When Zibo Marobela, popularly known as Shoba, traded her legal gown for massaging gown many of her colleagues thought that she was either very brave or very foolish as only a few locals can claim to have run a successful beauty spa. It was worse for her – she was not trained in that field.
Five years later Shobas Spa – situated in a leafy suburb in Phase IV, Gaborone – is one of the few locally-owned spas doing well.
To entrench itself into the harsh market, Shobas Spa put to use the words of by Francis Bacon, in Essays, 1625: Mahomet called the Hill to come to him 'if the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain' by taking her services to the clients.
“We offer spa treatments to our clients in the comfort of their homes, offices or hotel rooms. We have gone as far as setting up our mobile spa for clients, outside the country. Treatments include massages, manicure, pedicure, facials and make up,” said Marobela.
Shobas Spa has also found a niche market in hosting private and corporate sessions, and providing catering services as part of her services. Some of her past and present clients include Metropolitan Botswana, mobile giants BTCL, Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), Minerals Botswana Development Company (MBDC), Mmamotse Events, Rea Vaya Travel & Tours and Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC).
“We also organise lifestyle events in the form of workshops, seminars and getaway retreats, covering issues such as beauty, health, fitness and wellbeing in general,” revealed Marobela.
One area that Batswana have not explored is retreats, which are mainly meant for recollection and connecting with oneself and Shobas has cultivated a niche market in that area. She organises getaway retreats around Botswana under different themes targeting different clients. Travel companies also engage Shobas to provide mobile spa services during their holiday trips. She has done Mozambique and will be pampering another client in Cape Town this December.