Come join us at Startup Grind Tembisa as we unfold the legendary success story of a black African woman who started from nothing and a nobody to a successfully recognised businesswoman in the African continent.
Born a serial entrepreneur driven to succeed.
Rita Zwane, founder of Imbizo Shisanyama, believes that the road to economic freedom for the majority of South Africans is as hard as the road to political freedom was. And she should know. In 1997, after many failed attempts at starting her own business, Zwane found herself walking the streets of Tembisa looking for yet another new business opportunity.
A few weeks later, armed only with the right attitude and support from her family and community, she set up a small shisinyama on a street corner in Ivory Park. With only a single pot, gas griller, display fridge, gas paraffin stove and two employees, the concept of Imbizo Shisinyama was firmly established.
Her secret to success was the commercialisation of the traditional South African braai – something that is an ingrained part of all South Africans’ heritage and culture. Today, shisinyama has become one of the biggest growth areas in the food, beverage and hospitality industry in South Africa.
Imbizo Shisanyama (Busy Corner)
Rita Zwane, founder of Imbizo Shisanyama, famously Known as Busy Corner, believes that the road to economic freedom for the majority of South Africans is as hard as the road to political freedom was. In 1997, after many failed attempts at starting her own business, Zwane found herself walking the streets of Tembisa looking for a business opportunity that will change her life.
Growing up in the Umlazi Township in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Rita was born a serial entrepreneur driven to succeed. At a very young age and inspired by her domestic worker mother, she displayed the essential character traits of someone driven to realizing her dreams.
After matriculating in 1987 she moved to the City of Gold, Johannesburg, in pursuit of her dreams. She eventually settled when joining a large ICT company in Sandton. Appointed only as the tea lady, her hard work paid off and she was soon promoted to reception duties. A couple of months later she was promoted to customer service co-ordinator in the call centre while simultaneously juggling two other part time jobs. She was a waitress at a Sandton restaurant and also contracted her car to a courier company for deliveries.
Inspired by the great African culture, lifestyle and heritage and armed only with the right attitude, discipline and support from her family and community, Rita Zwane established Imbizo Shisanyama Busy Corner on a dusty street corner of Ivory Park. It was then that the concept of commercialised Shisanyama was born and has today become one of the fastest growth areas in the food, beverage and hospitality industry in South Africa. The explosion of this new sector also realised the successful commercialisation of the famous African dish iPapa.
Recognised for her outstanding entrepreneurial success and business acumen Rita scooped the 2013 NSBC Small Business Champion award. In February 2015 Rita was further acknowledged by the Department of Social Development, and received the Gauteng Gift of the Givers award. Her entrepreneurial passion and commitment to SMME development was highlighted again later in 2015 when she won an award at the 2015 SMME Awards hosted by the Africagrowth Institute and lastly but not least, she further got awarded ( SACCI ) 2016 Business Women Award from South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Rita’s dedication is clear, and after nearly two decades her unquenchable passion to celebrate the African lifestyle and culture continues to fuel the businesses exponential growth year on year.
Come join us at Startup Grind Tembisa as we unfold the legendary success story of a black African woman
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