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Cape Town - Entrepreneur Lufefe Nomjana is on a mission to raise money for 10 eco-friendly bicycles that will take his business to a new level and help achieve his dream of getting people in Khayelitsha to eat more healthily.
Through his baking business, named Espinaca (spinach in Spanish) Innovations, Lufefe bakes nutritious bread and muffins with spinach as a key ingredient.
“I’ve always had this need to be healthy by eating nutritious food.
“After 23 years of living an unhealthy lifestyle I turned it around and became a vegetarian in 2011,” he said.
“I wanted to come up with something that would change the way people eat in the townships and help them realise healthy food can be filling and delicious,” he said.
Explaining why he chose the leafy green vegetable, he said spinach was a versatile, fast-growing plant that flourished in all seasons.
“It does not require much to grow, so it’s accessible and affordable for low-income people,” said the 25-year-old.
With his healthy brown loaf selling for R12.50 and his muffins for R3.50, Nomjana believes the people of Khayelitsha will benefit from choosing his products over things that might be cheaper but are full of artificial preservatives and lack vital nutrients.
Nomjana is a 2012 graduate of the UCT’s Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development, a post-matric level academy that offers a programme in entrepreneurial development.
Four young people are employed in his business to help him distribute his products to crèches and orphanages.
Nomjana learnt his baking skills at the Pick n Pay school of cooking. He grows the spinach in his back yard and donates seeds to the orphanages and crèches.
Staff at the institutions grow the spinach in exchange for his baked goods.
But his deliveries involve walking about 25km a day.
“It is quite time-consuming and we can use the time to expand to retail stores or to do more baking,” he said. “That is why we are in a race to raise R5 000 for bicycles.”
Through his partnership with a crowd-funding platform, Thundafund, Nomjana has managed to raise R1 300 in the past month and is confident of raising the rest.