Ncinci Moitsadi and Neo Ikgopoleng are two very talented women who continue to prove that if one thinks outside the box, they can make a living even within an industry that seems saturated. They have each found an approach different from the conventional.
Moitsadi said hers is a ‘pop up’ street kitchen called Kwa Ga Ncinci where she just shows up at events, sets up her stall and starts selling food.
“I set up a stall with prior arrangements with the organisers of course but I like the fact that to my customers I am unpredictable as they never know when to expect Kwa Ga Ncinci,” said Moitsadi.
She said her kitchen depicts a lifestyle where street cooking should not just be limited to a certain type of cooking style. She doesn’t believe that it is ok for people to expect that when they are at outdoor events like festivals the only food to look forward to should be hot dogs.
She therefore makes unique food that could be anything from a hearty meal to a saucy messy sandwich. She said even when there is no event to cook at, it does not deter her as she then hosts Kwa Ga Ncinci weekend cook outs at her house.
“Every time I cook the meal has a story behind it. My first cook out was about winter and how I fear being cold,” she said.
Moitsadi reminisced over how she picked oxtail as it was hearty and very suitable for the weather. She said since May she has done quite a number of the cook outs at just P70.00 a meal coupon and her concept has really grabbed the attention of many.
“I set the right ambiance for my customers making them feel so at home in my yard with relaxing background music to add to their overall experience,” said Moitsadi.
Ikgopoleng on the other hand is also a lover of the kitchen who has realised that youth in many families lack the cooking skill.
She then decided to start cooking lessons from home in July and said she is happy that the turn out has been great.
“My concept was really born of the realisation that a lot of young mothers and fathers lead the expensive and unhealthy lifestyle of grabbing a take away too regularly,” she said.
Ikgopoleng said in the long run, people mostly wind up with health and financial issues caused by nothing but bad eating habits.
“My favourite lessons are those I offer couples because I see their bonds as heads of their families strengthen before me and I don’t know any experience more fulfilling. In a sense I witness that cooking as a couple does way beyond just feeding your family right, it also becomes a bonding session not just for the family as they eat together but also for the couple as they share the different tasks needed to get the meal prepared,” Ikgopoleng said.
She said she is relieved that her concept as simple as it is pays the rent and hopes that more people over the coming months will buy into it and really appreciate its value for what it is.
Both Moitsadi and Ikgopoleng said they are not qualified caterers but are really driven by passion to pursue their dreams of one day opening bigger establishments.
Believing that they should not just sit and complain about the difficulties of finding employment but take the initiative to think outside the box and create employment to their own benefit is what they have in common.
“My skill is sharpened by creativity rather than research and I get a lot of inspiration just from flavours and aromas of spices and herbs, it really works for me,” said Ikgopoleng.