Meet mother and daughter duo Nondumiso and Retang Phaahla, the businesswomen behind proudly South African tea brand Setšong Tea Crafters.
Nondumiso founded Siyaphila Youth Support Services, an organisation whose development strategy leads communities to identify natural assets that can be used for economic benefit.
In Sekhukhune the organisation discovered the indigenous tea plants Tepane and Diva, which had been consumed by villagers for more than five decades. With the community’s consent, the tea plants were tested and found to contain a high level of anti-oxidants.
Using their savings, the women launched Setšong Tea Crafters in August 2016 – a partnership with community co-operatives. Setšong Tea Crafters produces a range of herbal teas infused with a variety of flavours. The business operates out of Marble Hall in Limpopo, employing 30 people consisting of youth, women, and people with disabilities. The company’s distribution point is in Milpark in Johannesburg and the teas have grown in popularity within the Johannesburg Organic Market as well as the Cape Town Tea Market.
Through Setšong Tea Crafters, Nondumiso and Retang want to establish a tea industry in Limpopo that will create jobs for youth from rural areas. More importantly, Setšong Tea Crafters is about promoting the existence of indigenous knowledge systems and practices and creating pride in our African heritage.
Fear is not a good enough reason to be sitting on a brilliant idea. Your success lies at the end of that fear.
Retang says she wants to see Setšong Tea Crafters become industry leaders and encourage more young people in business to combine business and social activism for the betterment of the country.
Setšong’s teas are produced from indigenous plants that have never been on the market before until now. This proudly South African black-owned business is breaking new ground and shifting how we think about doing business.