#MakingIt – Young street vendor sells mala le mogodu

An Ivory Park resident, Thabo Mbiza, is among the youth who refuse to be victimised by the scarcity of employment and poverty that is encountered by many South Africans.

For a living, this 21-year-old street vendor cooks mala le mogodu (tripe) and pap for his regular customers and residents of Ivory Park,.

Mbiza, who holds a Business Management certificate from Rosebank College, said he is happy to be cooking one of the few traditional dishes that has made a successful transition into the urban lifestyle.

“You are likely to be served mala le mogodu in most streets of Tembisa, Ivory Park and the surrounding areas. People do enjoy traditional food and they are supporting this type of business,” said Mbiza.

When asked where he learned to cook, Mbiza said he was taught by his mother at home while doing household chores.

“My mother is my role model in business. She also runs her cooking business with passion at Ivory Park, Swazi Inn.

No matter how hard the challenges are, my mom keeps pressing forward. There are so many challenges in a culinary business as you might have prepared a lot of food but sell fewer plates. The remaining food then goes to waste because you can’t sell yesterday’s meals to customers – especially not cooked pap, tripe and meat – unless you want to lose your customers,” he explained.

Mbiza said his mother managed to raise him and his siblings by selling food on the street.

“She taught me tolerance in business, as it is not easy to meet your target on a daily basis. The love I have for business is also helping me to cope,” said Mbiza.

He has positioned his business in Riverside Street of Ivory Park, Extension 13, opposite Ma-Afrika.

“Riverside Street is one of the busiest streets in Ivory Park. I based my business here to be able to attract many customers,” added Mbiza.

When asked what makes his mala le mogodu special, Mbiza said he cooks an ordinary tripe well, with salt.

“Some people do not like many ingredients in their food because of certain types of diseases. It is best to accommodate all your customers with the various recipes. Whoever needs spices can add these to their dishes,” added Mbiza.

When asked about his goal for the next 10 years, Mbiza said he wants to own a construction company.

“I have so many ideas and plans on how I can make it in the business industry. I am only challenged by finances. I am hoping that the cents I am making on a daily basis will one day lead me to greener pastures,” added Mbiza.

His message to the youth is that young people should really open their eyes and start embracing small opportunities that may come their way.

“I believe to make it in life, you’ve got to stand up and make use of your talent and push very hard. Young people should stop sacrificing their lives to drugs, alcohol and crime. Life is so good when you think positively,” said Mbiza.

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#MakingIt – Young street vendors make a living