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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Malawi's Sungeni Mtalimanja - The Lawyer Turned Cake Maker

 Meet Malawi's Sungeni Mtalimanja, the young woman behind the baking business, Sweet Temptations by Sungeni.  Driven by passion, this young entrepreneur said crafting yummy baked goods was not something she had ever envisaged. A trained lawyer, Mtalimanja had been working as a lawyer for a number of years when one day in late 2012 she began helping her sister-in-law bake desserts. She was instantly hooked.

"I never knew I had this passion for cakes," she says. "Sometimes a passion comes from the comments that people make, if people say, 'this is great, this is awesome,' you're inclined to do more, you want to explore more and you want to improve on it," adds Mtalimanja. So last year, she decided to turn her passion for cake making into something bigger. Without having any formal training in baking, she launched Sweet Temptations by Sungeni, all the while keeping her full-time law job. "It wasn't easy," recalls the 30-year-old entrepreneur. "I worked late nights and was up very early for a period of six months."

Word spread out and orders started piling in, Mtalimanja decided to make Sweet Temptations her priority and main source of income. She quit her law job and focused on her business full time. "The industry is quite booming at the moment," she says. "Cakes are very popular. It wasn't like that before; before you could only see those cakes when you were celebrating your birthday but now it's like for any kind of celebration, whether it'd be a bridal shower, birthday, graduation or someone who is coming home for the first time after a long time, everyone wants to get into that mood of having a cake."

Although still at the beginning, Mtalimanja has high hopes about her startup's future. "I want a coffee shop," she says. "I want a nice place, a cozy shop where I can have my own coffee shop and serve the cakes that I make, that's my future plan, that's what I want to do."

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