Ricochet News

Uitenhage women dream big about their soya soup business

By Afikile Lugunya - Nov 8, 2017
Uitenhage women dream big about their soya soup business

In the spirit of vukuzenzele or 'wake up and do it yourself', a group of six women from Uitenhage, outside Port Elizabeth, are now running a small business that prepares and sells soya soup to local residents.

The Masakhane Women’s Club was officially registered in 2015 by Nozipho Mbekisa, Kristina Tshikila, Joyce Didisa, Nompumelelo Mbekisa, Nozuko Ntsintsi and Chuma Manene as a means to earn a living for themselves as well as feed their families.

During a visit to the town by the Minister of Tourism Thokozile Xasa, the women had stands that sold chips and their soup

Speaking to RNEWS, they said they hope to one day grow their buisness into big operation with a big factory in Uitenhage in a few years. Apparently, they have already been promised land for a factory by their councillor.

“We don’t have a factory yet to make the soup, but when we use my kitchen and the inspector came to check if the place is clean and suitable to make and sell the soya soup that is how we got the business registration business," described Nozipho Mbekisa, sepaking for the group.

“We are now working on finding a place to make it our factory and run the business smoothly. The councillor has already given us a site to build our factory. We’re still waiting for the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to build the factory for us as they promised.

“If we do get our factory then it will be easy for us to get to Spar, Woolworths, Pick & Pay and many more.”

For now, they sell their soup at pay points, local crèches and to people that cook for the elderly in churches.

“We went to Desai but they wanted to see a food security certificate, which we will get when our factory is ready,” she added.

While they wait for the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to build them a big factory, they are planning to build a nice Wendy-house factory.

“The sky is the limit and we are not afraid, we know we will do this,”Mbekisa said.

She said that during busy days, they train unemployed youth in the area to assist in the business.

“We are getting old now and we don’t want to die with the skill that is why we train young people to make the Soya Soup. When we open our factory, we are going to employ a lot of people because in Uitenhage most people are not working.”

The youngest member of the six, Ntsintsi, joined the club in 2016.

She said that joining the club has been an exciting journey and she hopes the Youth would wake up and create jobs for themselves.

“I understand that jobs are scarce but the youth must learn to be creative and do things that will eventually help them earn money. For instance I sometimes do gardening with other young people in the ward and we sell the veggies, she added.”

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