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The business of ice-cream



MASERU – WITH just M150, Tšitso Moshoeshoe started a small-time business selling ice cream from a bucket on the streets in 2016.

Today, he sees himself graduating into the big time and becoming an ice cream entrepreneur of note after moving his business into a big building.

Moshoeshoe is the founder and the manager of Big Belly Ice Cream located in Khubetsoana.

The business has diversified from serving simple ice cream flavours in the streets to a variety of ice cream flavours that include chocolate, strawberry, vanilla and Neapolitan.

The Big Belly Ice Cream does not only come in various flavours, it also entices customers by providing for their desired personal tastes ranging from sour to sweet.

“I proudly tailor-make flavours to suit my customers’ desired tastes,” said Moshoeshoe who grew up in Leribe.

The business also has a mobile division, serving at events such as kids’ festivals.

Moshoeshoe said he was lucky to be hired at one of the Ocean Basket branches from 2012 to 2014.

This was after he completed his Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (COSC) at Leribe High School in 2012 from Leribe High School.

“It was during that time at Ocean Basket that I was privileged to work in different departments. I got the opportunity to work as a bartender where I was mixing drinks, milkshakes and also adding some toppings on desserts.

I was quite good at it,” recalled Moshoeshoe, who enrolled at IBC College in 2013 under a Business studies programme.

He said he used his job at Ocean Basket to execute what he was learning in class in terms of customer service.

“It helped a lot. It evoked my passion for selling,” said Moshoeshoe.

Moshoeshoe says he ventured into a partnership with one of his friends to run a car wash business called Ching Chillas in 2015 after obtaining a Diploma in Business Studies.

The following year, he decided to start something independent of his friends.

“We had about M300 from the car wash business which we had to share among the three of us.”

“I then sat down and thought hard about what I would do next, I had to come up with a plan that would generate income as a newly unemployed graduate,” said Moshoeshoe.

He said he then remembered how people used to like ice cream while he was still working at Ocean Basket.

“After doing my research I found out that there were a few people selling it,” he said, adding that one of his major motivations to establish a business was to avoid being idle since he was not ready to be employed.

“It has been my dream to run a business that creates jobs,” he said.

“Through the research I conducted, I found out that I would need a product which would not limit me.

I then looked through products which had a broad target market, one that would accommodate every gender regardless of age. So ice cream seemed to be perfect for me,” he says.

Moshoeshoe says he then invested his last M150 to stock 2 litres of farmhouse ice cream from Shoprite and 5 litres from Econo.

He said he has been selling his ice cream at Khubetsoana Lerakong stop for the past six years, adding that the market was receptive when he started his business.

“Everyone wanted to have my ice cream,” said Moshoeshoe, adding that he was also privileged to be a member of Nala market where he gained a lot of popularity.

He said he would store his stock in his home fridge and go with just a few litres to his selling space since he was working from an open space.

He said it was challenging to take his stock to his working space and take it back home every day.

“My friends would sometimes help me while sometimes I would have to take the stock on my own.”

“I would run the whole day to collect the ice cream from my home when I ran out of stock,” he said, recalling his challenges as a street vendor.

He said he would sometimes lose customers as a result, fuelling his dream to operate from a building.

“It was not a stroll in a park but I refused to give up on my dream. My ambition and skills on spending habits have been the pillar to my business success. As small as it was, I knew that I had to separate the business and my personal wallet.

We have to separate ourselves from the business and its assets,” he said.

Through this business, Moshoeshoe says he was able to pay himself a salary which would cover most of his living expenses and allow the business to make savings.

He says through the business savings, he was able to buy a vehicle which made his work even easier as he was able to deliver ice cream to events.

“I was also able to pay lobola through this business and now I have a family of my own,” said Moshoeshoe proudly.

He said he has witnessed massive growth in his business, as he is not only serving individual customers, but is also contracted by big companies such as Vodacom and Letshego when they have functions.

As one of his longtime dreams, Moshoeshoe says he managed to employ a permanent employee.

He says he is also seeking to help idle high school boys to help them avoid getting involved in criminal activities by running errands for him during weekends or during school holidays.

Despite his achievements, Moshoeshoe says the major challenge in his line of business is that it is seasonal.

He says the business is very slow in winter because some people don’t eat ice-cream when it is cold.

Regarding the future, Moshoeshoe dreams of manufacturing his own ice cream and exporting it to other countries.

“I want to see my business grow to become an ice cream franchise as well as establish a candy shop,” he said.

Refiloe Mpobole

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[BREAKING NEWS] Lebona sets curfew



MASERU– In an effort to curb the rampant increase of homicides in Lesotho, the Minister of Police Lebona Lephema has announced a 10:00pm-4:00am curfew, effective Tuesday May 16, 2023. Failure to comply with the curfew attracts a 2 years imprisonment or a fine.

Staff Reporter

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Two nurses deleted for misconduct



MASERU – A Kolonyama midwife, ’Mamalibeng Ralenkoane, who allegedly neglected a woman during labour has been deleted from the nurses’ register for the next six months.

The woman went on to deliver her baby by herself without professional assistance.

In another case the secretary-general of the Lesotho Nursing Council (LNC), ’Mamonica Makhoswonke Mokhesi, has also been deleted for violating a patient’s privacy.

The LNC’s disciplinary chairman, Advocate Rapapa Sepiriti, said Ralenkoane had committed an act of serious misconduct and deserved severe punishment.

Advocate Sepiriti ruled that Ralenkoane “should not be seen anywhere attending (to) patients”.

Ralenkoane was working as a midwife at the Little Flower Health Centre in Kolonyama, Leribe, when ’Mateboho Letlala was admitted there for labour in August 2020.

