South Africa might be the cradle of civilisation but we are a young country and with us celebrating June 16, we are excited to introduce the Pat on Brands Top 16 Brands by the Youth. This is a recognition of the amazing brands that are built by young people.

South Africa might be the cradle of civilisation but we are a young country and with us celebrating June 16, we are excited to introduce the Pat on Brands Top 16 Brands by the Youth. This is a recognition of the amazing brands that are built by young people.

Taking a page from the youth of 1976 – who fought for their freedom. These young entrepreneurs are fighting for economic freedom- building empires and creating employment opportunities. According to Pat on Brands CEO, Pat Mahlangu, “this is an important time for young people to take charge of their destiny, and build legacies because if we don’t do ourselves no one will”.

In no particular order, this is an ode to young people in our country who continue to fight the good fight and put South Africa on the map.

Tana Apparel

Tana Apparel

Founder: Singatha Xaba (33) and Tami Mzila (26)

TANA Apparel is named after the source of The Great Nile, Lake Tana located in Ethiopia. This brand focuses on design, production, branding and distribution of branded wear for retail and corporate clients.

It was founded in 2017 by two students who saw the lack of availability of unique clothing. Singatha Xaba is a serial creator and a technology enthusiast. He received his BEngTech (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering from University of Johannesburg. Tami Mzila is a serial entrepreneur. He brings an out-of-the-box thinking with experience from the high-paced automotive industry. He received his BSc in Environmental and Engineering Geology from University of Pretoria.

Why is it on the list?

They have a spot on the POB16 for their unique apparel and how they grew their business from only having a few pieces to a whole collection.

SkinnySbu Socks

Skinny Sbu Store lofo

Founder: Sibusiso Ngwenya (29)

Sibusiso Ngwenya from Tsakane in the East Rand, founded Skinny Sbu Socks in 2013. His story is that of resilience, persistence and bumps on the road – as many successful stories are. He started collecting socks as a hobby and it rapidly turned into a successful business. Today, the Skinny Sbu Socks brand can be found on shelves at major retailers such as Markhams.

Ngwenya’s deep passion for socks began at a young age, growing up as a tall guy – his pants weren’t often long enough and his socks always showed – this made him pay attention to the socks that he wore and thus began the journey of Skinny Sbu Socks.

Why is it on the list?

Not only does the brand sell socks, it has grown to include hoodies, tshirts, sleepwear as well as body care. Sbu is resilient and continues to expand his business which is why he has made it onto the list.

Walk Fresh

Founder: Lethabo Mokoena (30)

WALK FRESH is a boutique sneaker cleaning and shoe-care service providing the best sneaker cleaning, suede/nubuck refurbishing and maintenance, shoe shining and Repairing services for all footwear brands, makes and materials. The brand was founded by Lethabo Mokoena in 2015 in his friend’s backyard.

He was named the NYDA Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017, Mail and Guardian named him Young South African 2018 and he also has the Gauteng Premier Special Award in youth entrepreneurship 2019 under his belt.

Why it’s on the list?

Lethabo is fast becoming one of the most admired young entrepreneurs in Gauteng. Having started his business from nothing and expanded to 2 locations, in Sandton and the EastRand.

Thato Radebe Jewellery

Founder: Thato Radebe (31)

Thato Radebe Jewellery is a Johannesburg-based jewellery design company.

Their vision is to create a jewellery company that focuses on designing and manufacturing unique and one-of-a-kind jewellery, just as unique and one-of-a-kind as the men and women who will be wearing the pieces. They specialise in bespoke jewellery that you have never seen before.

Why is it on the list?

They recently launched their constellations collection that is inspired by the moon and the stars. As a seasoned jewellery brand, it is one to look out for. The brand released their first collection in 2011.

The Lazy Makoti

Founder: Mogau Seshoene (29)

Mogau Seshoene was born in Turfloop Mankweng township in Limpopo. She is a trained chef and award-winning cookbook author and founded The Lazy Makoti in 2014 after leaving the corporate world to focus on her love for food. 

