Zimbabwean Teen Valentine Shoti, "Mai Dovi", Shares her Success Story with YouthUp
“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.”~ Orison Swett Marden
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
My name is Valentine Shoti. I am a 23years old Zimbabwean. I am popularly known as Mai Dovi when translated means ” Miss Peanut Butter !!! ” l am an orphan. On instance of my parents demise at the age of 14years, I naturally became the head of my family as I am the eldest of 3siblings; my two little sisters 9 and 6 years old and in addition a caregiver and provider to my 84 years old grandmother who stays with us as she was sick. She had diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis.
What motivated you the most during this time?
Barely a child traumatized by recent happenings and burdened to raise and provide for my younger siblings and sick grandmother, I was constantly buried in my thoughts. It was very hard for me. Restless in the day and troubled at night with the need to start earning some money to pay my sisters’ school fees, our monthly rentals , food and medication for my grandmother, I invented the first ever herbal and flavored peanut butter in Zimbabwe.
Tell us more about “Mai Dovi”?
l am well known as Mai Dovi a nickname when translated means “Miss Peanut Butter” , a nickname that eventually turned out to be a vibrant Herbal Peanut butter Brand. The brand name was gained after i invented the first ever herbal and flavored peanut butter in Zimbabwe.
I invented Organut Herbal Peanut Butter at the age of 14years when i was in form 2 at Zengeza High School, in a bid to create a new product made with vital herbal plants which will be highly nutritious as well as extraordinarily delicious .
How would you describe your motivation towards building Organut?
The motivation behind this new product is to create a healthy herbal product that is very healthy to improve my grandmother’s health as l could not afford to buy her medication regularly, this was my only way of ensuring that her health was always in-check by cooking and preparing meals with the new Organut peanut butter product everyday as it’s a very high nutrient and herbal supplement . At first my grandmother could not withstand the bitter and unpleasant smell of herbs while chewing it directly, this motivated me to invent herbal peanut butter which turned out to be a new delicious product that she became eager to eat and her health drastically improved. Afterwards she rarely became very sick that required her being constantly admitted in the hospital. This reduced her medical expenses that l regularly had to cater for before the invention of the new product.
How did you make sales?
Gradually I started introducing this product at my school and community, it was well received. A lot of people liked it , this was how people started calling me Mai Dovi and l became so popular .
How would you describe your Business Venture and your experience so far?
I registered my business as the Founder and CEO of Organut manufactures Pvt Limited Company . I was spurred on by local and National newspapers who described Organut as an amazing wonder. In their words, “it was something never heard of or done before that herbal plants could produce butter” . I went on to young Scientists Competitions and won 20 merits awards from District up to National level !
Where do you see your Brand in the next 5 years and can you share your last words here?
With Organut my aim was to provide a product that is 100% organic and of positive health benefit to the consumers. I want to transform health by bringing in reformative formulas. I believe what we eat determines our lifespan. Together we can eat better and maintain good health. My products come in variety of flavours, something which has never been done before in our country and in Africa at large. For this new invention I received special recognition from YETT, Youth Connect Zimbabwe, Research Council of Zimbabwe through the International Research Symposium, UNDP, CBZ Youth Entrepreneurship Program and various others. I would love to take my business to the greatest heights and would welcome any developmental support I can get in order to make this happen. As a youth, I believe my future and that of my siblings is in my hands.