“Dad and mom name me a godsend” – Mapula on discovering her area of interest in little one hygiene merchandise

Finding a solution for her son became a business for Mapula Ramothwala.

She wanted solutions. As a mother of an active boy, she needed to get back on her feet quickly after her son caught a bit of body odor after soccer practice.

So she set out to find a kid-friendly deodorant, something that would be suitable for an eight-year-old. But every door she knocked on, every expert, she only got home remedies that didn’t work on her son.

Then she decided to be the solution and create something from scratch as she didn’t want her son to start losing faith in himself.

Mapula Ramothwala (37), an Agriculture graduate from Tshwane University of Technology, researched and began working on the product.

And it was a great solution for her son and other parents who are also facing the same problem.

“They call me a godsend,” she tells us.

Mapula says she noticed her teenage son had a bad odor a few years ago.

“My son is a soccer player and when I go to pick him up after soccer practice he had this unpleasant smell, like smelly armpits. I was so concerned that I started researching and trying to find out from other moms if they were having the same experiences and what they were using on their kids since they were young because deodorant burns us even as adults so I needed one that was best for a child’s skin,” she recalls.

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“That [other] Mothers were also helpless, there was no solution, they tried pharmacies, doctors. Others recommended homemade solutions like bicarbonate soda mixes, etc. We’re moms and we’re always on the go. So I thought, no, do we really have time to make homemade treats every morning?”

Mapula went to pharmacists to find something she hoped would work and not require as much effort as the home remedies.

“I thought they might be something there because there are so many brands of deodorant, but they told me the same thing about homemade mixes,” she says.

“I was told to put the same soap he uses when washing on his armpits after he bathes. None of that worked.”

She decided to take matters into her own hands.

“I noticed that clearly, there is a gap here. When I went to the pharmacist, I had high hopes that I could get something there. I took my research to another level. I was farming and didn’t know anything about chemicals and all that stuff, so there was a lady I know who was a chemist and she helped me with the formulas I came up with and that’s how it all started.”

Kiddo Cool

Kiddo Cool

Kiddo Cool

Kiddo Cool

Kiddo Cool

Kiddo Cool

She was worried about her son’s confidence, so she just couldn’t let it go. “They know how children behave in school and that affects a child’s confidence. Now parents tell me ‘yoh, my kid is super confident’, well, it [the deodorant] is also a confident booster.”

And that’s why their deodorant is branded Kiddo Cool. “I came up with the name because the ‘kids’ are ‘cool,’ so it’s more like cool kids but in a moody way.”

The deodorant is specifically designed for children aged seven to 13, but there’s more. “Remember it was for that target market because there was a gap, that age group is a bit neglected. Since the request, I’ve also been dealing with the cleaning range.”

She appreciates the positive feedback from her customers. “I always ask for reviews and parents tell me ‘yoh kiddo cool doesn’t even stain clothes.'”

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She didn’t think she would get this far. “You know, people would say ‘Mapula othomile o dlala waitsi’ [you started it off as a light thing] I say you are doing this for your child because when I started my research it was in 2018 and I had a few products that I was giving out to people just to try.

“And then wow it went great because since then I’ve realized they’re in demand and then in 2019 I started making a bigger crowd. It turns out that I heard other moms say, ‘I was afraid to ask because I felt like it was embarrassing my child,’ some say, ‘I thought my child was sick because it’s not normal that a child of seven or eight has smelly armpits.”

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