What do you see? Perhaps you are down-and-out and clinging to the last cash you’ve got. The question is what do you see? Do you see yourself forsaken and on the verge of being overwhelmed? Do you see yourself giving in to suicidal tendencies and substance abuse at the prospects of being broke? Or do you dare to see a way out by calling out to the entrepreneurial king/queen within?
Lufefe Nomjana (28), a UCT Business Graduate, has a story that starts off like any other. As a young man, he found himself considering what to do with the last bit of money he had. It was R40. Rather than feeling defeated and drinking it away or splurging it on a “last supper” of some kind, he decided to use it to birth his dream.
What is in your hand?
He could have sat and waited for a miracle. He could have given up because his resources had dried up. He could have ended up like many other sad tales from discouraged youths who lack funding to start a business.
Not Lufefe, he chose to see the potential within himself and the opportunities he could grab with both hands. You see, while volunteering at the Abalimi Bezekhaya for Hope gardening project, he discovered the amazing health benefits of the superfood – spinach.
As he helped others and gave of his time, he acquired knowledge. While applying his hands to work the ground in a bid to learn; he heard something from old mothers that stirred him up inside. As he worked where he could – even though Lufefe was not getting paid – he saw a niche, and when life pushed him into a corner, he used his last R40 to buy flour and spinach. He used the oven from his neighbour and baked spinach bread. The rest, as they say, is history.
We repeat: What do you see?
From humble beginnings, making and going door to door selling his spinach bread in 2012, Lufefe is now deeply engraved into the entrepreneurship space. His spinach bread can be found at distinguished hotels and fancy “green” food shops, and his company currently employs 12 people.
Lufefe is also the owner of a bakery in Khayelitsha (a township in the Western Cape province of South Africa) which he started in 2014 and has recently opened a second bakery. He plans to franchise this and hopefully open many more across the country and world.
When interviewed, the “spinach king” (as he’s affectionately known) says that he always knew that his idea was of national and international significance. He did not know how but saw it all play out in his mind. What is it that you see when you are pressed against the wall? Will you give up and fail or is this the time that you dig deep like Lufefe, to awaken the giant in you? Only you can decide.