Multiple businessman goes from music, to food, then jazz and events and now beverages
By Sheilla Mapani
To dream it’s one thing. But to passionately follow that dream to fruition is quite another game altogether. And not many people have realised their dreams in their lifetimes.
But for Ndowa Simba Saini “Samanyanga” – a multi-skilled Zimbabwean living in Cape Town, he did it once as a musician -cum- music promoter.
Now once more, he is on the cusp of achieving yet another dream of becoming an international wine producer. It is all systems go as he is set to launch a new wine brand – Saini Wines – later this year.
The brand – named after him – was initially scheduled to hit shelves last year but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I will be launching the wine this year though it was supposed to be already available. Bt the lockdowns and Covid affected us,” Saini said. “I am sure the distribution process will be in two months time or less if all goes well,” he said.
As a new entry to the market they are going to stock a variety of flavours, of which there will be premium red fruit flavour of note.
The musician-cum-promoter-cum-bandleader and now wine aficionado said the wine will be readily available both locally and in the diaspora.
“The target market is our people especially in Zimbabwe and the UK so that we provide good quality and affordable wine to them,’ Saini said.
As a marketing strategy, Saini said he would rope in fellow Zimbabwean artists to help promote the brand. “I will be working with a few artists from Zimbabwe to promote the brand,” he added.
For Simba, producing and owning a wine brand has been a long-running dream from childhood. “It has been my dream since childhood that at some point I would want to have my own brand of wine and after years of staying in Cape Town and learning about it, I thought finally this is the time,” he said.
Simba bemoaned the wave of Coronavirus that buffeted the world for close to two years as it hindered progress for both new and established businesses outfits.
“As newcomers, we were affected badly just like every business,” he said.
“We should have hit the shelves last year so we are trying to go with the plans though it’s still tough especially for new businesses,” he added.
Despite the ravages of the pandemic, Simba however remains optimistic. “Every business is about persuing your dreams and the sky is not even the limit,” he said.
For one who has been exposed to the wine-making industry for a very long time, Simba is aware that for the business to take off the ground, there is a need to put in a lot of effort and it is no child’s play.
“There is a big competition in the wine industry and worse the biggest wine consumers are mostly white and they do support their fellow kinsmen which is why we are targeting our people as well,” he said.
“I am sure Saini wines will be an option to our wine-loving people. It will be of good quality and affordable,” he said.
As a new kid on the block, Simba said Saini wines will be a combination of wine and music.
It will be pushed largely by many of the different artists to their fans and fans in turn will share it with their friends and everyone will become part of Saini wines enjoying the great taste from the mountains of the Cape, he added.
Simba burst on the scene as a musician in Cape Town before becoming a music promoter. “I discovered that music is business which you can incorporate with other brands”, he said.
“As I was on this journey, you know music is unpredictable and one cannot rely on it, so I thought to myself how can I grow a brand that will sustain me? I started with a tour company then later on Saini Wines all under one umbrella,” he said.
“The idea was if I can have one successful brand it shall help the rest to grow,” he added.
Simba Saini is not the first Zimbabwean resident in South Africa to venture into winemaking.
Joseph Dhafana of Mosi Wines has been making in-roads in the industry since 2018 having discovered the art of winemaking by sheer chance working as a barman in the Wellington.
Tinashe Nyamudoka of Kumusha Wines has had a brilliant run on the market having launched the brand in 2017, himself starting off as a wine waiter to end up competing in the World Wine Tasting Championship.
The wine-making industry is a cut-throat sector with fierce competition. It is characterised by exclusion, segregation and exploitation of mainly black participation as white-owned businesses run the show.
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