By Ntando Ndlovu
HEAD or tails? Let’s spin the “Mosi-a-tunya gold coin” and find out how one can build sustainable generational wealth believing your luck doesn’t go up in smokes that thunder. A driven breed of entrepreneurs, armed with a die-hard-go getter spirit are shaking things up and bravely chartering new paths in business and its more than luck for them, its strategy.
They are dynamic, disruptive, kicking dust and making noise from your neighborhoods’ backyard all the way to high-end boardrooms. Now more than ever HUSTLEPRENEURS are panaceas of all socio-economic challenges bedeviling our communities, they think and talk in solutions, taking calculated risks where multitudes will take refuge, they are consistent and have a wetted appetite for building living dreams. They are not your everyday kind of Entrepreneurs, they are fierce visionaries.
We had an interview with ZORO NE MUGOTI a seasoned professional Culinary Arts Chef and Agro Food Processor, her drive and vision will leave you hungry for me.
Let’s talk the woman behind the name and the name before the business. How did you arrive at it?
Growing up my dream was to be a model. A Model exhibits that which has been artistically designed by someone. There is an undeniable element of creativity and a mindset that designs in the fullness of time. It was then that it was revealed in my younger mind to become a different kind of a model and I took it up in Culinary Arts. Arts as in being artistic in matters to do with edibles. How they are prepared, from the traditional raw steak presented in an unappetizing and unfulfilling manner and transforming it to a mouthwatering work of art presented in a plate. As a young woman modelling in fashion of food continues to fuel my desire and passion.
Would you call yourself a hustlepreneur and what attributes do you think make your brand a force of nature?
Yeah, I believe, eat and sleep my hustle every single day and I am actually very grateful that you gave me the right word to call it “hustlepreneur”. I will tell you something, it’s the dream you have, that you mold and nature and sweat to implement and that makes you a hustler. However, there is still the need to be professional and that is something that comes with the light. So yes, I am a hustlepreneur, I will call myself that and proudly so.
You have a wealth of experience in the culinary industry, your exposure has taken you far and wide yet you maintain a feel home kind of menu. Why this strategy?
Well, you can only do better in what you know better, I swim in common waters that I grew up in. I find comfort and normalcy in familiar things I grew up in. At the same time the experience and exposure I got tickles something in me to say okay, all the fancy things that I see out there, all the creativity that comes from the big world and what other people do in their countries it doesn’t mean we should take and imitate it to be our culture. I want the synergies of my DNA in what I do or make something proudly African, something that boldly says home. Let’s create our own cuisines. When I was in Stellenbouch South African during a wine tasting session which was my first, I tasted Masawi and because I was the only black student in a class of Afrikaans and white people I couldn’t express it. I want to bring out the nodes of African flavors, this is my quest and I hope this journey continues because that’s where my fascination is at.
Do you have a secret recipe for success or any business smarts?
…Success, I am aiming for that and I have reached an awakening and relentless pursuit stage where believing in oneself, being reflective and being conscious of what one desires places one at a reinforced footing to achieve success.
What is the ultimate goal and where do you see Zoro ne Mugoti in the near future?
The ultimate goal is to be a brand of reference, a holistic and authentic African gourmet food experience from snacks to a food destination. I want to have a restaurant at some point where I work with holistic people that do holistic healing, doctors and nutritionists so that we come up with personalized health menus. We currently offer services where we travel with elite families or modern families and prepare customized meals on vacations or special events and the services are for everyone who appreciate the taste. I see it being a brand of choice from infancy to an elderly.
What makes you tick, what keeps you going and what keeps the fire in you burning?
…Well, the heart that beats in me, the passion, the drive, and the unstoppable spirit in me and being a daughter of a “SOKO MUKANYA” my mother. She created a being that’s rare to find it’s sad that she is not here to witness that. My mother was a creative and I don’t remember throwing away a plate of food she ever made for us. Making a deliberate choice in everything you do, whatever you touch and the normal principles that we get even in our Christian world that whatever your hand findeth to do, do it with all your might. So those are the principles that I see and attributes that make me ZORORO.
Ntando Ndlovu is a Creative Business and Travel Media Personality. @ntando_zim