African Deli Kitchen: African specialties in the heart of the business of three Zimbabwean ladies living in Cape Town

Tasty meatballs, special recipes to enjoy chicken and beef combined with rice, spaghetti or veggies, crunchy fish and chips, delicious magwinya. This is the business of Mercy, Mavelous e Nyaradzai, three Zimbabwean women who are coping with their first entrepreneurial activity: the food catering “African Deli Kitchen”, which serves food from different African countries on a daily basis.

It was launched in April 2016 thanks to their strong will to become economically independent, but also thanks to the support of Women’s Platform of Scalabrini Centre, which provides training courses and mentoring in business development for women, as well as practical advice about how to create a new profitable business.

Mercy, Mavelous and Nyaradzai live in Cape Town, where they run this business. Long time ago they left Zimbabwe to find better living conditions. In the last years they have worked hard to learn English, to integrate in Cape Town and to conceive a reliable business plan.

Demonstrating resilience, they have turned the knowledge of other African countries’ cuisines into an opportunity to reach their economic independence. Furthermore, they also care about trends and tastes of regular customers to improve the business: “In the last months we have modified our menu, introducing fish and vegetarian dishes, in order to meet different clients’ needs” says Mercy, cooking a mix of peppers, broccoli and spices.

Less than one year later, the venture is producing incomes.

Their first and still faithful clients are taxi drivers stationed at different locations of Cape Town, coming from Congo and Zimbabwe. Recently they have targeted new clients as bricklayers working in construction sites, workers in the City Bowl area of Cape Town, employees of Scalabrini Centre (where African Deli Kitchen has its headquarter), associations and organisations looking for food catering and banquets. They have also developed a wider marketing strategy in order to attract clients interested in enjoying African flavours at affordable prices. “The relation between cost and quality of the food is right”, explains Mavelous, “It lets us retain old clients and conquer new ones”.

In fact, African Deli Kitchen runs from 15 meals to 40 meals average sold per day. So our three ambitious ladies are planning to enlarge the business and are looking for one more lady to hire.

“African Deli Kitchen gave us the opportunity to turn our passion for cooking, something that we usually do for our family, into an opportunity for business”, comments Nyaradzai, “Now we want to give the same opportunity to other women interested, like us, in developing their cooking and business skills, as well as their capability to cooperate as a team”.

Portraits of entrepreneur ladies: passion for food, passion for business


Mavelous is a Zimbabwean national stemming from Mutate. She is a passionate cook and in her spare time she also enjoys reading novels, going to church and socialising with women in social media groups. Mavelous would like to see the kitchen grow, as this is her main goal for 2017. Also, she would love to see more women empowered thanks to this new vibrant business.


Nyaradzai is a Zimbabwean national stemming from Gweru. She is best known as Catherine. During her spare time she enjoys watching TV, sleeping, going out with her kids and baking. She hopes the future holds some great surprises for her. Her dream is to see the African Deli kitchen grow and become a restaurant over the next two years. Also, she wants to empower other women, supporting them in the starting up of their business! Nyaradzai is a very calm and focused person, don’t miss the chance to come watch her cook professionally at African Deli!


Mercy is a Zimbabwean national coming from Harare. Apart from cooking she enjoys fishing, reading novels, playing soccer and spending time with kids at the local orphanage. She defines herself as a go-getter and a very passionate person, especially keen on cooking. She is an enthusiastic woman and her dreams for the future include seeing her kitchen business expand, allowing the youth to enter the business through new opportunities that will arise as a consequence of this expansion. Mercy is a great team member and working with her is always fun.



African Deli Kitchen is in 47, Commercial Street, Cape Town

Further information on Facebook @African Deli


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