What started as cooking lessons for a friend, who was afraid of being labelled “The Lazy Makoti” (the lazy daughter-in-law) because she couldn’t cook, evolved into a successful business. Mogau perfected her craft by completing a diploma in Culinary Arts from the Chefs Training and Innovation Academy in Pretoria. 

Why it’s on the list?

The Lazy Makoti has grown her brand, with her second cook book under way, various cooking tools and cooking apparel under her belt and was recently named the Culinary Media Personality of the year award at the Hospitality Counsel’s 3rd annual Luxe Restaurant Awards in June 2021.

Yococo

Founder: Sinenhlanhla Ndlela (28)

With a background in TV writing and post-production, Ndlela taught herself all she knows about making ice-cream and running a small business, and her efforts have earned her a spot-on Mail & Guardian‘s list of 200 Young South Africans for 2019.

Yococo is a fun-loving dairy-free ice cream brand. Ndlela started this fun trip of Yococo in 2016 in her apartment, with the help of a few strangers from the building elevator who dared to come taste the ice cream in its early stages. She wanted to create something that will be completely vegan friendly and have a strong intention of love, what this means is the ingredients had to be meaningful which is why they loosely base them on the 7 chakras and colour therapy.

Why its on the list?

The vegan food industry is one that is not saturated and it is amazing to see a black-owned brand within this space. Yococo has put a stamp on the vegan food scene and it is only up from here.

Siwela Wines

Founder: Siwela Masoga (30)

Siwela is determined to craft local wines, with locally inspired names and labels, to be paired with South African food, rather than Western cuisine. It is Masoga’s aim to get more young, black people playing active roles in the domestic wine industry

Masoga, who was raised in a small Limpopo village, has put down roots in the Western Cape and is the proud owner of Siwela Wines. It is Masoga’s aim to get more young, black people playing active roles in the domestic wine industry. After doing a National Diploma in Biotechnology, majoring in fermentation and microbiology, Masoga accepted a position as an intern at Waterstone Wines in Stellenbosch and so began her journey into the wine industry.

Why is it on the list?

Siwela Masoga is shaking up the wine industry. She is a 30-year-old black female winemaker in a white male-dominated sector and is determined that fellow South Africans join her on a wine revolution.

Cancelwear

Founders: Senzo Nkabinde (24) and Karabo Phakathi (24)

Cancelwear is a premium quality streetwear brand. The name came about through street lingo and the intention to avoid negative situations. This brand made waves in the East Rand which led to the event called ‘Cancelwear Premium launch.’ It was founded by Senzo Nkabinde and Karabo Phakathi in 2015.

Cancelwear has once partnered with Skinny Sbu stores in Maboneng. And has also collaborated with Walkfresh’s flagship stores. Recently designed and also distribute Amapiano hit maker Busta929’s Undisputed merch.

Why is it on the list?

The clothing and textile industry may be dominating this list but it goes to show that South Africans love this industry – brand like Cancelwear are making waves and creating compelling apparel that can rival the very best.

Bathu

Founder: Theo Baloyi (31)

 Theo Baloyi founded Bathu in Alexandra township in 2015. Bathu is a story about owning your destiny, staying true to who you are, perseverance, following your dream and doing something you are passionate about.

With a few years in the industry, Bathu Shoes has a lot of accolades and has partnered with Steers on their recent television commercials.

Why is it on the list?

Bathu has a strong national footprint, with 25 retail stores nationwide, as well as an online store and has recently collaborated with media personality, Somizi Mhlongo on a collection of sneakers. It has become a household sneaker brand.

 Tshepo Jeans

Founder: Tshepo Mohlala (29)

Tshepo Jeans, offers a range of bespoke denim clothing and ready-to-wear products. It was founded with a clear purpose – that is to connect with people through the stories of their designs.

Tshepo studied Fashion at the University of Johannesburg and honours denim’s ability to stand the test of time by honoring the past, acknowledging the present and designing with the future in mind.

Why is it on the list

Tshepo recently announced his store opening in the luxury retail shopping centre, Hyde Park. He has infiltrated a space where many South African brands see themselves, showing that with determination, anything is possible.

