When talking about the Spirit of Africa, the name Noni Ditshego pops up regularly. And not only is this with regards to the entrepreneurial spirit of this interesting and creative woman, but also the prize-winning craft spirits (gin) she is making.
Noni and her family in South Africa (SA) had founded an extremely successful gin craft company as they realised that crafted gin was becoming all the rage across the world. As co-founder of Vuttomi Liquids, Noni displays the enterprising spirit found among Africa’s young women and has high hopes for this brand which is taking the world by storm.
Being born into a family of business people, Noni with her excellent fashion sense is definitely different. Today, just as when she was running another business, she stands out from the crowd as she drives the family’s craft gin business towards greater heights.
As Chief Executive Officer of Vuttomi Liquids, a 100% black-owned company in SA, what Noni wanted to see was change. She became that change while setting an example to her peers, staff and clients which are part of the fully interactive way the business is conducted. Noni actively listens to her consumers, giving them what they want and in the process, found a unique marketing mix for her products.
This all-family team ensures that it is not only the creative and marketing side which are top of their agenda, but believes in honest business practices with regards to administration and financial issues. And, being blessed with a charming and born salesperson as a husband, the future for the brand looks bright. Noni herself keeps an eye on the money side, but calls her husband, Douglas, the hands and brain of the organisation. Even her niece and her own daughter, Nono, are part of the winning team. Noni knows that employing her daughter, part of the technology-smart generation, would ensure their social profile is just as important as their products.
A café at a hospital literally served as a stepping stone for Vuttomi Liquids to see the light. When the hospital and the café closed down, this business savvy family redirected their finances towards a new brand. They used all their profits from the café to finance their unique craft gin enterprise.
The family’s vision for the future is to sell their products internationally and break into new local markets. But as Noni was quoted in an African magazine, the original relationships with their customers who became part of the company’s growth and vision would always be part of them.
Being a strong African woman who knows her own mind, Noni does not only want to be an example of a successful business woman, but wishes to be a role model in all aspects of life to women in general.
Her advice to women of all ages is to grab every opportunity and set high standards for themselves, work hard and enjoy your successes because women are worth it.
Nonhlanhla (Noni) Ditshego is an inspiration to her own children who would one day follow in her footsteps.