Zanele Zulu.
Hungry for some comfort food? Fear not, Thando’s Food is here for you.  Thando’s love for cooking and people have led her to opening her own restaurant in Midrand. 
With no experience but a dream to succeed, Thando’s inspiration to become a restaurant owner came from nobody but herself.
Real name Noluthando Mgobozi, 24, Thando is originally from uMlazi, a township to the south of Durban, but “due to hustling” she ended up in Joburg. 
Thando says she loves cooking and everything that comes with being a restaurant owner. 
“I am self-employed and have always been entrepreneurial. Being stuck in an office has always frustrated me, but I had to do what I could as I have a diploma in public relations.”
Unemployment led to her starting her food business. 
“Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I never imagined myself as a restaurant owner. 
“Because I love cooking, as I grew older my love for food grew fonder. I realised my passion and I saw an opportunity,” she says.
“Each time people tasted my food they would make remarks like ‘your food is addictive’ or ‘turn your skill into a living’. 
“To my advantage, it’s not just the love for cooking that pushed me to start the business, but the understanding that being a restaurant owner is more than just the cooking – there is a range of elements that are involved which I have a clear understanding of.” 

Thando’s Food opened on October 3 and currently sells the following dishes: Dagwood, served with chips or side salad; tripe served with creamy samp, mashed butternut and chakalaka; chicken breyani, beef curry and pasta served with carrot salad; fish served with chips or starch of the day; and a mutton bunny chow.
Thando says one of the challenges of being a female restaurant owner is that you  need to be tough, which is contrary to what is traditionally expected of women. 
“Being a restaurant owner is one way of testing your patience. You need a range of qualities to run a restaurant and those qualities I have practised along the years.”

● Thando’s Food is at Unit 157 Lilyfield, Corner Lever and Kiaat roads, Noordwyk, Midrand. It also operates on a delivery basis, catering to the public, companies and business parks with prices ranging from R40 to R70.