Women’s Month Feature: Food For Thought

By Vanessa Papas


Beautiful. Nurturing. Compassionate. Ambition. Powerful. Women across the world are rising stronger than ever before. We have today a far cry from simply being ‘a man’s world’. In celebration of National Women’s Day on 9 August, we take a look at some amazing women who, despite their disabilities, have risen beyond imagination and become a force to be reckoned with.


Mikie Monoketsi

Mikie Monoketsi knows what it is like to have nothing, to have lost everything and to have to start again.

Growing up in a poverty-stricken Kimberley township, at 13, in order to have food and a small income, Mikie started cooking street food for the patrons of her grandmother’s shebeen, making butterscotch and selling tobacco for a small mark up in her community. This meant she no longer went hungry and did not have to walk the 7km to school and back every day. Her innate entrepreneurial spirit filled her lunch box and gave her taxi money.

When a venture in the formal business sector failed, Mikie returned to her roots, opening a street shop in Cosmo City. Here she cooked and sold simple food to passers-by, making a very modest profit for hours and hours of hard work. Although she enjoyed her time in this community, Mikie yearned for bigger ventures and wanted to make a difference in the lives of others, rather than merely supply meals. So she began researching ways to improve the body’s functioning and discovered age-old natural remedies found in a range of herbs and spices. This was the birth of Mamas Herbs and Spices, a proudly South African company.

Last year, an international company noticed the Flat Stomach range and approached Mamas Herbs and Spices, offering the opportunity of expanding into the international market. Again, this venture has been a huge success with testimonials of people who have transformed their lives being received regularly.