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Cooking up a storm



Cooking up a storm

Tonota’s new trendy @Pallets Cafe

This eatery has only been running for six months but has already created a buzz in Tonota and the surrounding villages.

Opened in June this year, @Pallets Cafe has filled a gap in what is one of the country’s fastest growing townships.

In this hot and humid weather, the out-door setting – complete with foldable canvas flaps in the unlikely event of rain – makes this cafe an ideal place for those who want to take their time at the dinner table.

The fresh and trendy restaurant, adjacent to the newly opened Engen Filling Station, boasts an extensive menu. Food on offer includes the popular Shashe bream, grilled chicken, juicy steak all served with the customer’s preferred starch and salads.

Speaking to Voice Money, the establishment’s owner, 27-year-old Joy Nametsegang revealed she conceptualised the idea while she was studying in Namibia.

Cooking up a storm

A lawyer by profession with the Attorney General, Nametsegang is as passionate about cooking as she is about law.

“I grew up in a business oriented family and from an early age business has always been a part of me,” she stated simply.

Nametsegang was so determined to start her own business that upon graduation she founded Grills and Chills, an outdoor mobile restaurant.

“I’ve always loved grilling, so I was selling grilled meat at Manyanda shops in Tonota. The business was doing quite well – that’s when I realised there was room to expand.”

Together with her husband, the mother-of-one set out to open a cafe in Tonota that would be able to compete with the best.

“My husband is an architect, so it was easy to do this concept eatery. We played around with recycled pallets to design the interior and have custom made pallets for our doors,” Nametsegang said about the impressive structure.

“For the chandelier we went for the old blue ‘paraffin’ lanterns,” she added.

The youthful businesswoman explained they wanted a restaurant that people would appreciate.

Cooking up a storm
IMMACULATE: Pallets’ mini garden

“So far the response has been amazing. Our clientele no longer see the need to go to Francistown for a good meal. They can get grilled chicken and fresh fish right here in Tonota.”

Besides the sumptuous food, the cafe also has free WiFi and offers an array of beverages.

The establishment, which is open from 6am till 10 at night, also provides outside catering for parties and offers group platters for any events.

People can also order their food and come for collection.

Reflecting on her establishment’s short journey to date, Nametsegang beams with pride.

“It is a cafe that should inspire young people to know that anything is possible. We started grilling meat in an open space now we have opened a restaurant.”

With a staff compliment of four, @Pallets has become a source of income for many small business in the village as according to Nametsegang they procure most of their resources from local companies.

“We get our chicken, meat and vegetables from Tonota farmers. We only go outside when the supplies run out,” she said.

Perhaps the Cafe’s supervisor, Kesaobaka Shaba summed it up best when he said @Pallets Cafe is like no other place.

“We need more people to know more about this special place. We are ready to serve them,” declared the former petrol attendant.

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FNBB Hosts media



FNBB Hosts media

In their effort to appreciate the 4th estate as one of their valued stakeholders, First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) hosted a media engagement party last Thursday at Matebele village.

The gathering was attended by local journalists from various media disciplines, including online, radio, TV and print.

Among the attendees were business, lifestyle and sports reporters as well as social media influencers.

The fun-filled day included numerous team-building activities, such as quad biking, swimming and tug of war.

Speaking at the event, FNBB Communications and Public Relations Manager, Boga Chilinde-Masebu said the bank continuously seeks ways to empower media practitioners and grow the journalism profession.

“I am delighted to announce that this year, we will be participating at the MISA Botswana Media Awards 2019, scheduled for the 5 December. In addition to partnering with MISA Botswana for the event, we are sponsoring the Business Reporter of the Year Award under the Broadcast Media category. FNBB values its continued partnership and relationship with the media fraternity,” stressed Chilinde-Masebu, adding the bank oversees several programmes that aim to work collectively with the media to improve professionalism.

She mentioned FNBB has been running a Journalism Academy for the past four years to improve Business and Financial reporting, with special emphasis on analyzing and interpreting financial statements.

She revealed the Journalism Academy’s next edition is scheduled to take place from 29 – 31 January 2020.

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BAMB to the rescue



BAMB to the rescue

Boards spends P140 million on local farmers

In the midst of tough trading conditions, Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) maintains there is positivity in the organisation’s financial performance.

Despite the drought experienced in the past ploughing season, BAMB CEO, Leonard Morakaladi revealed the board garnered some growth during the second quarter of the 2019/20 financial year.

