Sela Motshwane is one Motswana who saw an opportunity and utilised it while studying Archaeology in the United Kingdom. She explored fashion design, another talent that she has always been passionate about to establish a brand called Touch of Africa which showcases trendy African fashion.
The use of leteise (a fabric used on popular traditional garments in Botswana) in her designs came naturally because it has always been close to her heart. This made her brand Touch of Africa distinctive and won a grant from Cambridge University Entrepreneurs to pursue her dream. Her pieces would later grace fashion runways in the United Kingdom exposing leteisi African garments to the world, alongside other fabrics from South Africa and Zambia. With a diverse academic background in plant sciences, archaeology and enterprises, Motshwane says she is passionate about business start-ups, financial literacy and economic equality for Africans. “The platform that I have makes me even more excited. The way people here have embraced our traditional garments makes me proud because most of the time it has always been us Africans completely embracing the Western Culture. So, it is amazing when they too support our products and consume them,” she said.
Motshwane has been active in different committees that serve the interests of Africans in the United Kingdom. She is currently dealing with African current affairs and promoting African businesses in the UK. For all she does she sources raw materials and labour from Botswana to empower locals and ensure that her products are made by Africans themselves. She has a workshop at Bontleng in Gaborone and through it she empowers the local community and uplifts families around there. “Thanks to the African Diaspora of this generation in the UK, who are educated, open to the world and have dual culture. African Fashion is taking centre stage in the fashion industry, and it is only set to grow. Therefore, our customer base is predominantly UK and Europe based,” she said.