Mocha choca latte? Quit your rapping


Wongama Baleni talks fast. His brain works faster. Born to be an entrepreneur, his first business was a car wash and laundry. Then he tasted his first cup of real coffee, and saw a gap in the market.

Together with his business partners Vusumzi Mamile and Vuyile Msaku, Baleni opened Khayelitsha’s first artisanal coffee shop. The Department of Coffee sells high-end coffee at a reasonable price. Baleni’s instinct that coffee culture has a place in the township has proven to be spot on. The single store has grown into a franchise with two branches, and a third set to open.

By taking a risk and following his gut, Baleni has created job opportunities and built a business, without a helping hand or safety net. His ingenuity is uniting people through the love of coffee.