It is often said that it is in our darkest moments that we find our purpose in life. And if this saying is anything to go by, Relebohile Moeng is a living example. In 2009, she survived a horrific accident that left her with over 150 stitches on her face. She searched for a solution to cure her scars which led her to found her first business.
The 40-year-old founded Afri-Berry in 2011, a year after she was retrenched from her executive officer job at the South African Optometric Association. After her retrenchment, she and her husband decided to do some research into skin and hair products, eventually leading to the launch of her company.
Afri-Berry manufactures high-end repair organic skin and hair solutions. Also, it is one of the few level 1 BBBEE, wholly black-owned firm in the world. Today, her products are in over 120 click stores in South Africa, Namibia, eSwatini and Botswana.
“These are various products like coated argan oil, virgin coconut oil, shea butter, black soap, shampoo and conditioner and Jamaican castor oil,” says Moeng, who is Afri-Berry’s founder and director,” said Moeng, who grew up in Benoni, Crystal Park in the East Rand of Gauteng.
The product can also be found on the shelves of major independent retails and on major retailers like Clicks, Pick n Pay, Checkers Hyper, Edgars Stores, Faithful to Nature, Zando, and Cosmetic Connection, according to IOL.
Turning out as an entrepreneur was something Moeng expected in life. According to her, she’s always had an entrepreneurial bone, recalling how she would make kids in her area pay to watch McGyver and Mr T because she had a TV set at home.
Her business path equally does not come as a surprise to her. She has been in the beauty industry since the 1990s, organizing beauty pageants during the holidays in December. “I did to make to spend during the holidays. It was a combination of love and for beauty and taking advantage of a money making opportunity,” she told news24.
Since launching Afri-Berry, Moeng has managed to capture an appreciable share of the market. Although she is competing on the international market, she is also minded to take advantage of the local market in South Africa.
Speaking on some of the challenges confronting her and how she has managed to overcome some of them, the MBA holder from GIBS Business School noted that self-funding her business remains a hurdle for her.
Despite her challenges, she makes nearly $1 million a year and her firm has won numerous awards.