Terence LelumaBy Terence Leluma|May 12, 2022|3 Minutes|In Risk and Glory

Risk and Glory

Love - why this entrepreneur is on a hot streak.

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.

Phumzile Nkomo-Leluma, my wife and I, started this business in February 2016. We spent over a year before we registered this business, running market research to evaluate and validate the existence of a business case.

In the process of setting up, we decided to sell two of our main assets, a motor vehicle and an apartment, which we had bought for rental income, to inject capital of approximately R620k into the business.


The purpose – the primary reason we started this business, was to create a platform on which our African stories can be authentically narrated. This  platform presented itself in the form of a condiment.

We named the condiment manufacturing company  Makhamisa – which is the Zulu words for the open-mouthed gasp you make after eating spicy food.

In addition, I personally wanted to create something unique and with value that I can share with the people of the world.

The first person I sold this story to was my father-in-law and after him, I pitched it to my wife who bought into it gladly.

The Makhamisa story took shape with a relish made from a tiny kitchen belonging to my in-laws in Diepkloof, in Soweto in Johannesburg. It blossomed into a national story comprising of a myriad of sauces made using hot and cold processes.

In November 2016, I did my first radio interview with EWN’s 702, in Johannesburg. This interview drew Famous Brands –one of Africa’s biggest food companies. The company expressed interest in working with us on contract manufacturing . This interest assisted us to build a compelling business case which was submitted to the Industrial Development Bank (IDC) and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) for financial support to purchase property, plant & equipment, as well as for more working capital. Jointly, the IDC and the DTIC approved and subsequently injected capital totalling R67million.

Over the past 6 years, Makhamisa Foods managed to secure five  blue chip companies as its core clients:  Shoprite, PnP, Empact Group-a Thebe Investment Group subsidiary- Bidfood, and Famous Brands.

At Makhamisa, we take pride in producing safe to consume products, utilizing superior quality ingredients sourced both locally and internationally.

By continuously investing in our most valuable asset, our people, we promise to deliver to our customers affordable condiment sauces, and we do that better and faster.

Capitalising, on the strength and capabilities of our sauce plant equipped with the latest technology, we work hard to be both innovative and competitive in the markets we serve.