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Lifestyle changes give birth to Yo Coco

Sinenhlanhla Ndlela
Sinenhlanhla Ndlela

Sinenhlanhla Ndlela is a self-proclaimed lover of iced desserts, so much so she made a business out of it by making dairy-free ice-cream.

Who is Sinenhlanhla Ndlela?

I don't even know where to begin because Yo Coco is basically my life now. I'm originally from KwaZulu-Natal, in the Drakensberg. I did TV writing and post-production and I also do photography, so I'm a very creative person.

How did you fall in love with the business of making ice-cream?

I've always been in love with ice-cream. It's so comforting. In 2016, I decided that I wanted to exclude dairy from my diet, but realised I would not be able to have ice-cream. Then I started looking into making my own ice-cream I could enjoy dairy-free. That's how Yo Coco was born.

What challenges have you faced since you started Yo Coco ice-cream?

I have faced obvious challenges like funding. I wasn't interested in business which is a weird thing now that I'm fully in it.

Being a creative person I just love creating and not necessarily making money from creating, so I had to just adjust: how do I keep this passion and still make it profitable? Employing people is hard but I've finally made my dream team.

A love for iced desserts helped create Yo Coco
A love for iced desserts helped create Yo Coco

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

I don't know. You know what, last week I delivered 150 scoops and yesterday was 100 and I didn't think I'd be able to do it. But when it happened I was like, what? Because, I've never had to deliver so much at once so... I'd say that's what I have achieved and being able to delegate properly.

What advice do you have for young black women who are also interested in starting their own businesses?

I'd say go in it with what you find is lacking, like don't go and start something that someone is already doing.

What can we expect in future?

I work magic every day. But I feel like just growth, more cities because a lot of our customers want us to be in Durban, Cape Town, Mpumalanga and just a whole lot of places. 

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