Taking a chance on kota paying off
Siliso Jikani is not there yet, but she is ready to prove she has that entrepreneurial spirit that will stand her in good stead in the immediate – and distant future.
It all started when Jikani went to Johannesburg in search of a job, but when she could not find one, she returned home.
But the idea of sitting idle at home, did not sit well with her.
She decided to implement an idea she sprung upon while in Johannesburg. It was the popular kota, very similar to what many know as a “bunny chow”.
The 25-year-old prepares bread quarters stuffed with burger patty, hot chips, egg, bacon or chicken strip, cheese and lettuce from her grandmother’s small kitchen and sells about 20 a day for a reasonable price of R25 each.
The only business background Jikani has, is the experience she picked up while working at The Foschini Group.
Her Kota Joint started on April 1 and she is pleased with how things have panned out so far.
“I saw this when I was in Joburg, this type of business is very popular but then I realised that we don’t have that kind of business in Mdantsane.
“I thought I will be bringing an exclusive business ,” she said.
Her initial idea for the Kota Joint was to only put in the work over weekends. But soon she was forced to open during the week, due to increasing demand for her food item.
It has been less than a month since she set up the business and is already content with how well her product has been received – with her cousin Ziyanda Daweti coming on board to help her.
Her client base is especially for people on the go and those who do not have time to make themselves a meal. “I sell close to about 20 kotas a day, including to police officers and paramedics.
“I must say the Rubusana staff also support my business.
“It is still humble beginnings for me and I am taking baby steps,” she admitted.
A regular customer at the Kota Joint, Lungelo Ntozini from NU17, said she bought kotas at least three times a week.
“They are so delicious, there is this specific sauce she uses ... I think it’s the reason I keep going back it’s got this chilli taste my family and I like,” she said.
The one bugbear confronting her, is that space is a challenge, especially when they get big orders.
The Kota Joint starts selling from 9am and takes her no more than three minutes to make up an order. Her grandmother, Nobantu Mqokozo, who she has stayed with her from when she was five years old, allows her to use her kitchen space for her business.
“I don’t mind, because she is making herself an income,” Mqokozo said.
“I wish she could get a container where she could work from, because she needs much bigger space.
“For now she can use my kitchen as long as she will leave it as she found it then I am happy,” she said.
Jikani also does home deliveries for a fee of R20 for big orders around Mdantsane, for now. Ultimately, Jikani’s goal is to raise enough money so she can return to school and complete her LLB degree.
The Kota Joint is operating from 1207 at NU1 and orders can be placed by calling 084-309-8220. — email@example.com
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