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Perfumer makes strides

Nthatuoa Koeshe

PERFUME evokes memories of events and places giving a personal experience to the wearer.

It also creates a scent that helps the wearer’s wellbeing and confidence and Lesotho perfumer ‘Matumelo Ralephoi says she is on a mission to give Basotho that same experience.

The self-taught ‘Matumelo manufactures perfumes, bath salts, roll-ons and air fresheners under the Sovereign brand.

The 35-year-old recently ventured into the perfume business and says this was one of her best decisions.

“Making perfumes was never on the list of things that I thought I would do in future but life challenges got me here and I am glad I landed in the industry,” ‘Matumelo told the Xpress People in a recent interview.

‘Matumelo acquired the franchise from a fellow Mosotho woman who decided to ditch the business six months ago.

In the time that she has been in the business, ‘Matumelo has already hired two agents who work at the National University of Lesotho and also sends her products to the rest of the country’s 10 districts monthly.

“Six months ago, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into but I was focused on making perfumes because I had realised that people who do cosmetics in this country only focus on glycerines and lotions and only a few were making perfumes.”

She then started reading and researching on the business and says she has now settled in well.

When she started, ‘Matumelo had just graduated with an English Language and Linguistics degree from the National University of Lesotho (NUL) and was working part time at the Ministry of Education in the data capturing department. Fearing unemployment when her contract expired, she thought critically about her next move.

“When my contract was terminated, I took all my savings and got my husband to also invest and bought the franchise and all that I needed to start manufacturing the products. I immediately started applying all that I had read.”

All her products are produced in small batches and bottled by hand and she often packs to sell at the taxi rank.

She said she is amazed by the support that Basotho have given her.

She said her bath salts are freshen up the body and also help with alleges by taking out impurities and opening body pores.

“My roll-ons are infused with aloe-vera which helps remove the dark underarm spots,” ‘Matumelo said.


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