Acquiring an Ex Royal Mail Bike was a game changer for Timothy Pondani, or Mr Woza Woza as he is now known. Timothy lives in a fairly typical Malawian village called Sigrege. If you are ever in the vicinity, you’ll notice Tim because of his beaming smile and warm friendly nature. And you can’t fail to miss his Royal Mail bike, painted in his own bespoke colours and generally with a small happy child sitting in the front carrier.
Tim once worked at a popular Italian restaurant in Namiwawa (a wealthy suburb of Blantyre) which closed when the owner-chef returned home to Italy. During his time working at the restaurant he was responsible for the preparation of a home-made hot sauce which was the flagship sauce of the restaurant and was also in demand from Italian chefs living in Italy.
Having been made redundant Tim found a new job as a security guard and with a modest amount of start-up capital from his own savings, in his spare time, began to produce hot sauce from his modest home without electricity or running water.
Tim started local delivery rounds on foot with a basket filled with a variety of home-made products including Tomato Sauce, Mango Achar and Hot Sauce from the locally grown Kambuzi Chilli. Kambuzi translates as Little Goat and is only found in Malawi; you need a good head for heat if you want a splash of kambuzi on your breakfast, it’ll put hairs on your chest and fire in your belly!
Tim expands using an Elephant Bike
Having discovered there was more of a market for the hot sauce he dropped the other two product lines and christened the chili sauce, WozaWoza. He purchased an Elephant Bike with the essential basket, from BeeBikes (a social enterprise based in Chilomoni, Malawi that refurbishes them from the donated Royal Mail Bikes sent from the UK) and expanded his area of sales. Tim is now purchasing 5,000 empty bottles every two months and retails the hot sauce at 500 Malawi Kwacha per bottle (that’s 50p to you and me!).
The Worlds Best Dad?
Tim told us, “As for me, Kambuzi is taking care of my family. Who would have thought that Kambuzi is good business? All my kids are in school now because of the returns I get and I can tell you my family is well taken care of”. Tim has eight children at the moment, they’re not all his by birth. You see, every time this generous and kind man makes a little profit from his sauce, he adopts another local orphan so that he can share the huge amounts of love and joy he has.
Now if you visit the townships around Blantyre, you’ll often see Tim with a basket full of WozaWoza, pedalling to see his many customers. Please give him a smile, buy a bottle of sauce and help spread the Cycle of Good.