Mohlala Khotso: From School-drop-out to Business owner

If Mohlala khotso’s story is anything to go by, being a barber could be a calling. Hairdressers are a special kind, like chefs or serial entrepreneurs. Sure, you can get training or a formal education, but hairstylist’s skills seem to be innate.

“I didn’t need to put too much effort into cutting hair, so I decided to go for it. I believe it’s a gift from God and my gods,” Khotso tells Spot-On. The self-taught barber is owner of the Mapopotane Barbershop in Acornhoek Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga.

Businessman: Mohlala khotso. Photo supplied

Dropping out from college where he was studying Electrical Engineering, due to struggles with the academics, he established Mapopotane Barbershop in 2019. “I named it after my grandfather’s nick name,” 24-year-old Khotso says. “We focus more on haircuts and dye application for now but I’m working on something new for the ladies so as soon as I’m good at it we will add it into our services,” says the hairstylist. The barbershop is around Greenvalley Phelendaba Village at the Msapa view building, on the Boelang Main Road.

Neatly Done: A satisfied client at the Mapopotane Barbershop. Photo supplied

Young people are in sharp focus during this month, yet there isn’t a lot to celebrate because the youth is struggling to make ends-meet because of the paucity of opportunities. But the country is kept going by among others, young people such as Khotso who aren’t idle and waiting for hand-outs.

Some of his biggest challenges of operating the business, Khotso says, is financial management. “I struggle a lot because I have to pay my workers and buy stock and on the other hand, I’m the one taking care of my mom, brothers and sisters. I’m forced to increase prices, but the environment doesn’t allow me.”

Wavy: Styled by Mapopotane Barbershop. Photo supplied

He also felt the profound impact of Covid19 at its peak since his business requires direct contact with clients. “I couldn’t work, and I had to pay rent for my workplace,” says Khotso. “It really affected me a lot I got bankrupt and by then we were charging less than we charge now. I had to increase prices so I can recover from the losses I had, although it’s struggling but I’m pushing.”

He currently has two employees, two boys who he trained. “I will have several branches and a training academy for haircuts because you can make a living through haircuts it just needs your dedication and consistency,” Khotso says of where he sees the business in the next few years.

For more info on Mapopotate Barbershop click here