It is one food delicacy that has always been preferred by many Batswana who like traditional foods, but its cooking has always been a problem since you have to cut, peel and slice the melon(lerotse) first. With Batswana now living busy lifestyles and having no or little time to spend in the kitchen, those who love traditional food always have to buy it or wait for an event where such food is served. Some people, both young and old do not have ploughing fields, and that has always made traditional gatherings the go to events for those who want such delicacy. It was through these that Tidimalo Kaisara realised a gap that was in the market for the traditional delicacy. She remembers times when she and her friends used to buy ‘bogobe ba lerotse’ from food vendors. One day their major supplier of this delicacy just told them that he had stopped selling because he had run out of stock. “It was then that I realised that I could do the same thing and start selling and it worked,” said Kaisara.
Kaisara used to work for Debswana Diamond Company, before she opted for voluntary exit when the company availed the opportunity. She immediately ventured fully into making kgodu ya lerotse. She said that in the beginning she used to cook lerotse in a big pot the same way it is done traditionally at home which took a lot of time. It was then that a friend suggested that she use a blender, which makes a lerotse smoothie quickly. Since the discovery of a blender Kaisara has never looked back.
Kaisara operates the business from her house, where the kgodu is packaged into 5 litre bottles. To date she has produce many litres of kgodu from her own kitchen. Considering that lerotse is a seasonal produce, Kaisara has devised ways to preserve the taste and texture by keeping it in a freezer after blending. It can then be used at any time. She said that it has been tested and proven to be healthy with a prolonged shelf life if it is left in the freezer. She started with only three freezers where she kept the 5 litres containers. With growing demand, Kaisara was forced to acquire a cold room, which is also planted at her backyard. “I decided to buy the cold room because the freezers were now not enough, and the bigger cold room can accommodate more five litre containers,” she added
She said with more people growing health conscious they now prefer natural foods that have not been processed. Kaisara said she adds a little bit of sugar to improve tatse since most of her customers prefer it that way. She said as the business grows she is planning to buy a bigger blender from China since locally there is no blender that is big enough. The five litres ‘kgodu ya lerotse’ that have been packaged costs just P45. Kaisara who is also into farming hosts traditional day outings, which this year it will be in Rasesa on the 1st of May. She the day annually, and hope to have more people come to enjoy the festivities this yea since it is always so much fun.
One of her customers Lorato Puso said that ‘kgodu ya lerotse’ has been working very well for her, since all she has to do it is buy it and keep it in her freezer to use anytime she wants to. “Everyone in my family loves bogobe ba lerotse, we have that at least once in every week, and this has been very helpful to us because for us there is no where we can get lerotse,” she said.