Levi Mnguni’s journey to becoming the owner of Thuto Stationery, started in 2010 when he became an agent that helped students with accommodation. “In 2016 a number of students complained that they could not access stationery on time and that was when I started the CompubooksSA, an official book store which supplied stationery to both students and high school pupils,” said Mnguni.
Over the years, Mnguni has supplied stationery to many schools but he was still not happy with the fact that he was promoting other people’s brands. “I had been supplying stationery at schools and we were expected to make a presentation about the brands we were supplying. It did not sit well with me to promote a brand of someone that I don’t know. I thought it would be lovely to present a South African brand that people can associate with. In July this year, I started designing and creating the Thuto Stationery products which accommodate our diverse cultures and traditions in South Africa. Through this product we embraced our patterns and colours,” Mnguni said.
Thuto Stationery will be officially launched in December and will be affordable.“We are aware that we are competing with brands that have always been there, which is why we invested time on quality when we created our stationery. Also, our exercise books will come out already covered in plastic so that parents don’t have to spend time covering books. We also do customisation for schools so that schools can own this product as well,” added Mnguni.
The aspiring entrepreneur who was born in Troya, Mpumalanga said he wants to inspire pupils, especially those from rural areas, to see that anything is possible and create job opportunities.“I will visit different schools in the country to show these kids that one’s background does not determine one’s future. I have used different stationery brands in my life but I have never seen the creatives behind the products. Imagine how will my visit change the pupil’s lives when they see the person who created the stationery they are using,” he concluded.