14 Aug

After breakfast, I took a walk around the hotel and felt the heartbeat of my host community. While doing so, I stumbled upon a workshop run by a local company known as EBRA. The Ngororero-based enterprise manufactures shoes, belts, bags, wallets and other leather products.

It was a busy day in the workshop. Artisans, donning blue overalls, were handcrafting a wide variety of footwear. I was taken aback to see girls outnumbering boys in a traditionally male-dominated venture.

When I showed up, Murekatete Angelique was in the middle of a six-month, hands-on training program. Her dream is to own a shoe factory in the future. Over the past few months, she has been honing her skills under the supervision of experienced EBRA trainers.

Apart from making marketable products, she is learning how to source materials, capture market shares and connect the dots of a complex business management puzzle. She is aware of the turbulent nature of entrepreneurship. Nevertheless, the 25-year-old resident of Hindiro Sector is excited about the possibilities.

From humble beginnings, Murekatete Angelique dreams big
Murekatete and her colleagues are taking advantage of the enabling environment Rwanda is known for. They draw inspiration from women who are making strides in both the public and private sectors. Equipped with the right mindset, these daring young ladies will undoubtedly go places.

The art of shoe making combines creativity and craftsmanship. From selecting materials to shaping, stitching and finishing, skilled artisans make not only shoes but also fashion statements. Each step of the meticulous process requires precision and attention to detail.

I was impressed by the quality of the shoes made in Ngororero. It's about time we stop wearing imported stuff and support the likes of Murekatete. After all, in a larger scheme of things, it makes economic sense to embrace locally made products.

After my interaction with the girls, I made a phone call to the founder of the workshop in which they ply their craft. He was in Kigali attending the 26th edition of the Rwanda International Trade Fair. EBRA is already tapping into the larger Kigali market and beyond. The sky is the limit.  

I was impressed by the quality of the shoes made in Ngororero