YEPI Governors Startup Challenge 2019 Winner

Published On: August 22nd, 2019

“I think what you need is not the money but what you need is the passion and drive that will enable you get to earn (eventually),” is how Anzazi Kiti sums it up.

This is her advice especially for fellow youth aspiring to dive into businesses.

The message aptly captures her own entrepreneurship journey, seeing that she took it up out of passion. “Since my childhood I was the child who was always in the kitchen. So despite my background as an accountant, I decided to shift into my passion which is to spice up kitchens. I found it’s more fulfilling,” she had told panel judges.

Anzazi Kiti, from Kilifi South and founder of Taste Afrique Ltd, is the winner of Governors Startup Challenge (GSC) 2019. She runs a food company dealing in manufacturing, distribution and selling of food seasoning products dubbed Chibundiro and Siri spices.

The Governors Startup Challenge is a program of the Mombasa based Youth Empowerment Programme Initiative (YEPI), and that seeks to stimulate and promote youth led businesses.

There had been 10 finalists representing the best and brightest startups to compete in designing and building entrepreneurial projects that also solve community problems.

Anzazi came up tops to claim the prize award of an equity funding worth 100,000Kes.

Her company is about three years old now and Anzazi has been at the centre of nurturing and navigating it to a path of growth, and now sees the business slowly but surely moving forward with what she terms as the ‘Chibundiro effect’ digging in. The demand is growing, they’re creating employment, sales project a promising trend et cetera.

But what is Chibundiro, you may ask? The natural seasoning product draws its inspiration from the Chonyi (a Mijikenda sub tribe) culture, but with a unique formula skillfully made out of onions, ginger, garlic alongside other organic spices. It comes in three styles in the forms of all purpose seasoning with chilli, non-chilli and mild offerings and packaged from a range of a 10Kes sachet to a 700Kes jar.

Taste Afrique also produces the Siri product series; Siri ya Chai, Siri ya Pilau and Siri ya Mchuzi!

Life in Mombasa had a brief chat with Anzazi:

What made you participate in the GSC?

I saw the commitment of YEPI on this programme and I could feel the vision that the vision bearer was having and decided I want to be part of this noble intervention.

What have you learnt?

I am happy that in the five days of the boot camp I’ve learnt a lot of things that I’ve never learnt in my business journey so far. YEPI has taught me different ways that I can employ to succeed in business, and have also learnt ways to provide community solutions through entrepreneurship.

Why do customers like Chibundiro and not your competitor’s products?

I think there are different tastes and preferences but because Chibundiro is all natural and convenient we are able to impact customer’s lives. So that they save time, save money and also eat natural food.

Describe how the experience for 2019 GSC was?

I feel like it was beyond my expectations and honestly I didn’t expect to win so for me it’s humbling. I thank YEPI.

At first I thought (the boot camp) would be relaxing but it was back-to-back work and quite engaging. So I am really excited to go back to work now and continue the journey of entrepreneurship

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