Byline: Levhuwani Matumba
Ms Fihliwe Madonsela inherent entrepreneurial spirit saw her being recognized as one of the women whom young people look up to.
She spent all her life in Emzinoni Township where she was born and grew up to be a remarkable and respected businesswoman.
Not every person who runs a business of selling alcohol gets recognized by the community, but Ms Madonsela humbleness and peace loving personality earned her the respect and trust within her community.
Like anyone else, Mom Fihliwe business journey had ups and downs but she persevered.
Her older sister Selinah Madonsela said Fihliwe grew up as a quite child and more focused on helping their father with his businesses.
“My father had a shop and I would always help him to deliver grocery and milk to his customers.
My brother also helped to deliver using a bicycle,” said Fihliwe who also sold winter jackets and other things.
Mom Fihliwe also shared how her father got sick for a long time and at times she will be absent from school while helping at the business.
The idea of starting a tavern business began when she was still at home and her drinking friends would visit and buy alcohol.
“I decided to go and buy their favourite liquor and sell to them, and I realized that I can also sell to other people as well,” she added.
After she got an RDP house and moved to Ext 22, some of her customers requested her to continue selling them alcohol. When asked what challenges she was faced with, she said “I was once a victim of scam when I was applying for a liquor license.”
To promote her business, she would hosts Stokvel and annual parties for her clients.
During her 20 years business anniversary which was held on Sunday, 1 March 2020, some of the clients referred to her as someone who loves peace.
Her customer service excellence is the one that makes people to love her.
She also created employment for the local youth.
Keeping up with the competition and ensuring that customers do not fight are some of the challenges she is faced with.
Besides selling alcohol, she also gives back to the community by supporting their initiatives.
When asked what advice she would like to give to other women who have small businesses and are about to give up, she said “I would advise them to start small and never give up when challenges arise.
The journey to success is not smooth and even with me this twenty years was not easy, but I persevered and remain committed to the business.”