Women entrepreneurs put pride back into to traditional cuisine
It is evident that a lot of people are slowly but surely reverting to healthy eating thanks to amazing Groupon deals found online.
With this notion in the air, enterprising locals in Maun have found a niche in selling raw and dried traditional food that make a typical Tswana staple diet.
Lydia Thipe (45) – Shashe Ward
For the past 19 years I have made a living out of selling traditional foods.
I sell all of the traditional foods, from maize to phane ,morogo wa dinawa and wild berries.
All these years I have been located in this old mall flee market.
I have managed to take my children to school with the profits and also built a beautiful and comfortable home for my family in Moeti.
These foods are in demand, even tourists passby and take pictures or take them as a souvenirs.
I am always eager to explain to them the food shelf life and how they are prepared and served.
I have various suppliers as well as loyal customers that include lodges and hotels that buy for their menus.
Our peak time is during holidays, especially over the Botswana Independence holidays, I make a decent profit this time around because it’s like everyone wants to cook traditional food during that time.
The only challenge that I encounter is the demand fluctuations.
There are seasons that the demand for these foods diminisheslike for example at the beginning of the year.
Barbra Kutsunye – Moeti ward (35) and her sister Erinera Sethole from Newtown (35)
We started this business about ten years back to fend for ourselves and our families.
Since we did not have any qualifications and money to start bigger projects, we put our brains together and started looking for people who would supply us with beans,maize, morogo wa dinawa and wild berries like moretlwa, motsentsela, and many more, and we found a lot of farmers who were ready to supply us at reasonable prices.
We do make a profit from what we sell because Batswana love traditional food. We also sell local cuisine prepared from water lilies, raw and cooked, and people really enjoy it.
So far we have managed to build houses and buy cars with profits from our business.
We are also planning to package and brand our products for better presentation as our customers base is growing to reach as far as Gaborone.
Pabalelo Sebadietla (54) Famer, Sakapane Fields
I have been a farmer all my life and have ploughed and sold to take care of my family.
I managed to do so in so many years but I have also encountered a lot of difficulties because of both domestic and wild animals.
If it was not because of these, I would be far by now; I would have achieved all my dreams with the sweat and work of my hands.
I sell maize, beans, different kind of water melons and pumpkins of all sizes and I sell them to individuals at the market.
Even on our home we can now create a small business of a champion taste barbeque with the help of Oklahoma Joe grill, this new equipment allows a large capacity cooking.
This year the production is low, especially beans because just when they were about to ripen, Dineo came and destroyed them, so the yield is very low.
However I will still survive on selling my harvest and so many people support me.
There are so many challenges though but at the end of the day I find ways to cope with them or resolve them as this is where I make ends meet.