harare. It specialises in leather shoe making and repairs. The founder, Givemore Swerakwenda of Kuwadzana 6, learnt from his uncle in the 90s who ran a similar business at the time.

As a small boy, Swerakwenda had already shown talent and without doubt he took up from his late father who was also a shoemaker. Making shoes became a family business.

In 1996, he worked at Shoe Gossip and later at Shoe World where he repaired Chinese shoes before they were sold to the public. During this time, Swerakwenda gained more experience by the day.

While at Shoe World, he started buying shoe making machinery. In 2008, Swerakwenda was approached by his friend, only identified as Brian, who wanted to work for him making shoes.

Without enough capital, but talent and motivation, the company took off and it was just him and Brian. Over the years, Jack Port Shoes has been supplying leather shoes to customers across Harare. Swerakwenda prides himself in what he does and has a strong customer base.

“I am passionate about shoe making and I do my best to ensure quality products. Because of that I have more customers who rely on my shoes. I don’t do much of advertising, my work advertises itself,” boasted Swerakwenda.
Although he is doing well, his wish is to grow his company and make his brand well known.

He hopes new government policies will improve the economy and eventually his business fortunes.
“If acquiring licences could be made easier the business environment would become more conducive for people to start companies,” he said.

Swerakwenda urged youth to be entrepreneurs. He said they should be keen to learn from experts and get ideas that generate cash.

“Youths should not wait for employment, they should be employment creators as long as it is legal. The problem we have is youths who are not even eager to learn. I am willing to teach youths who are eager to learn, but they don’t come,” he said.
So far he has mentored 10 youths who are now entrepreneurs and making shoes for a living.

With the talent displayed at his shop and with enough capital, Jack Port Shoes could be the next big brand on the market.

Source :

The Herald

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