Passionate entrepreneur

 Linda opens Afro Lounge Kitchen Bar

Running your own business can be a daunting challenge, but this didn’t stop Linda Moemise, who is the co-founder and managing director of Afro Lounge Kitchen Bar, from living her dream.

Situated at the corner of Sisulu and Helen Joseph Street in Pretoria, at the State Theatre, the lounge is a modern afro-centric restaurant and cocktail bar that caters for the business and leisure market. Linda’s motivation to establish her own business is the result of being raised in an entrepreneurial family.

Running your own business can be a daunting challenge, but this didn’t stop Linda Moemise, who is the co-founder and managing director of Afro Lounge Kitchen Bar, from living her dream.

“Having been raised in an entrepreneurial home, I developed an interest in being my own boss. It feels great to be regarded today as an accomplished businesswoman. My upbringing, coupled with my supportive business and life partner, Ashley Moemise, turned our love for entertaining and for quality African food, into a memorable culinary and social experience located in the heart of Pretoria,” said Linda.

Linda’s partner Ashley has extensive experience in customer service and service training, having worked for 13 years at South African Airways. Together they travelled the world and the rest of the continent, sampling exotic flavours wherever they went. Their passion for establishing a restaurant specialising in African food grew until the day they decided to finally open one in the City of Tshwane.

“We wanted to create a restaurant for the modern African to visit for business and leisure while enjoying our diverse cuisine. The name Afro Lounge Kitchen Bar inspires people; and our cuisine and spirit, mingled with the delicious scents from our kitchen, create a comfort zone,” explained Linda.

She further said: “We serve African cuisine and also provide catering services to external clients. Our menu offers options to what we call the Euro-African taste. Our clients include township dwellers, peri-urban and urban, as well as working people in the vicinity of our establishment.”

The business has been in operation for the past four years. “Like any other business we have won and failed many times, but equally importantly, learned invaluable business lessons and grown,” she elaborated.
Starting your own business is always a risk. Linda emphasised that it is very important to cut your losses and focus on activities that keep the business afloat. She said good practice in labour relations is also vital as the staff play a significant role. “To be compliant in all aspects and to network with other segments in business provides us with opportunities, which minimise financial challenges.

“We were introduced to IDF Managers in 2010 via a friend and satisfied beneficiary. Today the business employs 30 full-time staff, thanks to IDF Managers, who invested in us with fixed assets and working capital when we needed it most. There is no doubt that the continued support from IDF Managers gives Afro Lounge Kitchen Bar the right ingredients for sustainable long-term success.”

The venue offers entertainment galore, including Afro-Jazz Thursdays, with local bands performing live. On Fridays and Saturdays party lovers can dance to the beats of resident and celebrity DJs. Afro Lounge Kitchen Bar boasts a lounge on the ground floor, as well as a private Glenlivet Lounge, a dining area in the basement with two private dining rooms called Bakgatla and Morocco, and a courtyard called the Absolut Afro Garden, which is also an entertainment space.

Linda says she’s that both her and her partner’s passion for running a successful business kept her going; she has always wanted to create jobs and serve her customers with pride and dedication.