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On A Roll With Used Tyres



Reabetswe Ngwane has come a long way from Rustenburg, and she has covered the journey on recycled tyres – literally.

The bubbly and ambitious Ngwane, raised in Mogwase, a township in Rustenburg in the North West Province of South Africa, recycles tyre tubes for a living, and has been able to turn waste to wealth.

When we meet her in the affluent suburb of Sandton in Johannesburg, she is late, having driven in from Rustenburg after another meeting. Dressed formally in black, she settles to talk about where it all began.

Ngwane’s entrepreneurial journey unraveled when she relocated from the township to the city in Rustenburg where she started her first business with a friend. They recycled plastic bags, turning them into school bags with solar lanterns, provided to kids in underprivileged areas.

Unfortunately, that partnership did not last.

READ MORE: ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves, Walk Past That Handbag’

“Then we parted ways respectively in business and generally. That’s when I started the tyre business with my sister [Katlego],” says Ngwane.

The business picked up. They were approached by REDISA (Recycling and Economic Development Initiative In South Africa) who offered to handle their Rustenburg tyre depot.

Ngwane wanted to learn and research more about all the elements that went into the tyre business.

So she did what most wouldn’t think of – she consulted with the people pushing trolleys on the side of road recycling scrap.

“They work extensively at the mine fields; in a nutshell, they are industry experts. We went to them, consulted with them. [About an] alternative to plastic, because that’s all I knew. I asked them ‘what else I could use as a resource to make up products’ and they advised on the tyre tubes and it became a business,” she says.

The business’ main focus is recycling tyre tubes to make fashionable bags.

The whole process begins by transporting the tyre tubes to one of their work sites where they wash, clean and refurbish them. They are then taken to a production factory where they are cut into respective patterns depending on orders.

Ngwane has her products in a store, Mememe, in Cape Town in the Western Cape, and another in South African capital Pretoria, called In Bloom. She also takes orders online. Her bags range from R500 ($43) to R1,400 ($120).

She not only recycles tyre tubes to create trendy bags, but also makes products for the mining and construction industries.

These orders differ from the retail industry.

Reabetswe Ngwane. Photo by Motlabana Monnakgotla.

“The retail industry is not as mass-orientated as the mining and construction industry. With the retail industry, it depends on how many orders of these we get, how many orders of backpacks we make, and then the patterns are made and then the bags. With regards to mining and construction, there are three sets of products we provide to them,” she says.

For the mines, Ngwane makes first-aid kit bags used by the workers underground and over the ground. The material mostly used for this previously was canvas, which is not durable, she says.

Ngwane also makes respiratory bags or masks used by the workers. The biggest orders she gets from the mines are however for seat protectors.

“It’s like a shield that covers your bum, you strap it on your waist, strap it on your legs, as the guys drilling underground [are] scooting backwards and forwards; because they [are] scooting, they damage their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and bump into hard surfaces like rocks, and corrosive liquids whatever the case may be; [the seat protector] is used to protect them,” she says.

Ngwane is the first to break into this kind of market, she says.

READ MORE: The Woman With the toughest job

She recalls the days she had to knock on several doors to get her business going. Her research involved ongoing conversations with users in the mines asking them about the durability of canvas.

Ngwane is contracted to an entity that supplies a lot of the mines in the North West of South Africa with PPE. With her sister Katlego, their company, KreamFields, has been in operation for the last two years, and their fortune is growing.

Their work also has social significance as recycling waste means helping the environment rid itself of rubber scrap.

Ngwane seems to have literally reinvented the wheel turning tyre tubes to tote bags.


From The Arab World To Africa



Sheikha Hend Faisal Al Qassimi; image supplied

In this exclusive interview with FORBES AFRICA, successful Dubai-based Emirati businesswoman, author and artist, Sheikha Hend Faisal Al Qassimi, shares some interesting insights on fashion, the future, and feminism in a shared world.

Sheikha Hend Faisal Al Qassimi wears many hats, as an artist, architect, author, entrepreneur and philanthropist based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). She currently serves as the CEO of Paris London New York Events & Publishing (PLNY), that includes a magazine and a fashion house.

She runs Velvet Magazine, a luxury lifestyle publication in the Gulf founded in 2010 that showcases the diversity of the region home to several nationalities from around the world.

In this recent FORBES AFRICA interview, Hend, as she would want us to call her, speaks about the future of publishing, investing in intelligent content, and learning to be a part of the disruption around you.

As an entrepreneur too and the designer behind House of Hend, a luxury ready-to-wear line that showcases exquisite abayas, evening gowns and contemporary wear, her designs have been showcased in fashion shows across the world.

The Middle East is known for retail, but not typically, as a fashion hub in the same league as Paris, New York or Milan. Yet, she has changed the narrative of fashion in the region. “I have approached the world of fashion with what the customer wants,” says Hend. In this interview, she also extols African fashion talent and dwells on her own sartorial plans for the African continent.

