Exciting things are happening in South Africa’s winelands with a new generation of entrepreneurs making great wines for the local and global market place and building new brands to watch. Ses’fikile Wines, founded by Nondumiso Pikashe, is one such brand with high aspirations.
LoA chatted to this passionate wine brand creator about her journey and vision for the future.
What does your company do?
At Ses’fikile Wines, I sell gorgeous wines.
What inspired you to start your company?
My entrepreneurial spirit couldn’t rest. The wine industry represented ambiguity in my life which I explored through this venture. I am a teacher by training and I felt I had done my bit as far as the classroom context was concerned. I needed a new space to breathe. My country was in a new and refreshing space and this provided a new opportunity.
“Ses’fikile means ‘we have arrived’. These three words are built on a foundation of personal and communal struggle, yet they also look forward positively, with the hope of a better future.”
Why should anyone use your service or product?
My wines are rare, fine blends. The quality of the grape is our priority. We are in touch with trends in the market, creating palatable, fruit driven wines. Ours is a fascinating story of celebration, discovery and triumph and that accompanies our wines.
Tell us a little about your team
Ses’fikile meaning `We have arrived` is a trademarked brand owned by my company. At Ses’fikile, I work with a passionate team of wine makers and a viticulturist who helps to bring the beautiful Ses’fikile wine range to life. I choose the grape and blends for the product portfolio and I am responsible for taking the product to market. I am assisted by a team of young people for tastings, etc.
“We are a bunch of people with enthusiasm, passion and adventure. Knowledge and expertise form the basis of enterprise. We are driven by partnerships and collaborations and the continued sense of curiosity.”
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
My grandfather was an entrepreneur who fed his family on the revenue generated by selling fruit, vegetables and milk in Langa township. I guess I take after him in a way. I was born in Gugulethu and grew up between Gugulethu, Langa and Khayelitsha. I come from a teaching background. I left teaching to pursue my entrepreneurial spirit in the wine industry. I held both a negative and a positive view about wine. I wanted to explore this disparity, so I threw myself in the deep end with a few friends. It has been a tumultuous journey of learning, joy, hurt, but all with no regrets. My wines are in the market minimally at Wine Concepts.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I want to change the stereotype that indigenous brands don’t work in the wine industry. I want Ses’fkile wines to be an indigenous brand of note. I see Ses’fikile arriving in the EU, Africa and Asia Markets. Ses’fikile will be a domestic wine brand of celebration, a brand that trumpets the African Renaissance, that connects nations and brings women together. I see Ses’fikile as tool that brings about sustainable transformation through its Corporate Social Responsibility. Our focus in on exposing girls to career paths in the wine industry.
“The wines of Ses’fikile aim to sparkle with the mysterious allure of adventure and trumpet the African Renaissance.”
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Autonomy! Meeting people I would never have imagined meeting.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Listen to that 6th sense.