Lerato Moganedi had to overcome her shyness and social anxiety because the survival of her baking business depended on it. Moganedi, who owns Ratokie’s Bakery in Jane Furse in Limpopo, told Vutivi News that support from her family and community members also helped her build her business. While studying hospitality management in Ekurhuleni, Moganedi discovered that she had a knack for baking just like her aunt, who was also a baker. “I started making vetkoeks, scones and coffee to sell to passersby. I sold while standing at the traffic lights and it was very challenging, especially because I was shy,” Moganedi said.
When she realised that the survival of her business depended on her being approachable, the baker turned to her brother and God for help. “My brother advised me that when nerves threaten to get their way with me, I should pray and quote one of my favourite scriptures,” Moganedi said. “I found that this worked very well, and my confidence started to emerge.”
By this time, it was the Covid-19 lockdown and to survive, she started selling her goods door-to-door. “This was very enjoyable for me because I had the confidence to do so, and it was challenging me to get out of my shell,” she said. Another obstacle she had when starting out was that she only had a two-plate stove and oven, so it was difficult for her to meet the demand for her baked goods. “When I finished my studies, I relocated to my hometown, Jane Furse in Limpopo, because work was hard to come by,” Moganedi said.
“I approached my family and told them about my desire to continue my business in Jane Furse, and they helped me start the business financially.” She also put herself on social media, and shortly after that, her bakery was a hit in Jan Furse. She currently bakes biscuits, scones, tarts, muffins and ginger biscuits. She supplies the township and surrounding villages. Moganedi is now working on the next upgrade to her business.
“I want to expand my bakery and manufacture bread and buns which I want to supply to petrol stations, shops and tuck shops in and around Jane Furse,” she said. “It will be a long road ahead, but I am confident in myself and my dreams.”