By: Tebogo Mokwena
A single mother from Umlazi, outside Durban, is trending on social media for keeping the unemployment blues away. Mbali Sikhosana has opted to make her own pies from scratch at home and sell them in the township of Umlazi, where she eventually wants to open a pie store. She started Nuz Tasty Pie in January this year, and her pies are already the talk of the town.
Speaking to Vutivi News, Sikhosana said that she started the business because she was unemployed and she saw that pies were unpopular in the township. She not only aims to make a name for herself in the bakery industry but also wanted to be one of the first female-owned bakeries in the area. Her pies come in six flavours such as chicken and mushroom, steak and kidney, spinach and feta, chicken peri-peri, pepper steak, and mutton curry. She makes them in a small oven and sources the ingredients from small businesses in Umlazi. Sikhosana works with a company to deliver the pies.
It is not the first business she has opened. Sikhosana, who is studying for a qualification in economics and management sciences, said that she started selling chips while she was in high school. “After high school, I sold chips and Kota for a year,” she said. “I rented a shop in Umlazi, but the rent was too much for me. The demand was also too high for me to meet. “I also failed to manage the money as I had just become a mother and I used the money to buy toiletries and groceries for my child,” Sikhosana said that her biggest challenge was finding and extending her business’ reach.
Although she works with a company that delivers in the township, this is sometimes not enough as she tends to get requests from customers that work at public institutions such as schools and hospitals. “I have discovered that it takes a long time to issue permits to sell, as I applied to sell at a few schools in the area and I am still waiting,” she said. However, Sikhosana believes that she will one day open a pie store in the township.
Sikhosana, who describes herself as a serial entrepreneur, also has an informal event and decor business. She started the business in 2018 and provides events and decor services for weddings, churches, and other events in the township. “My dream is to open more businesses such as an e-commerce site, a fitness and training business, as well as a content creation business where I create health and fitness content,” she told Vutivi News.