Drip Shoes

Drip Footwear

Founder: Lekau Sehoana (32)

Drip Footwear was founded by Lekau Sehoana (32) in Ivory Park in Tembisa in 2019. The brand is focused on “The Township Dream” as their slogan says and emphasizes that ‘no matter how big we get, we will never forget what made us, and that the brand was created from a shack but with international standards.’ 

Why it’s on the list?

Drip just announced a R100 million deal with Family Tree founder and rapper Cassper Nyovest – one of the largest partnerships in mainstream media. During the hard lockdown period, Drip sponsored the Lockdown House Party on Chanel O, getting massive brand awareness. They also have 12 stores nationwide.

Inga Atelier

Founder: Inga Gubeka (33)

This is the story of a boy who grew up in an under-privileged and marginalised village in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, where people live below the poverty line and are not exposed to fine things. Inga was raised by his grandmother and grew up making wire cars and little clay cows and houses. From the small village all the way to growing his now renowned global brand, Inga has had quite a unique journey. 

Why it’s on the list?

Inga Atelier is in a class and concept of its own. Launched in Johannesburg by Creative Director Inga Gubeka, the brand is the next level of cultivating and celebrating the diversity that resides within the continent of Africa. 

 Legends Barber

Legend Barber

Founder: Sheldon Tatchell (32)

Legend’s Barber was founded in 2011 by Sheldon Tatchell and is committed to providing consumers with quality haircuts and products which maintain the exceptional service until the next visit.

Sheldon is one of the most admired young entrepreneurs in the country, having started the brand in Eldorado Park, a township in Johannesburg.

Why it’s on the list?

Legends recently opened a new store in Springs Mall, making it their 46th franchise. The 32-year-old is one of the youngest franchise owners in the country and his brand is one that is much loved.

 Shweshwekini

Founder: Mapitso Thaisi (29)

Fashion designer, Occupational Therapist, and founder of Shweshwekini, Mapitso Thaisi is determined to take poolside cool to another level with her clever, Sesotho-print swimwear brand.

She started the brand in 2017 and although she had always wondered why there was never African print swimwear as a teenager, the idea probably grew on her in 2015 while on a trip to Thailand. Mapitso bought a bikini that didn’t fit properly, she then decided from there on to never buy swimwear and instead make my own – with an African touch to it.

Winning the Foschini Sebenza Girl award back in 2017 when they first started was the recognition she needed to keep going. In the following year she was awarded the Design Indaba 40 Emerging Creatives for 2018. 

Why it’s on the list?

Shweshwekini is a unique brand that celebrates the beauty of Africa through the use of the Seshweshwe material. An innovative and creative way to solve a problem.

 Rudo Institute

Founders: Sarah Madingwana (27) and Kwandile Sikhosana (30)

Rudo aims to bring resources and opportunities to people in the township. The institution offers business development courses as well as a creative hub for local entrepreneurs. The brand was founded by Sarah Madingwana and Kwandile Sikhosana in Daveyton, Johannesburg in 2015.

Sarah says that women empowerment is about breaking barriers that make it difficult to advance in their chosen career. She says that “Through Rudo Institute, I want to raise the status of women by raising awareness, literacy and training.”

Why they are on the list?

It is important to highlight brands that are not only solving a problem- but also helping communities. Rudo is enriching the lives of the people of Daveyton and inspiring them to dream big.

Chick Cosmetics

Founder: Nomfundo Njibe (28)

As the only cosmetics brand on the list, it shows that Chick Cosmetics is in a class by its own. Founded in 2017 by Nomfundo Njibe, Chick Cosemtics started while Nomfundo was travelling abroad. She ended up losing her makeup bag and found herself inside Sephora. She was amazed of how many indie brands are available in other countries and knew right then that she wanted to be a part of this ever-growing industry.

Nomfundo Njibe founded Chick Cosmetics out of the need to bring a more accessible and affordable makeup brand to the local market.

Why it’s on the list?

Her independent cosmetic brand has broken many barriers proving that there are many ways to sell makeup. She saw that South African needed a quality cosmetics brand that celebrates the beauty of women.

This is it South Africa, the Pat on Brands Top 16 Brands by the Youth. Persistent, growing, and proudly South African brands that are making waves. We give all these brands, and the people behind them a HUGE PAT!

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