Letlala told the panel that Ralenkoane took her to the examination room and later left her despite that there were signs that she could give birth anytime.

“At 19:00 pm Ralenkoane examined the patient but left her unattended and the patient had to deliver on her own,” Advocate Sepiriti said in his verdict.

“Clearly the blame has to be put at the door of Ralenkoane,” he said.

Adv. Sepiriti ruled that she should be deleted with immediate effect for 12 months, half of which was suspended.

“During these six months period, Ralenkoane is prohibited in any way from attending patients and this judgment should be delivered at her place of work,” he said.

Letlala in her testimony said by the time Ralenkoane arrived, she was already having severe labour pains and was told to go to the labour ward for assessment.

She said when she stepped down the labour bed Ralenkoane said to her: “Ua seke ua tatela ho hema empa molomo oa popelo o buleile ka 3cm’ (meaning she seemed to be in a hurry yet the cervix had opened by 3cm only).

“I was so surprised because I could feel I was very close to delivering because this was my second child and I could say I have experience,” she said.

She said she told the nurse that she needed to use the toilet but was instructed to use a pan instead.

“As she left me on the bed pan I could not stand from the pan as the pains were severe. I called for help but to no avail,” she said.

She said the moment she got energy to stand from the bed pan she saw blood, she called her but there was no response.

“Ralenkoane promised to come after two hours but there were no instructions on what to do in case I needed help prior to two hours,” she said.

“I wheeled myself to the bed and sat on it, still calling to no avail.”

She said while still alone, her membranes raptured and the time of birth came and the baby was delivered.

“The child did not fall as I was able to hold him,” she said.

She phoned her aunt who told her to find s scissor to cut the umbilical cord.

She said she bled a lot and ran out of energy, then Ralenkoane arrived at around midnight.

“When she came in she asked where the baby was and I pointed to where I had put him where he clamped the cord,” she said.

She said it was then that she got assistance.

The investigator for Professional Conduct Committee (PCC), one Nteso, told Advocate Sepiriti that his findings were that “the mother’s life was in danger as she was found having bled heavily and tired and the baby’s life was also in danger from prolonged exposure which could lead to hypothermia and brain damage”.

“Ralenkoane was not there for the mother until she delivered in the absence of the midwife, this is a case of negligence,” he said.

However, in mitigation Ralenkoane said this was her first time to appear before the panel and has been a nurse for more than nine years.

She said she has two children to support and she has already been punished by the clinic as she was dismissed and that she has policies and loans.

She pleaded with the panel to have mercy on her.

In another case Mokhesi who was the Secretary General of LNC was also deleted from the register for two years after she was found guilty of sharing a patient’s picture on social media without their consent.

She was accused of defamation of character and violating the patient’s privacy by posting pictures of the injuries he had incurred.

’Malimpho Majoro

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Nurses back at work



MASERU -NURSES who have been on strike since Monday are set to resume work this morning after the government started paying their salaries.

The nurses went on a go-slow last week but escalated to a full-fledged strike on Monday after the government delayed their salaries. Some nurses claimed they had not been paid since March.

Morephe Santi, the secretary general of the Lesotho Nurses’ Association (LNA), said they have started telling members to go back to work after the government said the salaries will start reflecting in their accounts last night.

The strike has inflicted huge reputational damage on Prime Minister Sam Matekane’s government which came to power on promises of efficiency.

Minister of Public Service Richard Ramoeletsi blamed the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) and the Human Resource Management System (HRMS) for the delay in April salaries.

Ramoeletsi told parliament last week that the two financial management systems were unable to reconcile, leading to delays in salaries.

But that explanation was little consolation for patients who bore the brunt of the strike.

At least 20 expectant mothers at Machabeng Hospital in Qacha’s Nek were told to go home because nurses could not help them.

Some of the women were later admitted at Tebellong Hospital, a facility under the Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL).

“We were staying at the hospital’s roundavel awaiting our time to go to labour but on Thursday afternoon (last week we were called by the nurses and they told us to go to other hospitals or go back home,” said Maretlotliloe Mpeli, who is heavily pregnant.

She said the nurses told them that they could not work on empty stomachs.

’Matlotla Poling, 19, from Ha-Rankakala said she had to call her parents because she did not have any money to either go back home or to Tebellong Hospital.

The Machabeng Hospital management declined to comment, referring thepost to the ministry’s headquarters in Maseru.

Ministry of Health spokesperson, ’Mateboho Mosebekoa, said Machabeng Hospital “did not expel the expecting mothers but merely sent them back home”.

“Due to the ongoing strike by doctors countrywide …they decided to take those women to the places where they would get help,” Mosebekoa said.

There was similar anguish at Queen ’Mamohato Memorial Hospital.

“The strike has affected all the departments including the kitchen, maternity, and emergencies, but the managers are on duty,” said ’Makananelo Sepipi, the hospital’s spokesperson.

Sepipi said managers were forced to hold the forte “because some sections cannot be left unattended utterly due to their importance”.

“The operations are happening in the emergency section, even though they do not operate in a normal way.”

She said patients whose operations were scheduled for this week were sent back home.

Santi, the LNA’s secretary general, blamed the government for the chaos caused by the strike.

Santi said as much as the government likes to call them an essential service they do not prioritise their ministry.

“They do not appreciate us, it is like they do not see the importance of our job,” Santi said.

“The government turns a blind eye to the fact that our working environment alone can put us at risk of contracting diseases.”

“Now we are not able to buy food and other necessities.”

Nkheli Liphoto & Thooe Ramolibeli

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