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A woman dog breeder



MASERU – Matšeliso Mpuputla is going where few women dare venture: dog breeding.

Owner of Pretty Dog Centre, the 29-year-old from Ha-Matala, is so in love with dogs that she started her own canine business, in the process breaking the cultural barriers that view such ventures as a male domain.

Just this month, she bagged several awards. She was adjudged the best dog breeder in Lesotho at the Farmers Pitso Awards. Mpuputla also won four other awards at a dog show held at Sethaleng.

Pretty Dog Centre offers services for dogs such as grooming, washing, nails, potty training and it also sells jerseys, beds and dog’s cosmetics. The business also offers day care services and has a boarding school for dogs.

Mpuputla says she got her inspiration from her late father’s love for dogs, even though he died when she was still young.
“I have always loved dogs since my childhood. I would always feed and wash dogs on weekends, not realising how deep I was falling in love with the animals,” she said.

In 2019, she had her first dog called Nancy, a very “beautiful and humble” Maltese breed.

In those days, she said, few people owned pets and she knew one lady who owned a dog but could not take care of it.

“Because of the love I have for dogs, I hated seeing her dog in that condition and that’s when I thought of opening my centre. My love for money and luxurious life was the key driving force for me to become an entrepreneur so I had to wake up and do something with my life,” she said.

She added: “There are people who genuinely love dogs but cannot afford to take care of them or literally don’t have time so that’s where I fit in to help,” she said.
Mpuputla started her business last year.

“It has grown tremendously since its establishment. God’s will and the support I get from Basotho is just on another level,” Mpuputla said.

She said she invested about M10 000 that she had saved from selling cosmetics, clothes and other items.

A Diploma in Human Resource Management graduate from the Institute of Development Management (IDM), Mpuputla says her mission is to enrich the lives of pets and their families by providing excellent pet care, peace of mind, trust and security.

Growing up, she wanted to be an actress, which she followed but had to choose between her dream and family.

“When I imagined my life, the only way out was for me to relocate to South Africa and I could not do that because the thought of leaving my mother broke me so much that I had to take another direction.”

She says her mother is her role model.

“She is a hard worker. The way she handled our family after my father’s death made me want to push harder in everything I do. Her strength made me want to make it out there one day and shine.

I could not let her hard work and sacrifices go for nothing,” said Mpuputla.

She further said she has a strong support system from her mother and sister.

“I become emotional when I think about them as I have and continue to receive so much love from them. I am so blessed to have such an amazing family. If it was not for them, I would not be where I am today.”

Mpuputla said being a female breeder, makes her business unique as very few women want to deal with dogs. Also, having boarding school makes it even more unique.

“People don’t understand how a woman can passionately look after dogs day in and day out.”

However, she said being a woman and riding solo in the industry also comes with its own set of challenges.

“My gender has contributed a lot to the challenges I face as people, especially males tend to underestimate me when it comes to animals. But I always prove them wrong by delivering and giving it my all.”

She described herself as a good communicator and “very jolly”.

“This has helped me to entrench a culture of good customer care…it works wonders for my business,” said Mpuputla.

Mpuputla said she chose to be an entrepreneur because “I have what it takes to make good moves in business.”

Also, she loves making the rules.

“I cannot survive being employed. I am extremely content about my choice. It’s something I would do over and over again.”

She says competition helps her to push harder.

“Doing my own thing and what I love makes it easy for me so I really don’t have anything to stress about.”

She sees herself as the biggest dog breeder in the country in the next three years, even though being an entrepreneur is stressful as sometimes business is bad.

“When there is no business, the struggle is real as there would be no income. It is not an easy journey but it is worth it. It needs someone who is very passionate and focused,” said Mpuputla, who also owns Pretty Tours for road trips, vacations and cab services.

‘Mapule Motsopa

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