Kekeletso Pulane is an extraordinary young woman, and disruptor of note. Dedicated to changing the status quo, she invented a strong, durable and fire resistant building material made from recycled plastic. Construction has long been a male-dominated industry and Kekeletso’s presence in it serves as an aspirational tale for other young women who might have great ideas but are held back by society’s notion of gender and industry.
Her own journey was not an easy one; she had to halt her studies because of financial constraints. As a result, she struggled to find employment in this highly competitive labour market. What sets her apart is that instead of allowing it to dampen her ambitions, she took the initiative to create a business, one that now employs 15 young people.
Her company, Ramtsilo Manufacturing & Construction, provides a sustainable construction alternative with its PlastiBrick product. What’s more, these materials are much cheaper than their counterparts, helping countless people afford to build their homes with safe and affordable materials.
Kekeletso has learned many lessons on her path to success, ranging from naivete regarding intellectual property and the patenting process to how easy it is to doubt yourself. Yet, she forged on to become an innovator and built a business that helps others build their lives.
She wants to see, “youth, and especially women, being bold and taking up opportunities that will out-live them, creating a lasting impact in society”. Her advice to them? “Be bold in pursuit of your goals regardless of how difficult it is.”