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Have a taste of this yogurt and you should be forgiven for throwing away any other yogurt you may have tasted before. “Is this yogurt an ice-cream?” asked a four-year old boy after enjoying several drinks. He is told it’s yogurt but he is confusing it for his favourite ice-cream. No wonder it has been given a fitting name—Molleloa—that which you cry for.

Everyone is crying for this yogurt made by a team of mostly National University of Lesotho (NUL) graduates represented by Mrs ‘Marethabile Jane.

And the really good news is that Mollelloa is now available in Maseru. Check it out at Basia Bakery – Ha Matala, Naleli Filling Station – Ha Motšoeneng, Lekhaloaneng Cash and Carry – Lekhaloaneng, Mpeoa Supermarket – Khubetsoana, ‘Na le Uena General Cafe – Ha Thetsane.

In time, it will be distributed all over Maseru, around Lesotho and beyond. The aim is to bring a stiff challenge to South African brands not only here in Lesotho but also right there in South Africa. The race has begun!

(Be part of innovation, join NUL Innovation Hub’s PhuthaLichaba, the future bank of the People, here: www.phuthalichaba.com)

You got it right. This is not the first attempt at making yogurt in Lesotho. No! However, this is the first dead serious attempt at producing at large scale, an exclusively tasty professional yogurt.

Here is why.

Contrary to what you may have been told, making yogurt, a really good yogurt, is not for the fainthearted. Making it at large scale from scratch, as these folks did, is seventeen times harder. Listen to those who know what they are talking about, “we spent five full years laying the groundwork for Molleloa,” ‘Marethabile said.

The secret ingredient here is not only the yogurt. It is the key processing machinery that goes along with the yogurt.

And wait for this one…they made that key processing equipment too.

And that’s where they killed it.

While previous local attempts at making fine yogurt are commendable, they have fallen short in one key factor— backing up their efforts with locally-made machinery. “The machinery for making good professional yogurt does not come cheap if you’re going to import it,” ‘Marethabile said. That’s why otherwise nice well-meaning local brands have remained in the closet, hardly making any dent on the local market.

“Molleloa is meant to be different,” she added. “Because we are making our own critical equipment, the idea is to make scaling up of production less of a headache.”

But the most amazing thing was how the machinery itself evolved along with the yogurt. “You won’t believe it but the kind of yogurt we wanted informed how we designed the machinery and how we designed the machinery informed the kind of yogurt we wanted. The two sort of grew together.”

So what do people think of Molleloa?

“It is in its own class,” said one enthusiast after having a taste. “The looks, the texture, the taste…they’re outta this world. I’m afraid, the foreign yogurt brands we so much respect in Lesotho may as well find their death nail on Molelloa.”

This achievement did not come by chance.

Good things don’t come by chance.

Other than that every drop of this yogurt is brewed with passion and care, and tried and tested, ‘Marethabile said its making invited some of the best minds in Food Technology and Engineering in Lesotho. “We recruited a number of passionate NUL graduates and graduates from institutions as varied as Fokothi and the University of Cape Town (UCT) who put their minds and resources together.”

The best foods, she said, start with a choice of great ingredients and that is where they started.

But that was just the beginning.

How they were going to play around with those ingredients would separate them from amateurs out there. “You want a refined taste, a repeatable taste, a simple yet appetizing taste.

All these you get in one package in the delicacy that is Mollelloa.

Processing conditions is the last nail on the coffin—the proverbial cherry on top. If you are going to buy a processing machine from somebody else, you are not only likely to pay a hefty price to get it, “you are going to miss on the most important part, which is; having a say on the kind of processing conditions you want. The ability to control these conditions to the finest detail separates good food brands from the “also-run” brands in the market.So what’s next for Molleloa? Although it is already in the market with a limited edition, plans are under way to massively ramp up production by creating a big factory, and then more factories.

Meanwhile, you can enjoy the delicacy that is Molleloa and feel like you are a King, or a Queen—at least for a moment.

You will never regret it!

(Be part of innovation, join NUL Innovation Hub’s PhuthaLichaba, the future bank of the People, here: www.phuthalichaba.com)

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