Old Naledi is fast becoming famous for the sounds of sawing and pounding mallets out from the numerous budding sites with heaps of wood panels ready to be sculpted into various furniture items. Carpentry is perhaps one of the oldest ‘professions’, and many people are seeing money spinning ventures through this trade.
Amongst the many people taking carpentry to new heights is the ambitious architect Metsopodi Oofha Mothooagae. Mothooagae who founded Dikobotlo Manufacturers says “the most important part of carpentry is design.”
In explaining how he founded his business, he says it was a fusion of his architectural background with his passion for carpentry, adding that the two are inseparable. “Architecture and furniture complement each other, as they are part and puzzle in completing a habitable space,” he says.
Depending on the style of work, Metsopodi states that his technique is inspired by olden day architects such as Le Corbusier and Marcel Breuer. “I incorporate my architectural knowledge to compliment the buildup structures with the furniture designs we do. It’s fun, complex and exciting and I get to see my work coming to life. We do modern designs and furnishings that occupy their own style.”
With regards to his challenges, he says most of them are market based. “There are some challenges that we encounter as consumers are used to buying goods from furniture shops and Chinese shops,” expresses Metsopodi, adding that that many people are not familiar with local carpenters who are keen on building their own footprint. “We need Batswana to support locally produced goods.”
He notes that where typically a sole crafter stands no chance to make a large profit, his unique approach to customised furniture is what drives his business.
“Our services entails: customised furniture, shop fittings, upholstery, furniture design done by computer aided drawings, and revamping old or broken furniture,” he explains, adding that they add a customised touch to each job they take up. “Our customers are also part of the design process because we want to give them room to decide how they want their spaces to look like”.
He says people should expect nothing but quality furnishings from Dikobotlo. “I want to open homegrown furniture shops that specialise in design. For us to diversify the economy, we have to think out of the box and build our own manufacturing companies,” Mothooagae states. Mothooagae’s company is based in Kanye and more information can be found on his Facebook page: Dikobotlo Manufacturers.