Making shoe polish from banana peels


By Kefiloe Kajane

Joalane Mohale is an innovation enthusiast who turned the old trick of wiping shoes with a banana peel into a shoe polish that is now ready for the market.

Mohale is a BSc Food Science and Nutrition student who is now producer of ‘Jojo Shoe Cream’. She says innovation is in her blood as she already has another product – tea made from corn silk – that is doing fairly well on the market.

She says studying a course called ‘product development’ under BSc Nutrition made her very curious and eager to produce products herself.


Mohale said the idea of making shoe polish out of banana peels came to her through interacting with a client of hers who was fascinated by the fact that she made tea from corn silk. She reveals that the client asked her if she knew that banana peels could actually shine shoes, and the idea stuck with her.

“I kept thinking about what the client had said and I was like, ok may let me do my own research. After a few months of research and watching YouTube videos on how other people use banana peels to shine their shoes, I decided it was time to implement.

“For some reason, I kept postponing it but during lockdown I had ample time on my hands, and that’s when I started buying the ingredients,” Mohale said.

She was able to find the ingredients locally, but the challenge was that she had to keep changing them as they did not give her the final product she desired. This underpins the importance of the right ingredients.

“So we now have a shoe cream that anyone can use. It nourishes and shines shoes like nothing you have ever seen before. It is contained in a 125ml container and it only costs M20,” Mohale said.

She reveals that the National University Innovation Hub helped her a lot in that they could absorb her product, which helped in terms of funds.

“Starting new product funding can be a real problem but we got lucky. I am hoping that this a product that many Basotho will be as proud of it as I am because it is locally produced. It would be great to see this product grow into something big, such that we can have a factory and mass-produce it, in the process employing as many young people as we can,” she said.

She said for now the shoe cream is only available at the NUL Innovation Hub, but they are hopeful that by the end of next week it will be available in retail shops.