“An army with 100 sheep led by a lion will defeat an army of 100 lions led by a sheep.”

Anje Yamo Nene



Organisation / Company



Anje Yamo Nene, 32, is the founder and chief executive of the Nenes franchise, which offers that uniquely South Africa speciality — kasi-style kotas, but with a Nene twist. Anje didn’t have a background in the food and restaurant business but quickly learnt. When Covid struck he had to open outlets closer to Nenes’ customers. One of his achievements is taking the business from trailer outlets into malls, a move that was “scary” at first. He says the requirements for running a trailer restaurant and a mall restaurant are very different and they had to quickly make the required adjustments. Nenes now has two branches in Midrand, three in Johannesburg and one in Pretoria. Anje’s job at the broad level involves deciding on and implementing the direction the business will take. On a day-to-day basis he meets store managers, suppliers, mall centre managers, construction and marketing teams and franchisees. Anje believes in being hands-on so he goes to the Nene branches to interact with customers to see what problems there might be and the changes they require. For Anje, what is most exciting is taking the mostly informal kota market mainstream. He envisions the kota becoming a global product just like burgers and pizzas.


BCom Economics and Econometrics, University of Johannesburg


Opening our first mall store was a huge achievement for us because we were doing only trailers at the time. The experience was scary at the beginning because a lot of the people I had spoken to had had bad experiences when it came to dealing with landlords, but we still took the decision to say we want to grow and therefore we will take the risk. We had many challenges in the beginning from construction, which ran a month longer than required and expenses we had not fully calculated. What makes me so proud about this project is the fact that we almost never opened and when we did we had a lot of learning to make in the job which was a roller coaster, but even with all those challenges that contract is coming to an end and we have signed five other contracts and look forward to signing more. The biggest lesson is that, for one to grow you should get comfortable being uncomfortable.


Itumeleng Mpatlanyana and Bongani Tungamirai have given me much assistance in my development in the industry. They are my role models because the industry we are in is very difficult, which is why one can barely find any black-owned food franchises but they have tried and worked hard to penetrate this space and now assist the younger entrepreneurs to learn and grow.