In September, in Downtown Dubai, she is scheduled to open The Flower Café. Also an artist using creative expression meaningfully, she says it’s important to be “a role model of realism”.

She is also the author of The Black Book of Arabia, described as a collection of true stories from the Arab community offering a real glimpse into the lives of men and women across the Gulf Cooperation Council region.

In this interview, she also expounds on her home, Sharjah, one of the seven emirates in the UAE and the region’s educational hub. “A number of successful entrepreneurs have started in this culturally-rich emirate that’s home to 30 museums,” she concludes. 

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Kim Kardashian West Is Worth $900 Million After Agreeing To Sell A Stake In Her Cosmetics Firm To Coty




In what will be the second major Kardashian cashout in a year, Kim Kardashian West is selling a 20% stake in her cosmetics company KKW Beauty to beauty giant Coty COTY for $200 million. The deal—announced today—values KKW Beauty at $1 billion, making Kardashian West worth about $900 million, according to Forbes’estimates.

The acquisition, which is set to close in early 2021, will leave Kardashian West the majority owner of KKW Beauty, with an estimated 72% stake in the company, which is known for its color cosmetics like contouring creams and highlighters. Forbes estimates that her mother, Kris Jenner, owns 8% of the business. (Neither Kardashian West nor Kris Jenner have responded to a request for comment about their stakes.) According to Coty, she’ll remain responsible for creative efforts while Coty will focus on expanding product development outside the realm of color cosmetics.

Earlier this year, Kardashian West’s half-sister, Kylie Jenner, also inked a big deal with Coty, when she sold it 51% of her Kylie Cosmetics at a valuation of $1.2 billion. The deal left Jenner with a net worth of just under $900 million. Both Kylie Cosmetics and KKW Beauty are among a number of brands, including Anastasia Beverly Hills, Huda Beauty and Glossier, that have received sky-high valuations thanks to their social-media-friendly marketing. 

“Kim is a true modern-day global icon,” said Coty chairman and CEO Peter Harf in a statement. “This influence, combined with Coty’s leadership and deep expertise in prestige beauty will allow us to achieve the full potential of her brands.”

The deal comes just days after Seed Beauty, which develops, manufactures and ships both KKW Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics, won a temporary injunction against KKW Beauty, hoping to prevent it from sharing trade secrets with Coty, which also owns brands like CoverGirl, Sally Hansen and Rimmel. On June 19, Seed filed a lawsuit against KKW Beauty seeking protection of its trade secrets ahead of an expected deal between Coty and KKW Beauty. The temporary order, granted on June 26, lasts until August 21 and forbids KKW Beauty from disclosing details related to the Seed-KKW relationship, including “the terms of those agreements, information about license use, marketing obligations, product launch and distribution, revenue sharing, intellectual property ownership, specifications, ingredients, formulas, plans and other information about Seed products.”

Coty has struggled in recent years, with Wall Street insisting it routinely overpays for acquisitions and has failed to keep up with contemporary beauty trends. The coronavirus pandemic has also hit the 116-year-old company hard. Since the beginning of the year, Coty’s stock price has fallen nearly 60%. The company, which had $8.6 billion in revenues in the year through June 2019, now sports a $3.3 billion market capitalization. By striking deals with companies like KKW Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics, Coty is hoping to refresh its image and appeal to younger consumers.

Kardashian West founded KKW Beauty in 2017, after successfully collaborating with Kylie Cosmetics on a set of lip kits. Like her half-sister, Kardashian West first launched online only, but later moved into Ulta stores in October 2019, helping her generate estimated revenues of $100 million last year. KKW Beauty is one of several business ventures for Kardashian West: She continues to appear on her family’s reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, sells her own line of shapewear called Skims and promotes her mobile game, Kim Kardashian Hollywood. Her husband, Kanye West, recently announced a deal to sell a line of his Yeezy apparel in Gap stores.

“This is fun for me. Now I’m coming up with Kimojis and the app and all these other ideas,” Kardashian West told Forbesof her various business ventures in 2016. “I don’t see myself stopping.”

Madeline Berg, Forbes Staff, Hollywood & Entertainment

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Covid-19: Restaurants, Beauty Salons, Cinemas Among Businesses That Will Operate Again In South Africa As Ramaphosa Announces Eased Lockdown Restrictions



South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation announcing that the government will further ease the country’s lockdown restrictions.

Restaurants, beauty salons, cinemas are among the businesses that will be allowed to operate again in South Africa.

The country is still on lockdown ‘Level 3’ of the government’s “risk adjusted strategy”.

President Ramaphosa also spoke on the gender based violence in the country.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I stand before the women and the girls of South Africa this evening to talk about another pandemic that is raging in our country. The killing of women and children by the men of our country. As a man, as a husband, and as a father to daughters, I am appalled at what is no less than a war that is being waged against the women and the children of our country,” says Ramaphosa.

Watch below:

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