The packaging of Vusi Mokoena’s Mavusana Premium Rooibos is its foremost attractive quality that usually gets people talking. It is the refined design with a notable African print that they resonate and are impressed with. This affinity is one of the major reasons Vusi started his rooibos business. The objective was to come up with a tea brand that South Africans could relate to. He feels there is no rooibos brand that our people can associate with.
“I’ve always loved rooibos tea and I realised that it’s the people’s favourite too, but few are aware of its health benefits or that it is grown only in South Africa,” Vusi says. “I saw an opportunity to develop a high-quality rooibos blend that is still affordable and is branded in a way that celebrates the beauty of the product and the South African people. The name and design of the packaging was chosen so that more people can relate to it in South Africa. It is the people’s cup of tea.”
Mavusana is an endearing, popular nickname given to anyone named Vusi in black communities. Vusi means “to awaken or to rebuild”. With it, the entrepreneur owns his name and affirms his wish to reinvent what rooibos means to South Africans, especially to his community.
Vusi is from Kayamandi, a township in Stellenbosch. He is passionate about empowering communities, starting with his own. He set his rooibos dream in motion last year while working with a local tea supplier to develop a special blend of Mavusana Premium Rooibos.
He sells the tea door-to-door in Kayamandi and affords entrepreneurs across the country the opportunity to sell the tea in their communities for a source of income during tough times. A box of 40 tea bags retails at R40. You can also order Mavusana Premium Rooibos online.
Starting the business has been a learning experience. “People’s needs must be met at all times. What I am learning and witnessing is that people are specific about what they want from their tea. This is why we (as the Mavusana team) should keep up with the times and deliver on people’s expectations,” Vusi says.
He describes himself as a writer at heart and speaks highly of his family, especially his two older sisters who form part of his support system. Vusi currently works at a local pharmacy and hopes to grow Mavusana Premium Rooibos to be a fully-fledged business.
Looking ahead, he says: “We are now focusing on marketing and distribution: approaching shops and organisations to stock our tea, and using social media to make sure that everyone in the country knows about Mavusana Rooibos Tea. We are also planning to expand into new flavours and herbal blends, and develop products specifically for the hospitality industry, such as individually wrapped teabags and loose tea.”