Luvuyo Jongile, the co-founder of Mayine Gin – the first black-owned gin brand in Africa, chats to us about his journey in this sector.
By Fundiswa Nkwanyana
I read somewhere that Khayelitsha township in Cape Town is one of the biggest markets for French cognac Hennessy. This awakened me to a business opportunity as I realised that an international company was making money from my community and not uplifting it. I then decided to enter the alcohol sector in order to create a beverage that locals could relate to. I also wanted to give back to the community by uplifting the township economy.
I founded Mayine Gin with my wife, Nodumo. We researched the gin industry and experimented with different infusions and ingredients. We then created two gins – Rooibos Infused Mayine and Grape Mayine. To create a unique African craft gin, we infused traditional herbs such as imphepho. This is available at the competitive price of R290, including delivery around Cape Town.
Funding remains a huge challenge for us. Starting and running a business is very costly, and we still need capital to grow. We hope that consumers will continue to support our business so that it can thrive.
Our ultimate goal is to one day establish the first gin distillery in Khayelitsha. This will help us create jobs and improve our township’s economy. Giving back is important to us, and we believe that a gin distillery in the township will help us do that. We also want to open a restaurant next to the distillery in order to boost tourism in our township.
For more information on where to purchase this proudly African gin, visit www.mayinegin.co.za