Charity Prince Jonas is a 23-year-old Tanzanian entrepreneur, founder, and CEO of Kisiwani Taste Natural Food Products, a brand that deals with producing, packaging, and selling of natural food products like natural juices, porridge corn flour, sour milk, yellow ugali corn flour, and brown ugali corn flour.
Born in Tanzania, East Africa, Charity Prince Jonas is a graduate from Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Academy, Zanzibar Campus, where she studied Human Resources Management. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources Management. Inspired by her love for juices and her dislike for artificial sodas because ”they are not good for my health”, in 2020, Charity started a brand she named Kisiwani Taste to produce natural juices. In April 2021, Charity started full operations with her food company Kisiwani Taste Natural Food Products.
The African Dream caught up with Charity Prince Jonas via WhatsApp to tell her inspiring journey to entrepreneurship and asked her questions about her brand/company.
The African Dream: Why the name ‘Kisiwani’?
Charity Prince Jonas: The name ‘Kisiwani’ was inspired by where I was living while starting the brand. I was living on the Island and Kisiwani is a Swahili name for Island.
The African Dream: Before you established Kisiwani Taste, what else were you doing?
Charity Prince Jonas: Before Kisiwani Taste, I tried various entrepreneurship attempts which did not succeed. I used to make and sell natural beauty products but it wasn’t a success, then I established a brand known as CHEZA AFRICA a brand that was making, selling, and advertising African clothes and fashion but it wasn’t a success. And I felt it wasn’t something I really want to do so I quit.
The African Dream: As a young female entrepreneur, what are the challenges you face with your company and how do you manage to overcome some of them?
Charity Prince Jonas: As a young female entrepreneur I face a lot of challenges in my business. The first is financial challenges. While I was starting I had to save money to a larger extent that my life at university became too hard just to make this dream come true. To date, I’m struggling hard to source finances to improve and expand my operations. The second challenge is, sometimes we meet able men who want to help us boost the business but won’t help us unless we agree to have sexual affairs with them which is also a big challenge. Another challenge is poor support from the people we call our own, price fluctuations of the raw materials we use to make our products, etc. Despite all these challenges I always manage to overcome them with the bigger picture I have in my mind; the courage of doing things on my own, and every time I remember the journey that led me to where I am I feel inspired and I refuse to give up.
The African Dream: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Charity Prince Jonas: In the next five years I see Kisiwani Taste as a big brand in Tanzania that serves people’s natural food needs to a high extent but also a brand known outside Tanzania. I see myself as an individual who through the brand will be able to employ many youths in my country and most of all as an inspiration to young girls in making their dreams of owning businesses and brands come true.
The African Dream: What is your advice to young entrepreneurs in Tanzania, and the continent as a whole?
Charity Prince Jonas: My advice to young entrepreneurs in Tanzania is to work hard and smart, always be eager to learn to improve in the field they are working upon. But as an entrepreneur, something that is viewed by others as a problem to them has to be an opportunity to keep innovating. And lastly, they should keep in mind that your fellow entrepreneur can be both a competition and a collaboration depending on times.
The African Dream: What is your message to your customers and potential customers?
Charity Prince Jonas: I would love to tell my customers and clients that I am thankful to them for choosing Kisiwani Taste and we are obliged to offer them the best of healthy and most delicious food services.
Follow Kisiwani Taste on Instagram @kisiwani_taste