Thursday, July 13

Mahlatse Ramatseba



IRVIN Mashele (38) is a cunning man. He sells atchar wearing a suit to attract his customers every day at the corner of  Molefe Makinta Highway.

The SunTeam met up with him between Block W and V in Soshanguve.

He was nicely dressed as if he was going for an important meeting or to work in an office.

He was singing “Monate atchar" to every motorists that passed on the road.

Taxi drivers, passengers  even pedestrians could not wait to get their hands on the 500g containers filled with his atchar sold at R20 each.

They called him 'Mnandi atchar' and said they buy from him because his atchar is rich in spice, cheap and can be eaten with any meal.

Irvin told Daily Sun that he has been selling it at that corner for the past six months.

He said the idea of dressing nicely to attract his customers came to him after he realized that people preferred to buy from neat sellers.

"Most of my customers are women. Some after they buy, they ask to take a selfie with me and that made me popular. I feel like a celebrity," he said.

He said he started selling his product in 2015, blowing a whistle on the streets.

"People responded to the whistle, thinking that maybe there was a meeting in the area. After they gathered, I gave them a spoonful of my atchar to taste and from there onwards they placed orders," he said.

He said he then sold from house to house.

"I decided to stand at this corner so that my customers will be able to reach me," he said.

Irvin said he buys his atchar raw from Marabastad.

But he refused to tell the SunTeam the ingredients he mixes it with saying it was his secret which he got from a friend.

He said on a good day he takes home R1 500.

"I also receive tips from customers who appreciates the way I dress," he said.

He said he was able to buy a bakkie with the profit he made from selling his atchar.

"My plan is to register my business, create employment for the unemployed and supply big stores.

"I would also like to see my business expand to Lesotho, Botswana, Bloemfontein and Nelspruit," he said.

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