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All Kasi turns 19!

Publishing Date : 12 August, 2019

Author : TLHABO KGOSIEMANG

Native clothing label All Kasi has established itself as a reputable brand, started from humble origins and quickly breaking outside the confines from which they were founded.

This brand has grown in leaps and strides and its name is a signifier for authenticity and originality in the industry. After starting with a low-key line of T-shirts and caps, subsequently the brand’s house line became so popular that it decided to work on incorporating a foundation.  This past weekend, All Kasi celebrated 19 years of existence. It was hip and happening at Lobatse Old Stadium…revelers dressed on All Kasi merchandise, I swear I am the only one who missed the memo.
Fun lovers got to enjoy variety of activities that were lined for the day. Football fanatics were treated to a five-aside football tournament that took entirely the whole day.

Over 8 Lobatse football teams took part in this exciting tournament. The children were not left out; they were actually given priority as they had to pave way for elders to enjoy themselves after hours. Face painting, jumping castle as well as TV games were availed for kids to enjoy the historical event. It was all exciting and hilarity as clowns kept the progenies amused all day with their trivial puns! During the course of the diurnal, partygoers were enthralled by sounds of local dancehall artistes. It was more of an astonishment to actually comprehend that there are home-grown creatives who are so good at dancehall, the genre is not so prevalent in the country, but they conveyed perfectly well nonetheless.


Upon arrival at the gate, and once done with identifiers and paraphernalia, I was treated to a VVIP marquee. Not that it was my first time, but it was incredible. The ambience, the nutriment, the people and the entire atmosphere was on point. The VVIP had the chance to mingle with artistes, share some laughter’s and exchange numbers. You know some of these folks need artistes for business networks, some help with marketing as they score tenders to work as influencers. The MC’s of the day, Scar and T.H.A.B.O were not as monotonous as they are on radio. At least, they managed to persuade the crowd to come a little closer, and get to dance to the beats. Some of the invited artistes who I believe were striking and gratified party animals prospects, are MMP Family, Eskimos as well Mosako.


In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife on the sidelines of the celebrations, Founder and Managing Director of Tsa Gae Limited, the company that makes All Kasi Lorato Kemoeng said the clothing was inspired by young urban Batswana at the turn of the millennium, when globalization was a buzz word, and there was a lot anxiety over the beckoning globalization. ‘’We wanted to make a brand that could celebrate Botswana, who were are and where were are from amidst the global crowd. Young urban Batswana were silently begging for such a brand, and that yearning caught our attention and inspired our imagination. It was easy for us to realize the need for such a brand because it was our need too. We all wanted this thing that was not readily available, and also we had to create it ourselves. So All Kasi started out as a solution to a perceived identity crisis among the urban youth, for whom I was way easier to find and buy a New York shirt or Los Angeles cap than a Gaborone hat or shirt’’ he said.


He however noted that it was not an easy task getting the brand off the ground. ‘’It was rough, not an easy thing to get it down and going. We stayed committed to it and I was a young man fresh out of Varsity and great ideas came easily, so I did not give the brand the seriousness it deserved at the beginning, even though it had made an instant impression with the market. At that time, it was more about doing what made me happy and what I found exciting, than it was about building a long-term business. I overcame that when a friend met at Varsity, who was starting a football publication with some of his friends, and wanted me to design it, pointed out to me that the All Kasi project had great potential and was something worth exploring further’’


For a brand to penetrate the industry, Kemoeng noted that a brand should invest in the community and in patience. He stressed that all businesses exist to meet a need within a community or a particular market, saying that it is from the sustained meeting of these market needs that the brand gains relevance and significance to the market. Further, he underlined that patience plays a critical role in the development of the brand, saying often people start something good because it made sense to tem after thinking about it for some time. ‘’People start it, and when it does not go as they had thought it would go, they abandon it to start something else that makes newer sense, something that excites them more. Then it becomes a circle of laying a foundation here, and then abandoning it, to lay a foundation elsewhere. Building a brand requires a great deal of consistency because a brand is like an unspoken promise to the marker. Any new brand is nothing more than just potential, a promise of greatness, greatness which can only be realized through consistent branding, and branding is nothing more than consistently living up to the brand promise, consistently delivering whatever solutions the brand promises, thereby corroborating the brand’s character, identity and reputation in the market community’’


He highlighted that football in particular, and sports in general, have been the biggest marketing platforms for All Kasi, allowing the brand to engage with the market and serve it at a more intimate level. Kemoeng said before jumping into sportswear in 2008, All Kasi had already made a great impression in the casual wear space, but was struggling to find a distribution or retail arrangement that could move the numbers that the company was trying to move. ‘’When we started making sportswear for the general public in 2012, the direct demand for our products increased immediately. The fact that most sports are team activities helped with the numbers. Sports also has passionate supporters who would support any brand that is fervent about their sport code, team or club. It is this shared passion that we always strive to nurture with our partners in the sporting world and beyond’’


He indicated that they have started a foundation, All Kasi Foundation in which they intend to do more for the community and charity work throughout Botswana. ‘’AS you may be aware, community upliftments and social partnerships have always been a bigger part of our youthful company’s business, and throughout our history, we have partnered with many organizations and lent a hand tom various causes throughout the country. A few of our interventions were large and public, but the majority of them were direct and private. Meanwhile, All Kasi has been identified as one of the top most-admired brand sin the country alongside international brand, Nike. According to the recent research, All Kasi clinched the title of the nation’s favorite brand, as sportswear both locally and internationally dominates.


GeoPoll, which recently launched its services in the country, is a mobile engagement platform that works with global brands, media houses and NGOs to facilitate data collection around the world.
 

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