Lufefe, the Spinach King?

by Jun 29, 2016GrowGreen, Uncategorized0 comments

Written by: Zanele Majebe

Being an entrepreneur means an independent spirit, self-confidence and being 100% comfortable with making the final call – sound business acumen from Lufefe Nomjana aka the Spinach King.

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A Desire To Create Meaning

Failure to make a success out of his photography and clothing business could not kill his entrepreneurial spirit, instead it became a lesson that enhanced his business knowledge. Unemployed with no source of income Lufefe spent four months as a volunteer in one of the food gardens in Khayelitsha section A, where he learned vegetable horticulture and developed a love for spinach. His entrepreneurial spirit was soon boosted by a bumper harvest and the noble idea of changing social gardening into economic gardening was born.

In 2012 he noted the health challenges that were faced by his community and decided to conduct his own research on spinach. In doing so he spent a month assisting a dietician promoting a healthy living life style at Michael Maphongwana clinic. In his research, he discovered that spinach carries thirteen phytochemicals that can protect one from diseases.

One of the things I have discovered was that people did not believe in eating brown bread. An idea of incorporating spinach with bread came into existence. The challenge was coming out with green bread and convincing people to buy it.

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A Deep Commitment

He started off by baking only four loaves of bread from one of his neighbour’s home, selling door to door. The demand for spinach bread increased overwhelmingly such that storage space was a big challenge.

I then decided to approach Spar and negotiated for bigger storage space and a shelf to sell the bread. We received eleven thousand bicycles and T-shirts from crowd funding, apart from that we got international exposure from various media houses such as CNN, Reuters, China TV. I was then approached by the SABC 3 channel to host a morning Spinach King show

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Hard Work Finally Pays Off

In 2013 Lufefe won the SABC Innovation competition, a title worth R90 000.00. With the money he bought an expressed container and started supplying Spar, Hotel Verde and ECD crèches .He is now being listed as one of Africa entrepreneurs on Forbes magazine.

Having received such an accolade did not stop him from giving back to his community, now he is assisting in teaching the ECD’s on how to plant organic vegetables.

The Raymond Ackerman Academy offered Lufefe an inspiring and innovative six months programme in entrepreneurial development which assisted him in developing his business and life skills.

Where To From Here?

We are currently working on rolling out a franchise, to other provinces and looking at forging partnership with RCL Foods in the near future

How does Gondwana Alive support green entrepreurs?

Gondwana Alive is 100% behind green entrepreneurship and provides a platform to individuals and organisations to showcase their good green work on GA social platforms.

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What you can do #1

Follow Lufefe on facebook

What you can do #2

Learn more about Gondwana Alive’s GreenGrow Programme supporting green entrepreneurs

What you can do #3

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