Mebala means colours in Setswana. Our brand aims to create a long-term sustainable socio-economic impact by creating quality jobs in Africa, particularly in economically excluded communities. Through manufacturing techniques that are labour-intensive, we use processes that maximize the job yield per unit of production.
Our company currently has created high-quality jobs for leather artisans and creatives. Since 2019, we have trained young people in leather crafting and rapid business skills development.
The ultimate aim is to contribute to the Made in Africa campaign.
Mebala was started by TIhalefang Moeletsi in 2019 when he was looking for a custom-made backpack.
Tlhalefang realised that there wasn’t any brand offering a convenient access to custom-made and premium luggage and accessories. Moreover, TIhalefang saw that existing brands didn’t sufficiently incorporate technology in their products. Functional brands prioritised form over function while high fashion brands didn’t sufficiently offer the necessary features. Tlhalefang decided to establish a manufacturing brand that would be based on a rapid mass-customisation business model and incorporate innovation in fashion – Mebala was born.
Born in Johannesburg and raised in Bapong village outside Rustenburg,Tlhalefang is an economist by training. He holds a masters degree in economic science from Wits University. He has received a number of national and international accolades in his economics career, including the United Nations Youth Prize. He has also forged a career as a designer, industrialist and entrepreneur. Even in fashion, TIhalefang has continued to excel. In 2020, he was selected as an Emerging Creative and he exhibited Mebala designs to an international audience at the Design Indaba in Cape Town in 2020. In 2022, Tlhalefang was recognised in the Mail and Guardian 200 Young South Africans list for his social impact.
Design and craftsmanship that elevates and celebrates African creativity and artistry.
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