Businessman turns dumping site into thriving chesa nyama
Posted by Editor
Moshe Lesutu is living proof that one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure. The 41-year-old entrepreneur turned a dumping site in Garankuwa outside Pretoria into a thriving business.
What was once the neighbourhood refuse heap is now home to a butchery and a chesa nyama called LSU Pub & Grill. The eatery attracts all types — from celebrities and businessmen to kasi folk. It’s also become a popular spot for year-end functions and other events.
Like many entrepreneurs, Lesutu saw an opportunity where others saw an eyesore. But it wasn’t easy.
His biggest challenge was finding capital. But the key to success has been surrounding himself with the right people.
“For example, the guy who is managing the butchery we started together in 2010, when the place was still a car wash … so a person like that can never let you down, because he understand the challenges and what we have been through … he understand and respects your vision.”
Being supportive towards staff has also contributed to the success of the business.
“I always say to my staff, they can be anything they want to be in life. I always believe in giving young people opportunities. Like, if you tell me you can cook or you are a chef, I will say to you, ‘Here’s a kitchen, prove yourself … let me see what you can do.”
Lesutu has managed to keep the doors of LSU open for seven years, despite a tough economic climate. He believes a lot of that has to do with the location.
“I love my kasi … my place is accessible from different areas. There is a market for good food, I think it’s going to work, I can actually visualise it.”
In the end, it boils down to keeping people happy.
“Open the gate, make people feel very special and important. Respect people and treat people equally. Make your place look good. Prices need to be reasonable for people to afford, we are in the kasi. Make your products accessible to people,” he said.
His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to persevere.
“Things just don’t happen overnight … there are challenges everywhere, face them, learn from your mistakes. (It takes) hard work, dedication and passion.”