Sifiso Mathenjwa's ice-cream bowls people over

Sifiso Mathenjwa delivers his ice-cream treats to residents of Daveyton.
Sifiso Mathenjwa delivers his ice-cream treats to residents of Daveyton.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

Sifiso Mathenjwa has been serving ice-cream in his neighbourhood in Daveyton on the East Rand since lockdown regulations were revised to level 4, allowing for food orders to be placed online for delivery.

The 27-year-old whose mobile cocktail bar had to close during the national lockdown designed to curb the spread of Covid-19, has become an online hit with his ice-cream flavours and designs inspired by his experience in the township.

The funky ice-cream bowls have made waves on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp.

His customers place orders online for delivery or for pick-up at his home.

"I did not think my ice- cream bowls would become so popular in a week. I just started small, selling to friends and neighbours but I'm wowed," he said.

His Ice-Cream Yodumo is a mixture of ice-cream scoops and on sticks, sweets, syrup, chocolate and anything sweet you can think of.

"The ice-cream tells a story of every challenge I've ever encountered in my life. It tells a story of how everything turned out sweet and beautiful regardless of hardship and how I struggled to get a job.

However, unemployment made me creative," he said.

"People gave it the name Ice- Cream Yodumo and I'm happy with that too."

Mathenjwa said the idea to sell the ice-cream came after he could no longer make cocktails at events. His customers have now more than tripled in just two weeks, and he had to get help from his sister Mbali and others.

"We cut [divided] the orders we make per day to manage the orders. We also work with the orders hourly to control volume."

Orders are placed via a WhatsApp number.

"You then get a unique number that confirms your order is being processed and also tells you the pick-up time.

"The ice-cream demand just sky-rocketed in a week, and I had to go and apply for my trading permit because the demand got too big. I'm no longer just selling to friends and neighbours."

Mathenjwa said he was getting customers calling from all over Gauteng and passing by to pick up their orders.

"Because of the Covid-19 regulations my customers have to follow a strict 'no mask, no ice-cream' rule.

"That also means they get sanitised before picking up orders for my safety and theirs," he said.

He said he uses an online order system to avoid long queues outside his home.

"I also do local deliveries."

Mathenjwa, who matriculated in 2013, said he knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur.

His ice-cream bowls sell between R50 and 250.

Rachel Masha, a customer who came from Witbank in Mpumalanga, said she saw Mathenjwa's posts on social media.

Another customer, Thandaza Mbanjwa said she ordered her R80 ice-cream bowl at 10am and got her confirmation to pick up at 2pm.

"I am very excited to taste it. Everyone has been posting pictures on social media and it looks delicious," Mbanjwa said.

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