Gaborone — The need to make ends meet and survive the hardships of this unforgiving life leads many to starting small businesses.
However, such is not the story of 41-year-old Mr Emmanuel Otukile, an employee of Statistics Botswana and owner of clothing line Phatsi.
In an interview recently, Mr Otukile revealed that having worked in several entities such as Population Services International and the then Department of Arts and Culture as a research officer, he realised that the youth who form a larger part of the population were faced by unemployment and thought of what could be done to assist them.
The University of Botswana Bachelor of Arts graduate's journey into the labour market was not a tough one, he pities unemployed young graduates who bear the brunt of joblessness.
The administrator for Monana Itsose, a Facebook page geared to uniting the youth to share and exchange ideas on real life issues said he wanted to see youth being in control of their lives.
Other platforms under his name include Report Crime Botswana (RCB), Accident Alert Botswana (AA) and Young Batswana Millionaires (YBM), among others.
He says Phatsi, losely translated as don't blink, is an appropriate name because if one blinks, they are likely to miss out on the opportunities in life.
Phatsi, which means faster than the speed of light, in the vernacular, symbolises how fast life is these days, hence the need to keep up with the developments and most importantly, to stay focused.
The Maunatlala born says his brand is barely a year old, adding that fashion culture innovation appeals to most youth, hence venturing into such.
Mr Otukile says presently he has engaged four young designers and printers.
He says his intention is to have outlets across the country manned by young people as a way of tackling unemployment.
The plan is for the outlets to have clothing ranges catering for all ages; from babies to adults.
The budding entrepreneur says his brand encourages the youth to make hay while the sun shines.
He emphasises the need for youth to be integrated into the mainstream development of the country, rather than being spectators in the process of Development.
Mr Otukile went on to crash the misconceptions that dominate most youth's minds, citing that such hesitations contribute to them becoming spectators of the country's development.
"Through interaction with the youth I have realised that most possess brilliant ideas that can generate money and create employment.
I encourage them to explore their strengths and talents, take risks and not shun small beginnings."
He says his clothing line is an example of starting small as he has just started it and does not have a definite location where he sells his t-shirts.
"Currently my brand is available on request.
On top of that, I only have t-shirts at the moment.
However, I intend to expand in the near future and add more clothes such as baby wear, sweaters, dresses and many more," he said.
"Young People must be architects of their own destiny and they should choose how to deal with the different situations that affect their everyday life, rather than being dictated terms on how to manage their future prospects," he said.
He also urged the corporate world to support the youth in their attempts to make something out of their lives.
"Civil service, private sector and development partners must be obliged to patronise local brands," he concluded his statement.
Source : BOPA