If you've been following the blog for a while, you'll know that I share a monthly #gamechanger feature where I showcase individuals that are doing amazing things in various different spaces. I have LOVED sharing the stories of some really inspirational people over the past couple of years, and due to the popularity of the series I have decided to start a similar, but slightly different feature that starting today that will showcase entrepreneurs that are working their bums off to share their services and products with the rest of us.
First up is Sikhumbuzo Nduli (a.k.a. Siko) - professional chef and owner of healthy meal company Lifebite. We were in high-school together and now live on completely opposite sides of the world, but it's funny how social media makes it possible to stay in touch with people over the years. Thinking about it, I remember him mentioning to me that he wanted to pursue the culinary arts sometime back when we were in matric, so it's been great to see him pursue that dream and go on to do some amazing things. I've really enjoyed following along as Siko has gone on to start his own business, and really hope that his story will inspire some of you out there to be courageous and to pursue your dreams!
So, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a doer and a chef - I'm always hungry and most importantly try to live a healthy lifestyle.
What was the catalyst for your personal journey with food and health?
Based on many doccies and books that I read, I eventually grew curious about the benefits and sustainability of healthy food, and let me tell you the benefits of eating great food are incredible!!! When you eat well its almost like you have superpowers, with heightened senses. Everything tastes better, smells better and IT JUST FEELS GOOOD!
How did you get to where you are in your career today?
I started out wanting to travel and work on superyachts, which lead me to work under some of South Africa's top chefs. Here I gained as much knowledge and experience as possible and eventually I found myself working on a cruise ship, which sparked ambitions of starting my own business.
What inspired you to start your small business?
I finally found something I was truly passionate about and realised that society is becoming more conscious about food choices. I started to think about how I could make a difference in the lives of those looking to lead a healthier lifestyle. The number 1 thing everybody is looking for is convenience, and number two having that convenience without many common allergens such as gluten, lactose.
What kind of products do you offer?
We offer healthy delicious meals to go, all that is required of you is to "heat and eat". The pre-prepared meals are free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar.
Anything exciting in the works for your small business over the next year?
We are currently in talks to supply healthy meals to Execucare, who are in partnership with Sandton Aesthetics. We are also hoping to introduce new products to the range including breakfasts, snacks, and smoothies.
Have you done anything you never thought you’d be brave enough to do through this journey?
The fear of failure has always made me tentative - but I've realized that the earth's gravitational pull will always lead you in the right direction, to the right people. Above all bravery lies in action steps taken to get started. I never thought I'd be able to be a business owner and generate an income!
What are your top tips for staying healthy (physically, emotionally, and mentally)?
Running and yoga keep me going back for the endorphins and help me both physically and mentally. Writing tasks down is another one - although it may seem very old school. Compiling lists in order of priority helps keep me mentally focused. Emotionally, I try my best to be as light as a feather in my heart.
What is your favourite go-to meal after a busy day?
A prepared meal from Lifebite :)