Bayede!, a wine brand produced under a social entrepreneurship initiative endorsed by King Goodwill Zwelithini has broken into the massive Chinese market via Wal Mart, in what could prove to be a black economic empowerment (BEE) fairytale.
Dubbed South Africa’s first royal brand, the wine company has signed a supply agreement with Wal Mart China. The brand name, Bayede! was taken from a Zulu word, Bayede! which means ‘Hail the King’.
The deal with Wal Mart may also come to address the misgivings that certain groups within the South African public had about the entry of the US retail giant into the local market.
Bayede!’s CEO Antoinette Vermooten says the volumes of the wine orders from China are significant and the company is hoping to make new shipments every 3 months.
“At the moment there are 35 242 bottles of Bayede! wine on order for China; this will help our job creation project to expand significantly, resulting in more job opportunities for the unemployed and particularly for women,” explains Antoinette.
The social enterprise said Bayede! was gradually becoming recognized for its BEE and job creation. The company’s products are styled as luxury brands through infusion of handcrafted finishings on the packaging. The wine is decorated with beadwork crafted by rural women from Kwazulu-Natal (KZN) and the Western Cape.
“So far there are six different beading groups throughout South Africa that create bead embellishment for the Bayede! wine bottles. It is our plan to see these groups increase in numbers, and we also hope to start new beading groups in other provinces”, said Antoinette.
Antoinette said Bayede! is just getting started in terms of cracking both the local and international markets. She said their partnership with Wal Mart China is an indication of great things to come for Bayede!
“It is our Vision to become a leading, internationally recognized African luxury brand. Our relationship with one of the biggest and most prominent retailers in China will help Bayede! to achieve this vision”, said Antoinette.
Established in 2010 Bayede! markets a range of locally produced luxury products including wine, clothing and textiles.
Bayede! is a participant of the Old Mutual Legends Business Development Programme, an initiative designed to promote entrepreneurship through mentoring, business support and skills training.
This piece was adapted from a press release supplied by Abram Molelemane, a third year journalism student at the Tshwane University of Technology. He has written for various publications such as Wealthwise magazine and Reckord newspaper. In 2011 he was nominated for the Reckord print journalist of the year award. He is currently a junior media officer at Fetola.