MASERU – Reaboka Monakane, popularly known as ‘Donut Queen’, sees herself as a business tycoon and a business entrepreneur who is set to own the biggest coffee and doughnut shop in the not so distant future. Reaboka is practically a self-taught baker, but with the knowledge of food and nutrition which she studied in the last two years of high school she has the basics. Currently she is a third year BA Sociology degree student at the National University of Lesotho.
She makes ring doughnuts with different flavour coatings including chocolate, caramel, vanilla, strawberry and homemade icing sugar which makes the doughnuts incredibly scrumptious. Reaboka plans to introduce more flavours soon. She also makes twisted doughnuts with vienna or cheese sandwiches for those who don’t have a sweet tooth. “When I started this business, the doughnuts were nice for a first try but as I kept making them I noticed the difference that they were not just nice but they were mouth-watering, so I can say there has been a development in my skills because now I make the best doughnuts ever tasted,” she added.
The 21-year-old from the small village of Phamong in Mohale’s Hoek started her business in July 2021 after she visited her father in South Africa. She was exposed to reading books on business and self-employment books which she believes opened her mind and re-directed her into business. “I will not say I consider myself a professional baker since I do not have the necessary baking qualifications but I do consider myself a great doughnut maker in town since I believe it is a gift that God gave me at birth.
“I would say my trade, my passion for doughnuts is influenced by the fact that I want an extraordinary future for myself and my son,” she says. She also believes her strength lies in the love she has for what she does. “I love my business with my whole heart, and the faith that I have and of course the passion and, honestly, my inspiration comes from Dunkin Donut Shop in America.” Her target market is mostly students from NUL and other surrounding high schools because she saw it is a necessary snack for them. She also says the demand is very high with customers using WhatsApp to place orders.
“I sometimes get WhatsApp texts asking for donuts at around 10 and 11 pm which is good but the sales are quite challenging considering that I am multi-tasking business and school and both of them demand the same attention and come with the same load of pressure at the same time but I try my best to make sure my customers are satisfied.”
“In terms of market growth there is little development since I introduced ‘smart packages’ which contain four doughnuts for M25 and I opened a page on Facebook called ‘Pretty Avery Doughnuts’ where I update my customers on a daily basis,” she notes
Reaboka says her biggest challenge is that she is still a student and doing this kind of business along with studies is rather taxing. The other challenge is since it is still a very small business growing slowly you find that sometimes they have one flavour or two. “I have not attended any food exhibitions but it is one of our goals in business to display our products at a professional exhibition. “However, I see my business by July 2026 having grown into a professional Doughnut and Coffee shop in a sophisticated building and the necessary equipment and employees to keep it moving since one of my desires is to provide jobs for Basotho.
“I see myself as a business tycoon and a successful entrepreneur, I also see myself as a motivational speaker on my journey to success and I also see myself as an investor in small business helping little entrepreneurs like me to grow. With faith I hope to accomplish all this in 10 years to come,” she concludes.