Growing up in Taung, North West – Lehlogonolo Motseeng has always been an entrepreneur at heart, he started selling sweets at the age of 11 to help with the finances at home. This eventually led to him running a spaza shop from home.
After matriculating, he moved to Johannesburg in 2006 to hustle. He worked for various companies, while running a series of businesses.
Unlike most people moving to the City of Gold, Lehlogonolo didn’t go there to pursue his studies, he went there to hustle. He started by selling bunny chows, and later moved on to sell fried chicken feet outside taverns.
“I was trying to help my grandmother. I sold sweets and, as I grew older, I sold t-shirts, had a food stall and public phone container where people could make calls with as little as R1, and did events. I have always been selling”
He wanted to learn skills that he could use effectively in future. His earlier entrepreneurial journey contributed a lot at a later stage in his business life.Lehlogonolo Motseeng
When he launched Moja Chicken in 2018, he wanted to start something for himself that would also contribute towards helping other people in the hood to better their lives. He quit his 9-5 job in sales & marketing after 8 years of employment to pursue his dream of Moja Chicken.
He came up with the idea of the Moja Chicken restaurant concept, centred around eateries set up in moveable shipping containers with rooftops, targeting the township market.
“When I was growing up, the only meat we ever ate was chicken. My late grandmother owned chickens and it was my responsibility to feed them. Also, chicken is the most-consumed meat product in South Africa. I saw a gap there”Lehlogonolo Motseeng
He financed Moja Chicken using the money he saved during his employment days, and also cashed in on his provident fund.
Moja Chicken started off on the wrong foot because 6 months after he launched the business, covid-19 hit the scenes with its lockdown rules. Things got really bad to a point where Lehlogonolo had to give away all his stock to stop it from spoiling, gave up his flat and sold much of his furniture.
He slept in his car for several weeks to keep his business flowing, and also continue paying his staff, he also ended up selling his car to keep systems running.
He had to become creative and come up with a solution to save his business.
Once the lockdown rules were eased, and eateries were allowed to open for takeaways, he introduced a food delivery and collection model for the business and accelerated his marketing efforts.
He struggled to cope with just a single delivery bike but after generating some bucks, he bought two more bikes and eventually rented a couple more.
The overwhelming support he received during his early stages of Moja Chicken brought about the idea to offer opportunities to people looking to tap into franchising. His original Soweto outlet and 8 franchises are thriving.
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