Khayelitsha entrepeneur spots a gap in the market

Mihle Pike
GroundUp spoke to Sipho Mfengwana, owner of Faku Tasty Chicken in Khayelitsha.

GroundUp: Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Mfengwana: I’m 38 years old and live in Khayelitsha. I passed my Matric in 1993 at Hlokoma High School in East London. I then studied advertising in Cape Town and worked in the film Industry for eight years as a technician. However, there was too much travelling involved for me, so I decided to open my own business. Four years ago, I opened an internet cafe next to the traffic department in Khayelitsha.

GroundUp: How did you start your chicken business?

Mfengwana: I opened Faku Tasty Chicken two and a half years ago. I saw an opportunity when I went to buy meat in Town Two. Everyone was selling the same meat: pork, beef, sausage and lamb, and no one was selling braaied chicken. That’s when I decided to fill the gap in the market.

GroundUp: Tell us a bit about your business?

Mfengwana: I like to call it a chicken joint. We are all about chicken. We braai our chicken over charcoals. Our menu includes various portions of chicken and chips, together with quality sauces, cool drinks and juices.

GroundUp: Does your business have a specific target market?

Mfengwana: Because of our location along the busy Lansdowne Road opposite other meat stands, we provide something unique. We cater for people that prefer chicken over red meat. People often prefer chicken for health reasons. We also cater for events and functions.

GroundUp: Do you have any partners?

Mfengwana: My business partner is my wife, although she is not actively involved in the daily running of the business. I also have a team of three dedicated full-time staff.

GroundUp: How have you managed to keep the business afloat?

Mfengwana: It's been easy to make sure that whatever little money we have after paying the bills has been invested back into the business. I am very passionate about what we are doing, so we try to live within our means and not be unnecessarily extravagant.

GroundUp: What are your plans for your business?

Mfengwana: Plans for the immediate future are to broaden our menu and add more products like salads and pap, and to buy a chicken rotisserie to be able to offer an alternative to the braaied chicken. Long term plans are to open other places and perhaps even encourage people to open franchises of the business.

GroundUp: What words of encouragement do you have for upcoming entrepreneurs?

Mfengwana: It is important to look at what the market need is. Do your research. Love what you are doing. Network with other business people and educate yourself about what you do. In other words, strive to be an expert in your field and invest time and money in your business.


Submitted by Keith on

really enjoy how GroundUp finds these entrepreneur stories and hope it opens the doors for more success for the covered people in stories and success for other readers.

Submitted by Mfengwana on

Thanks a million would'nt have done it without the wonderfull support of my team and customers, God bless.

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Submitted by Luleka Ngiba on

Thank you groundup for giving him a chance as his trainer and and mentor in business skills .I am also proud of him he use what he learned in tha business course ,we need people like him in order to create jobs for other people in the community ! Thank you so much groundu

Submitted by Betty Brutus 07... on

In every business its hard work,but to put in its what you get out. Anywhere can be the best place to be just change the dot don`t wait for the big giant start with the small one. Good luck and God bless.I also receive the Micro-MBA business training after that my Catering Business was successful.As I was working a little bit there and there I took a decision this year is my year for Betty`s Catering to work full time with my business to do the best ! Making sure that 1.Find that gap 2.Business calculations 3. Manage that Money well. Thank you Lulu Ngiba for your mentoring and Training there is so much more people that need this kind of support to create jobs.Sipho make sure that you go forward

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