For many career-focused women in urban cities, the primary focus is often climbing the corporate ladder, which means some basic household duties, like cooking, fall by the wayside.
25 year-old Mogau Seshoene saw this first-hand when a friend, whose cooking skills were a disaster waiting to happen, had to stay with her in-laws after getting married. Trained by her grandmother since she was young, Seshoene stepped in and taught her friend how to cook, saving her from being regarded by her in-laws as a lazy bride.
This encounter inspired Seshoene to start a cooking project, which later developed into a fully-fledged cooking lessons business, The Lazy Makoti (makoti is IsiZulu word for bride).
“I do cooking classes for modern women,” said Sesheone, who is not a makoti herself.
“Think of the struggles of young women that grew up with helpers or lived in boarding schools.”
Famous socialites like Khanyi Mbau have shown support for Seshoene’s business, even wearing The Lazy Makoti branded aprons at a recent exhibition in Pretoria.
“I hated every second of the corporate world and decided to follow my heart and do what I love”
Taking the business to the people
But Seshoene needed to tap the market by evaluating the idea’s viability first and social media came in handy. So she started a blog posting “authentically” South African food recipes. She also marketed her business to other social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
“Food is very important in the African culture. It brings us together, whether as family or community,” she said. ” But the issue with us is that we don’t document our history. We have lost a lot of our history and the least we can do in this modern age is preserve what’s left of it.”
One of Lazy Makoti dishes,
Last year she quit her comfortable job as an auditor at KPMG and invested her savings into the business. Despite working for a prestigious auditing firm, Seshoene felt that the nine-to-five office gig wasn’t inspiring her.
“I hated every second of the corporate world and decided to follow my heart and do what I love which is cooking,” she said.
Never turning back
Seshoene has managed to strike a balance between fulfilling her dreams and getting paid while doing it. She provides cooking lessons to a fast-growing market of career women who have to juggle between business, social life, relationships and still be able to take care of their families.
“I don’t have any formal training as a chef, but I love food and I’ve always loved cooking,” she said, adding that the recipes . “I do house calls for a fee and I’m blessed to have secured some corporate gigs as well.”
“I’m working on compiling a recipe book for a uniquely South African cuisine. I’m also thinking of having my own cooking TV show”
A kitchen appliance manufacturer Philips also gives her its new products range to test out.
Opening up new doors
The Lazy Makoti brand is growing. The business currently manufactures branded kitchenware from cutlery, chopping boards, cloths to aprons for ‘lazy makotis’.
“I’m working on compiling a recipe book for a uniquely South African cuisine. I’m also thinking of having my own cooking TV show where I will reach a lot of people.”
But Seshoene’s dreams are much bigger than her small frame. In the long run, she sees herself owning a restaurant.
Video: See Mogau Seshoene pitching her business idea at The HookUp Dinner, a pitching and entrepreneurship platform, in August 2014.