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A Love Affair Of Swazi Food

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Venturing into a new business comes with obstacles but it always depends on your strategy and mission.

 

 SCENE met the two beautiful, heart warming, intelligent with class Smith sisters, Erica and Nancy Smith who have just embarked on a ‘Beautiful Hustle’ as they have just given birth to AMOR Swazi Cuisine Catering business together.

Having met Nancy before she welcomed me looking all sorts of fine, as I arrived at AMOR. I had met Nancy but had met Erica before. The ambience of the restaurant breathes fresh air, elegancy and the place is very stylish. The aroma of delicious food kicks up my throat, I start salivating as I fight the urge to order food.

 I’m just wondering if I’m at the right place, should I order food. Within a second Erica welcomes me with a smile, “We’ve tried to modernize our little restaurant,” Erica welcomes the SCENE team.

With no time no time to waste because of their busy schedule, we ready ourselves for the interview.  “I've always loved the idea of generating an income through the work of my own hands. I often hosted friends and family for Christmas lunches over the years and what better way to gain profit through your passion than to venture into business,” Nancy says as I turn my head to Erica.

“I am hungry for success and I have big dreams and working an eight to five job has its limitations. I love good food and particularly enjoy traditional Swazi dishes, hence the birth of Amor Swazi Cuisine,” Erica boldly states.

“We started our business without any capital injection. We basically put together what we had in our pockets and started. This poses challenges as we are a new business and limits us in terms of expansion. However, it has taught us perseverance, patience and hard work.

Being a former human resources officer, my experience in the field brought me to the realisation that HR was not a field I wanted to pursue long term. I decided to explore by indulging one of my passions - cooking. Fortunately, my younger sister shares the same passion, and that’s how our business was established,” Erica says.

Nancy   had a lingerie business she ran on the side a few years ago. Even though it was a thriving business so she says.

“I did not pursue it further after a near death experience whilst in transit to collect stock from Durban where I narrowly escaped an armed hijack and robbery that left me traumatised,” Nancy states.

The entrepreneur spirit has always existed within these sisters.

“As a child, I sold sweets to my classmates so as to relieve my mother of the burden of my transport expenses to and from school. Throughout my working life, I have always had a little business on the side to boost my monthly income, from selling food, bags, perfume and lingerie etc,” Erica beams.

The Smiths come from a very strict upbringing, sadly enough they lost both parents at an early age.

“My dad was a disciplinarian, whilst my mother a very humble and reserved person. We lost both our parents at an early age. However, I did not allow my circumstances to spell doom and gloom for my future. I made a decision not to view myself as a victim in life but rather a victor,” Erica bravely states.

 One may find very challenging to work with a relative more especially your sister or brother. I too, I find it very challenging but when it comes for the Smith sisters it’s visa-verse.

“My sisters and I share a strong bond, we understand and respect one another. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. For that reason, we complement each other very well,” Erica says.

“Erica and I have always had each other’s back. We are best friends and she compliments my personality very well,” Nancy agrees.

 The love between the two is overwhelming, they laugh together, and everything is just even. 

 They both have role models, people who they look up to everyday, Erica looks up to Nelisiwe Mabuza and Nancy looks up to Gigi Reid-Miles. 

“I look up to or rather, am motivated by so many different people in life. From the woman who sells vegetables at the market to feed her children, to the woman taking control in the boardroom of the corporate and business world.

A woman I look up to in the beautiful hustle is CEO of African Alliance, Nelisiwe Mabuza. She comes from humble beginnings and has achieved success through hard work and believing in herself and her capabilities.

 I love the fact that she is not superficial but real and is not afraid to live her life fearlessly in a world filled with hypocrisy. A trait of hers that many love to hate,” Erica says.

“I’m inspired by attorney Gigi Reid-Miles. I love that she has a heart of gold and cares for less privileged children in the community. My sisters and some friends were inspired to follow in her footsteps and every Christmas Eve, we visit a boys’ orphanage at Elwandle Manzini and spend the day with the boys over lunch,” Nancy states.

The sisters decided to tell SCENE what empowers them.

 “In everything you do, put God first. Do not limit your potential or doubt your capabilities. Take challenges as a learning curve. Give it your best. Believe in it, work hard. If ever there is a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is NOW,” Nancy bravely answers.

Erica says, “Being eager to gain more knowledge, striving to continuously improve myself as an individual and most importantly, learning from my mistakes has empowered me a great deal.

   Also, listening to others success stories and rising from failure has motivated me to keep going and to have a never say die spirit.”

Nancy is a married mother of three.  She is a family orientated person and loves cooking.

“I enjoy being home with my loved ones enjoying good home cooked meals prepared with love. I am naturally a humble person and I do not believe in failure,” she says.

Erica is a mother of two beautiful children. She is an optimist and has great dreams for the future.

“I am a people’s person and am very down to earth. I enjoy being in the company of positive minded people,” she concludes. 

 

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