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Botswana’s Kearoma sets her sights on fashion with Che’ri


BOTSWANA jazz songbird Kearoma Rantao has made her move into the fashion world. 

Rantao sat down with The African Mirror on her new venture while managing her successful career during the coronavirus pandemic. She told us that her country going into lockdown along with other Southern African countries is what inspired her to start moving with her new brand Che’ri. 

“Covid-19 basically stopped all music performances because our lockdown didn’t allow for social gatherings at live performances, so I had to come up with another stream of income, and decided to push up my dream of starting Che’ri”, Rantao explained. 

The singer went on to describe that her new brand’s name is a play off of the vernacular slang term for woman, ‘cherry’, which Kearoma believed was the perfect name for her budding fashion line.  

“I love clothes. I love dressing up, so it was easy for me to pick a name that I related to growing up and what my customers will relate to. It started here in Botswana and I’m already supplying boutique stores in the North West, in South Africa”, she said. 

“However, I had to re-strategise as my original plan involved buying material which is in South Africa, and both our countries were under lockdown”, she added. 

Kearoma’s Che’ri. Picture: Supplied

While Kearoma admits that the covid-19 pandemic put major strain on the jumpstart of Che’ri, the singer got innovative and switched her game plan – starting Che’ri as a casual wear line before moving to glamorous dresses. 

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“With us in lockdown and no social gatherings allowed, it was pointless to make glamorous dresses. So I decided to start it with clothing that women, and now men, can wear to feel comfortable and look good while remaining at home or completing everyday tasks under lockdown”, told Kearoma.

“I’ve currently been working with creating t-shirts, sweaters and shirt dresses. I’m moving to making hats and shorts for men and children, before working towards leggings, crop tops and longer tops for men and women. It’s only going to get bigger and better once I can get materials from South Africa. It’s so exciting to me ”.

T-shirts sold by Che’ri. Picture: Supplied
Kearoma Rantao wearing one of the hats by Che’ri. Picture: Supplied

Kearoma however, pointed out to me that fashion would not be the only main product under Che’ri, she has vast plans for her baby business. 

She plans to extend her offerings to accessories, formal wear and sanitary packs – the last being an important plan for her as Kearoma has been quite involved in providing sanitary products for girls who don’t have access to them. 

“I’m very passionate about providing resources to girls and women. If it’s not protesting against gender-based violence, it’s working with other organisations to provide stuff like pads and school supplies for young girls who miss school because of their menstruation”, she explained. 

The idea of being an entrepreneur in the fashion world seems to be a trait shared in Kearoma’s family, as the singer’s brother, rapper T’bo Rantao, also owns his own streetwear brand called Savage that has been in operation for almost a decade. 

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“It’s true, T’bo started his own line years before. He was actually one of my biggest supporters in deciding to start Che’ri”, Kearoma laughed. “We do plan to release a collaborated collection at some point in the future, but for now I want to focus on growing Che’ri in Southern Africa and hopefully the rest of Africa.”  

By The African Mirror