A Zimbabwean student who is pursuing medical studies at Vincent Pol University in Poland has launched a shoe-cleaning company in the east European country.
Nqobani Sibanda (22), launched the “Shoe Laundry by Que” on 6 January this year in Lublin, Poland with the aim of providing a shoe cleaning and customising service.
The launch was facilitated by an African-run business initiative called the Entrepreneurs Networking Forum, an organisation founded by Poland-based Zimbabwean poet, author and publisher, Mthulisi Ndlovu.
The Entrepreneurs Networking Forum says its focus is to empower international citizens in the diaspora and enhance entrepreneurial collaborations.
Sibanda said told the Chronicle that the launch was made possible through long-term investments and perseverance. He said:
I have been saving for this business for the past two or so years and finally reached the target of my capital investment.
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.
We are four guys and we clean all types of shoes from formal to casual sneakers. Honestly, we were not prepared for such a response from so many clients.
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 Vincent Pol University, which also endorsed our brand, therefore enhancing confidence and broadening the sphere of potential clientele.
… 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.
Sibanda said on average, they clean 30 pairs per week.
Sibanda did his education at Inkanyezi Primary School in Lobengula suburb, Inyathi High and Tennyson Hlabangana High School.
He said he was raised by a single parent and routinely sold food items on the streets with his brother.