By Oldrin Masowa
A great leader’s courage comes from passion. This is evident for North-West University (NWU) student, Kgothatso Kgogome, who is the founder and owner of Faith-Bakes. Having been raised by entrepreneurs, this Soweto-born young entrepreneur fell in love with entrepreneurship at the age of four. She sells scones and cakes, and her confectionery business targets small food businesses through strategic communication.
Kgothatso has received an invitation to attend the 2022 Africa Young CEOs Summit that will be held in Accra, Ghana. This summit is an annual programme that aims to create a platform where entrepreneurs, business executives, investors and young leaders come together to share knowledge, networks and solutions towards resolving challenges on the continent.
Kgothatso and her brother were raised by their grandmother, Rosina Kgogome, who took guardianship after their father passed away. Her grandmother used to sell cooldrinks and inspired Kgothatso to join and help her with business duties like delivering orders and identifying the product preferences of the customers. She and her brother visited their mother – who sold ice cream for a living – during school holidays, and they would help her with sales while she was working.
According to Kgothatso, a second-year BA Communication student on the NWU’s Potchefstroom Campus, she always knew that entrepreneurship was her passion.
“My first business started when I was in Grade 6. During the December holidays my grandmother used to stock ice cream and scones for me. But she would make it clear that I had to pay her money back, and I paid her in the evening from the ice cream sales I had made,” says Kgothatso.
She recalls vividly how her business of baking scones started. “I knew I was good at baking, and I always managed to get rid of stress by baking scones. I realised that I could make a profit by selling scones, so I started baking and selling them,” adds Kgothatso.
Kgothatso says the entrepreneurial spirit was instilled in her from early in her childhood already. “During high school, I participated a lot in entrepreneurship challenges, such as the Allan Gray entrepreneurship challenge. I also took part in the Junior Achievement South Africa programme, where I became the financial manager for our mini-Company.”
Kgothatso and her friend, Kekeletso Jacobs, are currently helping to raise funds for the Kolisi Foundation, which will be donated for Mandela Day.
The young entrepreneur says she encountered a few challenges along her entrepreneurial journey. “Balancing between studies, social life and entrepreneurial life every day sometimes takes so much out of me.”
She says her inspiration came from Basetsana Khumalo, the 1994 Miss South Africa, and she looks up to her mother and grandmother. “My relatives were all entrepreneurs, and it did not make sense for me to stay without money, as I had skills to offer to my community.”
“I love to be surrounded by students, and as a young entrepreneur it gives me an opportunity to introduce and showcase my business skills to them,” says Kgothatso.
She named one of her future goals: starting a bakery that will be extended to other provinces. “I think is about time we celebrate the South African bakes in the world. I want our bakes to be in high demand, like the French patisserie.”
She also shared the secret to the success of her scones business: “The scones I bake are from my aunt’s secret recipe, and the smell that fills up the kitchen after baking is the very same scent I woke up to at home – it is so nostalgic.”
Kgothatso says she wishes young people can look at how they can impart their knowledge, skills and services to their communities to support one another. “As young people, we just need to support one another and share the knowledge to avoid waiting for the government and corporates to step in, as this limits our capabilities,” says Kgothatso.
She desires to leave a legacy of doers who inspire young people to have the ideas that can change the world forever and act upon those ideas, no matter how limited the resources may seem.
Anyone who wishes to order Kgothatso’s scones from Faith-Bakes can contact her on WhatsApp at 0740795073, or they can send a message on Instagram at @faithbakes2022.