Driven by a desire to see the growth of Black-owned brands in their country, South Africa, combined with a deep affinity to their continent, two women entrepreneurs, Nobuntu Webster and Sibahle Malunga, have launched “My African Buy”, a new online marketplace offering products owned and manufactured by African entrepreneurs.
LoA spoke to co-founders Nobuntu and Sibahle to find out more about this exciting new initiative.
Nobuntu Webster and Sibahle Malunga (both 33) are owners and executives at African Pursuit Group and have co-founded My African Buy, a new online retail portal, as a subsidiary of the Group. Friends since their first year at university, the duo first dreamt of being in business together fourteen years ago. As described by Malunga, My African Buy is an online market place offering products owned and manufactured by African entrepreneurs. The company stocks the products and ships to customers upon online purchase.
“We follow strict processes in the selection of brands and products that fit the ethos and vision of the platform and have the capacity to deliver quality products within the set turnaround times to ensure stock is kept at adequate levels.”
- Sibahle Malunga
Formerly an accountant in Financial Services, Malunga recently left the corporate world.
“I wanted to explore my capabilities beyond a job description,” she says. “With this and our other ventures, I am able to not only stretch beyond restrictions, but also contribute meaningfully to our economy, society and a greater cause. In our case, pursuing the African Dream.”
Malunga’s business partner, Nobuntu Webster, is a marketer who has been in the entrepreneurial space for eight years, having started her first venture, a marketing firm, at the age of 24. She has won various business awards through the years and hosted the entrepreneurial television show, Think Big SA, on national broadcaster SABC. Elaborating on the vision that birthed their new entrepreneurial venture, Webster added that the reason for the existence of their group of companies was to support and partake in the growth of African Brands.
“I have been frustrated by what my shopping basket looks like every time I shop. I wanted to see products owned and manufactured in Africa in the basket and knew I had to be part of the solution.”
- Nobuntu Webster
Speaking about their merchants, which they refer to as Brand Partners, the duo believe in every one of the brands on My African Buy as well as the entrepreneurs behind those brands.
The My African Buy market place currently houses brands manufactured in South Africa by Africans of different nationalities, but the duo has plans to expand by offering market access to brands and consumers in other parts of the continent. Explaining that the portal was ignited by a “Bricks and Mortar” concept which they initially birthed, Malunga and Webster have an ambitious vision, going beyond the current online version of the venture.
Find out more about My African Buy
Why LoA loves it….
At LoA, we love those women entrepreneurs who see a gap in the market and then go out and find a solution to filling that gap. In the case of the entrepreneurial team behind My African Buy, they saw a lack of home-grown, proudly South African brands in the marketplace, and sought to find a solution. Their online portal provides a showcase to open up retail opportunities for these brands to tap into new markets and reach new audiences and buyers. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa