Reneilwe Marengwa, 39, wanted to be a paediatrician when she was in school, then, she wanted a career in science and chemistry, then a career in Java programming. When she finally found her groove in corporate sales at Momentum and Outsurance, she knew she still wanted to do one more thing – follow her innermost desire and start a restaurant. To that end, after a successful run as a client portfolio manager at Momentum, she established a food and beverage company called Lady on Life.
Her self-confessed “baby” is Lady on Life’s Pink Lemonade, a fruit nectar blend that has all the zing of good old-fashioned lemonade, but with a blush pink hue, thanks to the addition of cranberry juice. According to Marengwa, the best lemonades are a balance of sweetness and tartness – a culinary skill she’s spent years perfecting. The product is sold at various markets across Gauteng for R25 a bottle – look out for it this spring – and it can be found in Barista Love coffee shops too.
Marengwa is a huge Beyoncé fan – but that’s not where the idea for Pink Lemonade came from. After tasting homemade lemonade at a market, she started playing around with making a version in her favourite colour. She’s been making small batches of the drink for her friends and private clients since 2013, and in that time learnt a lot about culinary entrepreneurship.
“The only reason you move forward in entrepreneurship is for the love you have for what you're doing. A normal human being will quit, but as an entrepreneur you need to be comfortable with failure,” she says.
However, she didn’t want to make Pink Lemonade a commercial venture because she felt it needed to have a positive impact first. And so, the philosophy of ‘create your happiness’ was born. Since introducing this way of thinking about Pink Lemonade, she’s been motivated to get her product to the public, and believes the product aligns with the contemporary ‘woke’ consumer.
“I think now with consumer trends – social media is such an important thing. Consumers are becoming wiser with their choices, well informed. You can't fool people as consumers are looking for real value – not what you tell them the value is."
If we can be the Happiness Drink of Africa, I'll be very, very happy
Marengwa has used this as a guiding principle for a variety of entrepreneurial tasks – from conceptualising the bottle design to the product photoshoots. Marengwa keeps the Pink Lemonade packaging simple yet engaging too, with an interactive element that customers love. A little label on the side of the bottle urges the customer to write down what happiness looks like to them.
"If we can be the Happiness Drink of Africa, I'll be very, very happy!"
You can get your hands on a beautiful bottle of Pink Lemonade by messaging Reneilwe Marengwa on 076 194 2522.