In the world of entrepreneurship in Africa, some of the most inspirational and exciting businesses are being created by those women who make a brave career pivot and leave the safety of the corporate world to follow their entrepreneurial dreams. South African entrepreneur Mogau Seshoene is one such woman. With her company, The Lazy Makoti (love the name!), she is inspiring the country’s kitchens by teaching traditional South African cooking to local women.
LoA spent the morning with the energetic and talented Mogau to find out more about her wonderful business venture and her passion for teaching South African cuisine.
What does your company do?
The Lazy Makoti offers cooking lessons in traditional South African cuisine. We also have a range of kitchen accessories such as chopping boards and aprons that are locally produced.
"The Lazy Makoti offers cooking lessons in traditional South African cuisine. We also have a range of kichen accessories such as chopping boards and aprons that are locally produced."
What inspired you to start your company?
Inspiration for the company came when a friend of mine needed cooking lessons on South African cuisine, and shockingly in South Africa, she couldn't find anywhere that offered lessons on local cuisine - only French, Italian, etc. After doing a few lessons with her I realised there was a gap in the market when word was spreading and more people were requesting lessons. I then left the corporate world where I was unhappy in order to pursue the business.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Services - if you are interested in getting to know South Africa through her cuisine. At The Lazy Makoti we believe we are helping preserve precious culture through the sharing and passing down of African food and its preparation.
Products - our products are locally produced in the township and the purchase of them helps empower communities in Mamelodi, Pretoria in South Africa.
"Inspiration for the company came when a friend of mine needed cooking lessons on South African cuisine, and shockingly in South Africa, she couldn't find anywhere that offered lessons on local cuisine."
"As a girl from a township in South Africa, I never take for granted how my success is not just my own. So I have the chance to make my family proud and to have every person from a township know and believe that it is possible."
Tell us a little about your team
We are a small team of 4. Together we handle the entire process, from design to delivery of the cooking merchandise, as well as social media which has been an important part of marketing The Lazy Makoti, and of course the cooking lessons themselves.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
No. Prior to this I was working in finance, so it was incredibly daunting to venture into entrepreneurship. It is still challenging being a 1st generation entrepreneur with no social, economic capital or family experience to draw from. But luckily through various business incubators and mentorship. the journey has been more enriched.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
To produce a cook book documenting the South African food story. Eventually, one also documenting the Zimbabwean, Nigerian, Ghanaian food stories, etc, basically introducing the world to Africa through her cuisine. I would like to launch the next phase of The Lazy Makoti which will provide an opportunity to women in rural and township South Africa to host the cooking lessons. It is a skill they already have as these are meals they still prepare daily for their families. This would create an authentic cultural experience for the consumer as they learn about local food, whilst at the same time providing income for the local women. I would also like to have The Lazy Makoti merchandise line in a major retail outlet in South Africa and eventually the world.
At The Lazy Makoti, we believe we are helping preserve our precious culture through the sharing and passing down of African food and its preparation.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Being in control of my own time and talents. But most of all building a legacy for the next generation. As a girl from a township in South Africa, I never take for granted how my success is not just my own. So I have the chance to make my family proud and to have every person from a township know and believe that it is possible.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Get started - asap! With the little knowledge, experience or capital you have, get started.
Ask for help. There are various mentorship programmes, look them up and make use of them. Surround yourself with like-minded women who can provide a nurturing support system, because tough times will come and you will need to be able to draw strength from sisters.
Contact or follow The Lazy Makoti
Why LoA loves it….
There is something really life affirming when you meet young entrepreneurs who have a genuine passion for what they do, and who firmly believe that their efforts can make a difference in the world. Mogau Seshoene is one such entrepreneur. She is taking her love of South African cuisine, combined with her natural talent for cookery, and creating a new generation of cooks who can prepare traditional dishes they can be proud of. 2016 looks like being the year that this young entrepreneur becomes a proudly African house-hold name! --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa