VIAZI VITAMU: THE TASTE OF SWEET SUCCESS
We all love a great story, a story of resilience, dedication and determination. A story of humble beginnings, a story of building something from the ground up; Mzingaye Mapolisa has a great story to tell through his unique startup, an organic shake made from sweet potatoes amongst other organic ingredients.
His story begins with tilling his rural communal lands in Lower Gwelo with an Ox driven plough, preparing land to plant sweet potatoes, breaking sweat in the fields for something sweet.
Though sweet potatoes are easier to maintain once planted, the process of preparing the land, making of ridges and planting is a taxing experience that requires someone with determination and faith. Faith in navigating the increasingly unpredictable weather patterns largely owing to global warming. Not enough water will mean poor yields and too much water will damage the crop.
Mzingaye Mapolisa would not be deterred by fear of the unknown and invested his time and agricultural skills as an entrepreneur with a vision. He did not only produce his own product but also understood the importance of controlling the means of production. His sweet potatoes were not to be consumed in a manner we are accustomed to.
Preparation of land
The young entrepreneur was toiling in the fields to produce an ingredient for his milkshake called Viazi Vitamu, the Swahili name for sweet potatoes. Taking the star ingredient, boiling it with salt and serving it with any beverage of our choice, be it water, juice or tea, a novel and exciting product was born.
The company aims at creating an everlasting pleasure to their clients through provision of healthy balanced foods which will ensure healthy consumption and provide the much desired nutritional benefits.
Their goal is to offer nutritious, delicious and high quality sweet potato and other organic foods which lead to a healthy and affordable lifestyle for all.
The company is currently focusing on organic sweet potato shakes to cement their clientele, but will soon add more products to their range whilst not shifting from their preferred ingredient of sweet potatoes as it is a perennial crop and the most nutritional vegetable.
Since his project started in February 2021, Mapolisa has sold over 1500 cups of the Viazi Vitamu organic shake and still going strong. The young entrepreneur seeks to grow his product and create employment for the youth while satisfying their nutritional needs.
Organic Milk Shake
While his peers are probably making excuses for their misfortunes ranging from the bad economy to the effects of Covid 19, the Midlands State University Mining Engineering student didn't let his area of study limit him from pursuing his passion for farming. He may not have studied agriculture or food science but this didn’t stop him from exploring the agricultural field.
When asked to give advice to other aspiring young entrepreneurs, Mzingaye Mapolisa said "The only way to know if something will work or not is to start. We may do the planning and all but unless you get on the field and have a go, you may never know what works and what doesn't."
The sky is the limit for the Tshabalala bred entreprenuer.