Morongwa Maifo: You are never too old to learn or too young to teach

Morongwa Maifo
Mo combines her love for chemistry, fashion, and literature in her daily life and hustles Click To Tweet

It is a public secret that the future of the Africa we envision lies solely in the hands of each and every young individual who dares to dream. The inclusion of women in various decision-making positions has better positioned and equipped young women to step up in their entrepreneur journey.

Barriers are continuously being smashed, as the African girl dares to take over, below is an interview with Morongwa Maifo, the owner of VintageKlozet. Morongwa, aka Mo, is a young woman determined to let her passion become her success ladder.

Hi Morongwa can you briefly tell us who you are and what you are currently up to?

I’m a young dynamic phenomenal woman named Morongwa Nesly Maifo. I’m just an ordinary person who grew up in a normal background. My journey has been very challenging, especially not growing around parents. I spent most of my growing years with my brother, as my parents were at home in the village. I can say that I started learning responsibilities of doing things by myself at an early age.

Growing up I had low self-confidence, I have always been that young girl who would do anything to buy a friendship or try harder to make sure people accept me. Nobody ever taught me it should start with you. But these happened for a purpose as it’s now revealing itself.

I enrolled for my first degree at the University of Witwatersrand in Chemistry, am currently in the completion of my honors degree in Chemical engineering. I also obtained a certificate in sales and marketing with Unisa.

All I’m up to right now is the new baby VintageKlozet and Club Readership.

Chemistry, fashion, and literature are worlds apart, tell us how you manage the playing field you have occupied?

In my growing up journey, I realized I get bored easily with routine. I’m an explorer, a huge fan of learning, and I’m more progressive when I learn various aspects of content. At the at the end, I noticed how everything is interconnected.

I enrolled for Chemistry with Chemical Engineering because I have always been fascinated by science. I want to become an engineer. My most motivation in obtaining this degree is to contribute back to society by using the knowledge I have gained to solve daily problems.

Growing up, I suffered a lack of confidence in speaking, reading, and writing, specifically in English. Because this bothered me a lot, I started reading books from high school, and slowly I found reading fascinating. This hobby continued until varsity, I started reading a lot, especially motivational books.

I have always loved clothes, initially, I underestimated it because I thought it was just a women’s thing. It became unique when I would play with my mother’s wardrobe. That lead me to notice that I’m not a fan of trendy fashion, then I finally figured my sense of fashion is vintage.

I'm not a fan of trendy fashion, my sense of fashion is vintage - Morongwa Maifo Click To Tweet

As VintageKlozet aptly describes, what motivated you to start your own vintage retailing business and how responsive has been your target market?

I have always been motivated by Bonang Matheba especially when she said, “If you love something, get someone to pay you for loving that thing, then you will never work in your entire life”. I started VintageKlozet because of my passion and love for old style, and how I have found myself through this styling sense.

As a final year student, I have never believed I was sent to college so I can work for someone else. I have always believed as African men and women, we all have the skills to start our own companies and improve our economic status as well as that of the future generation. As the business just recently started, the response has been good so far, most people seem to fall in love with the culture of vintage, how unique it is and how it tells the story. So far, I have got responses as far as Cape Town, and few people from Zimbabwe.

How important has social media been to your business and what lessons can other aspiring fashion retailers get from you?

I’m still in the journey of learning and exploring diverse ways to market the business and establish it. There is so much power in social media because so far 80% of sales VintageKlozet has made are from social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram. Obviously, there are many ways to advertise, but so far these have shown a positive response to the business.

I have never believed I was sent to college so I can work for someone else Click To Tweet

You mentioned that you are also CEO of Club Readership, briefly tell us what it is all about?

Club Readership it’s a book club before everything. It is created for readership in Africa, focusing on African literature, of course by African authors. This is the institution that noticed a gap of reading outside academics in Africa and is determined to bring back the culture of reading in a fashionable manner.

It believes we all have stories to tell and to embrace. It would like to improve and celebrate the culture of reading mainly in black communities. As it promotes this culture of reading, it ensures to produce relevant material for Africa, therefore it publishes books. Club Readership encourages people to write and makes it easy for them to publish, for more info, people can visit our website.

How challenging have all your roles been?

Honestly, challenges serve an opportunity to grow you as a person. I have found myself doing uncomfortable things but turned my being into effective. It is challenging, but it is the enthusiasm of learning that keeps me pressing forward each day, therefore I embrace challenges.

Aspiring young business women out there are dying to know how you balance your family, academic and business life. Tell us how do you do it?

I have never come across a programmed equation for balancing life. It always brings me back to prioritizing and ensuring every second is utilized effectively. Through falling and failing, I learn what is more important and less important.

I’m one that lives by the power of the law of attraction. What I send to the universe, I get the same frequency back. Therefore, I ensure I always release positive frequency into the universe even when it becomes hard. I’m a very strong spiritual human being. When I’m at peace, happy and content, people around me, family and friends automatically become happy. That’s how I manage my relationships with them.

When I’m in good health, good spirit, I work better, be it in academics or business. So in short, I firstly manage the person from within, she is the one who guides me to manage my other important aspects of life.

So who or rather what motivates Morongwa?

I always call it a blessing to be surrounded by people who see the best in you even when you are numb. People who see a potential in you and can actively help you to unleash it. These are the two young leaders, who are not celebrated every day, very humble, but they touch thousands of lives every day.

They motivate me, I call them doers of things. One of them is Mafule Moswane, author, and chairman of the most amazing non-profit called Faculty of Best Advisory (FBA) that is changing the education of black children. The other is the president of Club Readership, Sbusiso Gama, author, and entrepreneur, also serving as the CEO of FBA.

These are the two young leaders who don’t judge and have effortlessly given their time to serve the community. They are my pillars at this moment and keep me going forward.

Describe your fashion sense in five words and what’s your fashion must have item in 2017?

My fashions sense in five words:

  • Vintage
  • Comfortable
  • Buttoned
  • High wasted
  • 80-inspired

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