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Young entrepreneur emerges with chilies business

Manthati' Mafisa's bottled chillies


Aug. 13, 2020 3 min read

3 min read


MASERU - A study conducted at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences shows that people who eat spicy foods six to seven times a week have a 14 percent lower risk of premature death than those who eat spicy foods less than once a week.

The study also found that frequent consumers of spicy foods show a lower risk of death from cancer, heart or respiratory diseases.

The most commonly used spices among the participants in the study were fresh and dried chili peppers. It is important to remember that fresh peppers and spices can have health benefits, but spicy fast foods, condiments, and  other foods high in sugar, fat, and preservatives, are not healthy.

“Peppers, like most vegetables, have antioxidants,” says Rhianon Condello, nutritionist at the Rochester Regional Health. “This helps with cancer prevention and oxidative stress on arteries.”

Oxidative stress is an imbalance within your blood that can lead to diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Thus, eating fresh peppers can contribute to a longer, healthier life, explains Condello.

It is from this perspective that ’Manthati Mafisa, 29, of Ha Moolisa, Maputsoe in Leribe, together with her mother, developed the idea of producing canned chilies to help consumers  to build a stronger immune system, especially during the trying times of COVID-19 - a virus said to favour cold temperatures. The unemployed graduate of the Lerotholi Polytechnic, holding a Diploma in Business Management is of the opinion that unemployed youth should venture into small businesses to make a living.

“You don’t need a lot of money to start a small business. After we came up with our special recipe which includes some herbs and other ingredients to produce Sabby’s Hot Chilies, the next task was collecting empty fruit bottles and that’s how the business began. I started by selling 10 bottles and then 20 through the use of WhatsApp and within a few days, my chilies were selling like fat-cakes.


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Mafisa says she named her product after her mother whose middle name is Sabby, because she was the master mind behind the idea that now puts bread on the family’s table. “Customers tell me they like my chilies not only because it warms the body but it also makes the food tastes delicious. It has an organic element that leaves one graving for more. Unfortunately I cannot explain in detail how it is produced because the recipe should remain a big secret since there is competition out there.

“For those aspiring to start their own businesses, I say, do not fear competition. Just enter saturated markets with a special magical touch on your products so that clients can easily differentiate them from others. Push hard to market your products and never give up,” she advises.

Now with easier access to buying empty bottles locally, and being able to find ways of purchasing chilies from local farmers, she is confident that she will become a successful businesswoman who will create jobs for other people.

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