Siwela Masoga from GaMpahlele, Limpopo is giving back to the community by committing to teach 20 underprivileged black youth on all there is to know about the Wine industry. After realizing that that winemaking in South Africa has always been associated with a specific race and in an effort to challenge this notion she launched Siwela Wines in 2018.
Masoga used her Laboratory Analyst salary to fund her company and used her pension fund to add capital to Siwela Wines. “It takes a lot of capital to start this. I almost gave up and told myself that maybe I’ll do this when I am older but I realized that it is important to start while I’m still young,” she said.
Upon completing her National Diploma in Biotechnology, majoring in fermentation and microbiology starting her wine business, Masoga would get a lot of questions about the industry hence she introduced Siwela Wine Academy.
The non-profit organization offers underprivileged youth interested in pursuing a career within the wine industry and tourism extensive training and mentorship.“I’m hoping that with this initiative will allow for other young people to get involved. If we can draw people into this industry then we can cement a place for us in this trade,” she said.
Her brand has grown from two wine varieties to eight different kinds of wines exposing wine connoisseurs to pinotages, sauvignon blanc and MCC’s. She gained popularity through social media and the internet despite not having her brand in any of the big retail stores. Moreover, Mosoga hopes to expand her footprint into the rest of Africa.