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Smooth operator

Christinah Motlhabane
DRINK TIME: Moalosi\'s smoothies are a favourite at The Voice

Young model tastes sweet success

When she’s not heating things up on Page 3, or studying hard at college, Lonnah Refilwe Moalosi likes to shake it up in the kitchen.

Working out of the cramped confines of her family home in Francistown’s Phase 5 location, the 19-year-old makes and sells smoothies.

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Packed with fruit and available in chocolate, strawberry or vanilla, the thick, sweet, creamy drinks are a big hit with those after a cold, sugary treat.

The small business is still in its infancy, with Moalosi only attaching her apron and plugging in the blender at the start of last month, when Covid-19 forced schools to close early for winter.

Desperate to make some extra cash in her unexpected study break, Moalosi, a student at Gaborone Universal College of Law’s Ghetto campus, searched her young brain for inspiration.

“I wanted to make something which is not market saturated. With the knowledge I gained from Home Economics and the research I did on Youtube, I did some trials with strawberry smoothies for the family. They had them and approved that they are the best I can make for business. That gave me the courage to make other flavours like chocolate and vanilla,” explains the Mosojane native.

The main ingredients in Moalosi’s smoothies are fruits, with bananas, pears, apples, strawberries and pineapples the most popular. Milk and yogurt are added to give the beverage a thick, creamy consistency.

“I cut my fruits into small pieces and put them in a blender. Together with my yogurt I blend for a minute. I then coat with sweets, marshmallows, chocolates or biscuits,” reveals the brainy beauty.

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SWEET SMOOTHIES: The colourful end product

Packaged in a clear, medium sized (roughly 400ml) plastic container, Moalosi charges P20 for a cup.

She starts preparing her drinks at around 9:00 in the morning before popping them in the fridge for roughly an hour so that they’re extra cold.

The part-time model then hits the streets of Ghetto, her products safely stored in two miniature cooler bags she carries around with her.

“I’ve become a lot stronger since I started this business,” she grins, flexing her toned arms to emphasize the point.

Fortunately, her bags are not full for long.

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“People like my smoothies and buy in large numbers. I now get calls from my customers placing orders. From their feedback, they taste nice and others advised me to make sugar-free smoothies which I am planning to do,” adds Moalosi, whose dairy delights are now a firm favourite at The Voice with thirsty journalists looking for a sugar boost as deadlines loom.

Handing out advice to those who might be tempted to follow in her footsteps, Moalosi stressed the importance of using fresh ingredients.

“You should be wary of buying too much fruit as they get rotten quickly and go to waste,” she warns, adding a big fridge is also important to store opened milk, yogurt and fruit.

Although she is set to resume her studies later this month, Moalosi plans to keep her business going as a side hustle.

“I have passion for my small business and I do not take it lightly. I am eager to grow it so that everyone in Francistown knows where to go or who to call for their smoothies,” concludes the teenage entrepreneur.

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