i am SUPER EXCITED to introduce you all to Tshepiso Sibisi, whose pizza making business caught my eye earlier this year.
Due to the super busyness of my work and life vibes, i have taken way too long to get this blog post written – and i humbly apologise – but we are here, and this is a story to enjoy and share. And if you are in the area to take advantage of. Or perhaps you or your business have some resources they can send Tshepiso’s way…
But let’s hear it from Tshepiso:
After struggling to find work in the construction industry i decided to take matters into my own hands and started Mwari Pizza House, a pizzeria i runs out of my grandmothers garage in KwaThema with my two sisters who have since left to pursue other things
I initially thought of selling food, but there are many people who sell hot plates, so we decided on pizza
I had no idea how to make pizza when i started, but with the help of her cousin, who is a cook, and Google I quickly learned how.
Building and running this business has been both challenging but rewarding. My true mission is to use it as a way to make impactful change in people’s lives. To change the world one pizza at a time if you will 🙏🏾
The Real Deal
We are not just talking about a side hustle here, where someone thought, “Ah, let me throw some pizzas together”. You can see from the description that this has been well thought out: “Conveniently providing a product that fuses a European staple with the Township palette while reflecting our African identity.” Come on! i am just sad that i am not in the area, but definitely have Mwari House on my bucket list any time i do head anywhere close…
More than just a Pizza Place
Don’t think for a second that i missed the mention of board games. It looks like Mwari Pizza House is really attempting to be a community hangout. Games nights and soup kitchens and more, they are clearly leaving a defining mark in their community. And they have won a number of awards already. If you are in Joburg, then i highly recommend you grab a bunch of friends and drive through and go and visit Mwari Pizza House to see for yourself.
The name ‘Mwari’ is an African deity and is part of the intentionality of giving the business a deeply African identity. The idea of being connected to a larger community.
There is an amazing video interview with Tshepiso that i am actually watching/listening to as i am writing this and it is well worth taking a look at to get a deeper understanding of her journey. You can find that over here.
News 24 also has an article on ‘the woman who started a pizza business on R100’ which you can read over here if you are a subscriber.
Facebook/ Insta: @mwaripizza
How you can get involved
When i asked Tshepiso to share some of her business needs, it is a startup business [first pizza was only sold in 2018] and so everything associated with that. But she also shared these thoughts:
The main thing is the sales and foot traffic. It’s very low. But when I sell outside at markets etc it’s better. I need a trailer that I can use to move around.
We have seen that a container that can be placed at a high traffic place can make all the difference. Another challenge is the delivery of the pizza.
We struggle with local service providers as your Ubers and MrD do not operate in the township. If we had our own scooter it would make things easier. We host a lot of impact driven activities because we are passionate about being a part of the solution to the problems around us.
A sponsor or partner in this would be a huge help. Cheaper suppliers would make a huge difference because we buy all our ingredients at retail price.
Maybe there is something in there for you. Perhaps it’s simply sharing this story and getting more eyes on it. Maybe you have a business looking to inject some life into a local startup. Or some other form of partnership. i am sure Tshepiso would love to hear from you – firstname.lastname@example.org
South Africa needs to hear many more stories like Tshepiso’s and we know they are out there. If you know of one you would like to see featured on my blog, let me know… in the meantime, let’s get us some pizza!!!