HAILING from Matebeleland South in Gwanda, Nothabo Buhali (38) is slowly but surely claiming her space in the country’s sausage industry through her ‘The Bite’ mouthwatering boerwors that she has been supplying to local markets.
Despite being employed as a secretary at PPC Zim, Nothabo’s search for financial security and growth pulled her towards the meat industry, that saw her successfully juggling between being an employee and an aspiring employer who runs her own side business.
“I told myself that constantly complaining about a salary that is never enough is not good, why not do something l know l will excel and enjoy my financial freedom,” Nothabo told The Entrepreneurial Magazine.
Noticing a gap that she felt like she can fill in the sausage industry, Nothabo threw caution to the wind and dived into the territory without hesitating.
“As someone who love cooking and never liked sausages that do not burst with flavour, l decided why not build a legacy and do a business l have a passion in,” she said.
“Instead of constantly buying sausages, why not make them and supply them since I love playing around with spices and l love food.
“So l decided to embark on different flavours such as beef BBQ, Chakalakala, Country boerwors, pork, kameeldoring and drankensburgs boerwors.”
The mother of three sources her beef and pork from local villages to produce sausage, mince and burger patties for an affordable price.
As they say that success is not a tree to be climbed with one’s hands in the pockets, Nothabo faced hurtles on her way up.
Starting off her business back in 2012, she found it harder to find her niche in the market as she was competing with big established companies who have already gained customer confidence.
“When l first started my sausage business years ago it was an epic fail. I had to go back to the drawing board and restrategise until l came up with a win solution,” Nothabo recalled.
“I initially started this business in 2012 but I didn’t do so well but last year was my big break, in 2019.
“The challenges l faced when l started my business was lack of knowledge and fear of the unknown. I have often noticed that at times small business fail especially those owned by women because we fail to balance home life and work.”
“Finding that balance is very important and crucial. But at the same getting to that space doesn’t come easy it requires one to be empowered and a complete change of the mindset.”
She added that it is exciting that women are now exposed to many programmes that help them undergo courses in business management and everything business related.
“The ball is really in our court to take up those programmes and start treating our businesses not as a project but as a business,” she said.
“Looking back, the other challenge l had was that l was a one man band. I was practically doing everything myself and l learnt that l was the hinderence to my growth.”
“I learnt that if you want your business to grow you need to learn to delegate and treat your business like your baby.”
Nothabo also pointed out that she is a lucky woman as husband (Ernest Goneso) is a very supportive man and is behind her success.
“My advice to aspiring young females entrepreneurs who fear the pressure associated with running a home, work and also business is that you should never give up on your dream,” the mother of three said.
“Yes you will face challenges and hurdles but take them head on and turn that disappointment into motivation.”
“Never stop seeking knowledge, learn as much as you can and also have a social network to constantly engage with people who have made it and be open to advice.”
For the 38 year old mother and wife, entrepreneurship is the way to go to ascertain one’s financial security; and when ambition meets purpose, a beautiful dream can be realised.
Stretching a Helping Hand
Besides her booming business Nothabo is also giving back to the society through her pad donation programme that seeks to ensure that underprivileged young girls bleed with dignity.
She is very passionate about women being able to stand on their own and making something of themselves.
“I am also running a programme called ‘donate a pad and keep a girl child at school’ where l outsource donations from well-wishers and donate the pads to girls in my community just as a way of ploughing back,” she said.
“I have been donating to our local Colleen Bawn high school. When l started the initiative l wanted girls to write their exams with ease without fear of spoiling the uniform while at it.
“I just wanted to eradicate that uneasiness during exam time. Rather a person worried about exams not about missing an exam because of a period.”