Afri-Berry born out of hopelessness

Relebohile Moeng now exports her skin and hair products. / Supplied
Relebohile Moeng now exports her skin and hair products. / Supplied

Taking a leap of faith when hope was lost has made Relebohile Moeng one of the most successful black women in business.

Moeng is a 37-year-old woman from Centurion, Pretoria, who made the decision to never look for a job after she was retrenched.

She made the best of her acquired skills and experience from her previous job as an executive officer at an optometric private company.

"I knew from those moments that I had to find a solution to my devastation and, through faith, God gave me the wisdom to my destiny," Moeng said.

After surviving a terrible car accident which left her with 150 stitches, Moeng took the little she had and started her own skin products using cold-pressed argan oil she used on her scars.

With countless consultations and expensive medications she was told the only way to minimise her scarring was through plastic surgery.

But she started searching for something that would help with her scarring.

Moeng said she discovered cold-pressed argan oil when she went to Morocco. Women there showed her an interesting ancient method to press out the oil from the nuts making naturally organic skin products.

This led to the birth of Afri-Berry - a proud youth and women empowering level1 BEE wholly owned agro-processing manufacturer for organic skin and hair care products.

"I started the business with only R10000 from my savings. Afri-Berry helped me to discover the power of determination. My husband had faith in me and invested every little cent into making my business a success," she said.

Afri-Berry imports the raw ingredient from Morocco and the products are manufactured in South Africa.

Moeng said her vision was to bring the African experience to the world, sharing her recipe to scar-healing and skin-care experience.

She works with her husband, Fabian, and employs 37 people.

The products can be found in pharmacies and retail outlets throughout the country.

Afri-Berry has grown broadly from distributing around South African stores to exporting products to Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique, China and other countries outside Africa.

"I look back everyday and believe that there is something called grace because the accident that was meant to take my life gave me a new reason to live again with greater destiny," she said.

Moeng said her company sends representatives to cosmetic conferences, international trade shows, subscribes to trade magazines and listens to its customers to keep up with the trends.

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