Updating the media on BAMB’s financial performance this Tuesday, Morakaladi said, “In terms of where this growth is coming from, looking at our portfolio of the grain side, the key driver was sorghum which is a reflection of what we are able to procure as BAMB looking at the drought situation.”

He explained sorghum is naturally resilient when it comes to drought, which is why the crop drove the bulk of BAMB’s procurement.

“We just came out of the harvest season and we spent close to P140 million on our local farmers against a total of 44 000 metric tonnes of grains, which is predominately sorghum.”

Morakaladi further noted the lack of rain meant maize was almost non-existent in the latest harvest season.

Despite the dry weather, the BAMB leader declared a 14 percent increase in grain purchases compared to last year.

“We were expecting that because the drought was quite severe perhaps we were going to get relatively lower supplies. But because of Pandamatenga’s contribution, we were able to get a little bit more,” he said, adding the bulk of the P140 million was spent on Panda farmers, procuring half of the total grains bought during the period.

According to Morakaladi, the southern part of the country, which traditionally supplies maize, experienced widespread crop failure.

“But we went ahead for them to salvage something out of their efforts and bought residues as we encouraged them to bail up the failed crops. Most of them sold to us so that they can recover, not enough obviously to cover all their costs, but it was far better than walking away with nothing!”

Besides grain production, Morakaladi pointed out there is much they can get from farmers.

Painting a picture of the last few years in terms of grain purchase, he said maize has been drastically deteriorating because of the hostile weather.

“Our main focus now is to educate farmers on how best to produce more with the challenges that we have like the dry seasons and so on,” he stressed.

Morakaladi added that whilst there has been an increase in grain purchases between 2018 and 2019, it would be extremely beneficial if there was traction towards improving maize production, pulses and other crops.

Indeed, he announced BAMB is increasing buying prices of other crops in order to encourage farmers to produce a variety of crops.

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Beauty is my business



Beauty is my business

Bringing a touch of glamour to the tourist town me and my business

With her perfectly applied make-up, glamorous weave and sparkly, polished nails, Lindy Makakatlelo is a walking advert for the services she offers.

The glowing 29-year-old is the founder and owner of Sugadols Beauty Salon and Spa, a beauty parlour that has kept the women of Maun looking good since March 2016.

Located in Nhabe Musuem, the business provides a variety of procedures, including make-up, facials, eyelashes, manicures, pedicures and waxing.

The glamour is worlds away from the bubbly beautician’s introduction to the beauty industry, when she did stick-on nails and lashes in the dusty street outside the tourist town’s Delta Spar.

It is a transformation Makakatlelo describes as ‘her journey from grass to grace’.

Speaking to Voice Money, she explained the journey was made possible thanks to funding from Gender Affairs.

“After being funded my business offered beauty services, massage and hair dressing but I have since closed the hair dressing segments as it was not profitable. I now specialise on beauty services.”

The decision has proved profitable as Makakatlelo says she now makes enough money to sustain both herself and her business.

Unlike most girls, growing up she had no interest in beauty or fashion, only developing that passion later on in life following a potentially crushing set back.

“I was not into the beauty industry at first, I developed the love when I studied Beauty Therapy at Gaborone Technical College,” she said, explaining her dream had been to pursue a career in Journalism.

Agonisingly, the young entrepreneur was a point short of qualifying for government sponsorship to study Journalism.

Refusing to let the disappointment define her, Makakatlelo ensured media’s loss was beauty’s gain.

Sugadols Beauty Salon and Spa currently employs two workers but Makakatlelo intends to recruit more staff as the enterprise grows.

Beauty is my business
PROUD: The young entrepreneur outside her spa

Makakatlelo, who revealed she started the business to empower herself and others, encouraged women not to sit on their dreams.

“Do not be choosy when it comes to jobs, you should start somewhere to reach your dreams,” she advised.

As for the future, the ambitious youth, who confessed to being drawn more to nails as compared to other beauty services, hopes to have her own gel brand and a fully blown beauty spa soon.

According to the owner of Sugardols Beauty Salon and Spa, the establishment mainly uses social media platforms for advertising their products, including a vibrant, up-to-date Facebook page.

They recently hosted the first ever Miss Sugadols Beauty Pageant – an initiative Makakatlelo plans to hold annually – as a way of promoting their services.

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