Phumzile NkomoBy Phumzile Nkomo|May 13, 2022|6 Minutes|In Risk and Glory

Risk and Glory

Love flavours all.  

The other week we ran a Risk and Glory that told the story of banker turned entrepreneur Terence Leluma and his sauce Makhamisa  named after the Zulu word for the involuntary gasp after tasting hot stuff.  This is what he said: The story of Makhamisa emanated from two people passionately in love with each other; this love, which burns each day, was transformed into a very powerful and dynamic brand which is now known across South Africa and beyond.Billionaire Tomorrow went to the other half of this partnership for her side of the story.

As a creative young girl, growing up in a big family mostly in the East Rand of Johannesburg with my father, a financial consultant and a mother that was a house executive, I had always believed that I would one day start my own business.

But never in my wildest imagination did I think it would be in food, nor  did I think my business would be from a recipe that had  been in  my family for


What my grandmother  and aunt to my father  thought of  as a simple meal to feed her family in KwaZulu-Natal, gave my father an idea to do the very same thing for his family. From the garden to the kitchen and in minutes, we would have a wholesome meal at the table,   sharing a meal together

This became our slogan at Makhamisa Foods as it was the resonance with the warm fuzzy feeling of home, we felt from our younger days where

sharing a meal together, with this product at the centre

of the table, was a reminder of the love and best days of my colourful childhood.

Years later, I made the best choice in a life- a  partner who became my business partner.

Our ambitions and love for food were aligned.

They always say that when a girl shares a special bond with her father, the chances of her finding a man with attributes similar is great. When I introduced my boyfriend then, now husband, to my father, the similarities were evident from the first encounter. They had both worked at the bank as financial consultants, they knew the same people, won the same awards, loved and once played soccer, loved music and both work their magic in the kitchen. By this time, my father was staying in Diepkloof, but the family traditions and meals had never changed.

For the first time,   my husband   Terence   Leluma   “Hun”   experienced the same taste   I   had grown up with and had been telling him about every time we would go to any restaurant. Hun was impressed by the taste, so much so that he asked my father if he could show him how he made the relish and if it would be possible for him to use his entrepreneurial expertise to commercialise it; my father gave his blessing.

From the Saturday that followed, we spent our weekends at home, and bought measuring tools and utensils to formulate a recipe.

Once this was concluded, we went out to the market to test, which recipe was acceptable to the market. This was concluded in a few weeks. Then, we checked if we star had a business case. This is where my Honours degree in Business Management came in handy, coupled with Hun’s financial background and qualification.

This was a nice product, but it was expensive to produce. We decided to halt production, until one day when we went to Calisto’s restaurant for dinner.

We notified the owner that we had a better product than his table peri-peri. He agreed to taste it and that was the start of our business relationship,  in   2015.

Hun and   I   started   our   boot-strapping   mission,   building   our   client   base.   We expanded our range to sauces, using the relish as our base and selling our products at expos, food shows and family markets, where we landed a couple of interviews, one being on Radio 702.

Hun was the guest on the radio station, where he introduced the brand and since we were concurrently exhibiting   at   Hostex,   the   platform   was   excellent   to   inform   the   listeners   about   us   having   a  stand there.   This   is   where   we   were   discovered   by   the   likes   of   Famous   Brands   and   other   blue-chip companies that we later worked with. We registered the business in February 2016 and named it Makhamisa   Foods.

This business was later to give 32 plus people a purpose and livelihood. We continue to create a   great formidable story and create more employment to those from disenfranchised backgrounds.

We service our clients,   giving them the best quality products at affordable prices.

This story, which started in the kitchen, continues to give birth to new opportunities and our product development journey continues to grow from strength to strength.