What's cooking in the kitchen?

Mosezana Malatji at home manufacturing her cosmetics range called Zhane Botle. /Thulani Mbele
Mosezana Malatji at home manufacturing her cosmetics range called Zhane Botle. /Thulani Mbele

Tshwane entrepreneur Mosezana Malatji has ventured into business in a big way after establishing a cosmetics manufacturing company.

Called Zhane Botle, the company manufactures skin moisturisers or make-up products such as 3D foundation, concealers, primers, highlighters and lip colour products, as well as eczema creams.

Malatji, 42, also manufactures different hair products such as hairline repairer, hair grower oil and anti-itch cream.

She makes the products from scratch, using her secret ingredients, at her house-turned-factory but sells them at a shop in Vrede Park Mall in Centurion.

Malatji, who was born in Soshanguve in 1975, said she started making her products by mixing items that her domestic worker mother brought home.

"Her employer would give her leftovers such as cooking oil, cocoa, coffee, castor oil and butter. I would take the oils and the butter and mix them to make my hair and body products. I would take cocoa and use it as make-up powder.

"That is when I developed the love to innovate with my own cosmetics. My sister and her friends loved my products so I started selling to them. I then realised that I could launch a formal business and registered my company in 2012," she said.

"The majority of my clients are white people. Many black people are reluctant to use my products because of that slave mentality that blacks are not capable of producing and that any products manufactured by a black person can endanger their skin.

"This despite [the fact] that my products meet the standard set by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria," she said.

Malatji said the company, which employs six people, was doing fairly well and she was looking forward to growing it and creating 50 more jobs.

"If I can get funding to start my own plant, I will be able to create more jobs. At the moment it's difficult to grow it because I cook my ingredients from home using my pots and that limits me from doing mass production. Most of the time the demand from the clients outstrips the supply."

Malatji said she had hopped from one financial institution and department to the other looking for funding, to no avail.

"It's difficult for us black entrepreneurs to get funding. I have submitted applications but received no response," she said.

X