A young Mahalapye native has found an unlikely niche in the oversubscribed meat market, producing and selling chicken biltong.
Although 29-year-old Kesegofetse Obatleng only started the venture last month (July), she revealed it has been an idea 17 years in the making.
“My husband actually started his research into the possibility of producing biltong from chickens in 2001, way before I met him.
“Finally, after many failed trials and experiments he found the perfect formula. He then passed the baton on to me, which is when I registered my business, KX Industries,” explained the mother of two in an exclusive interview with Voice Money alongside her supportive husband, Sechaba Mncube this week.
Operating out of Tatisiding, the small enterprise employs two permanent staff and offers chicken biltong in three different flavours: the extremely hot Red Cheeky Chilli, Chilli and Plain Spice.
“The brand name of the products is Chick-along,” revealed Obatleng, who, as well as producing biltong, also sells a chilli sauce.
According to the driven young businesswoman, she buys a little over 100 live chickens from Borolong Farms every three months.
However, if her business continues to succeed – currently she makes around P600 a day – then she intends to start her own chicken farm.
“I do not want to run out of stock so I want to have my own chicken farm and also want to see my business going global,” she told Voice Money, noting that her scheme is the first of its kind in the country.
“I do not have competition and I sell a 30g packet for P10,” adds Obatleng, who studied Business Management at the University of Botswana and, as well as running KX Industrials, works at Builders Warehouse in Francistown.
Indeed being employed has hampered Obatleng’s chances of getting funding from the government, as she ruefully notes, “The problem is that the Youth Fund Programme does not cater for the working class and I am employed full time.”
She currently markets her business by going door-to-door and letting people try her products – this included The Voice’s Ghetto staff, where here tasty treats, especially the Red Cheeky Chilli, proved a real hit.
“I love hot food and so this was perfect. It’s difficult to describe the taste – it’s not like any other biltong I’ve ever had – you can definitely still notice the chickeny flavour,” commented The Voice’s advertising executive in Francistown, Kgotlaetsho Ntuane, who promptly bought himself two packets.