Soweto Ink Expands To Botswana - StartUp Magazine South Africa

Soweto Ink Expands To Botswana

Sibusiso Dlamini and Ndumiso Ramate, are the creators of Soweto Ink, one of the very few black-owned tattoo parlours, located in the South of Johannesburg, rooted in the centre of Bara Shopping Centre. But now the boys have expanded their work, with the opening of the new shop in Gaborone, Botswana this month. 

This solidifies the brand not just as an ink shop in Soweto, but places itself on a global scale and has begun to start placing seeds in a country that loves to get inked.

“The main reason we opened a shop in Botswana is because there was a heavy demand for our service and a big market for our work to multiply,” says Ramate.

The new shop comes as no surprise to tattoo lovers in Botswana as the team has been planning to create this establishment for years; traveling in and out of Botswana to continuously build a healthy clientele. This is what made their decision easy; the new shop will make it easier for old and new clients to be part of the Soweto Ink lifestyle and culture, which the team plans to plant in many more countries in Africa.

Like most businesses, the Soweto ink brand did suffer some loss of business and business relationships because of the pandemic, having to cancel their annual Tattoo Convention in 2020. However, Dlamini and Ramate decided to make the best of things and find other ways to grow the brand.  

This was not an easy transition to make, due to the COVID 19 restrictions with South African borders closing spontaneously to accommodate new lockdown rules, it was a challenge for Soweto Ink to open a business in a foreign country. “Not being a citizen can have so many limitations but with patience, perseverance and hard work you end up on the winning side,” adds Ramate.

Nonetheless, this has proved to be a beneficial shift for the brand because this will it will be the first of its kind outside South Africa and ultimately  attract a bigger and a different market.

Soweto Ink hopes to add to the economy and black business empowerment of Botswana. “We will be training younger tattoo artist from Botswana to do work on the same high and quality level that our brand prides itself in.”

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