Lavina Gengiah: A Woman of Strength

Filed in Everyday Hero by on July 5, 2015 • views: 2180


This is a story of strength, re-discovery and inspiration for all of those who think they are at the end of the road and there is no more hope.
Lavina was once here, depressed, widow and financially hamstrung.

Her story started at the age of 15 when she was married to her husband via customary arrangement. Through the years, they had a daughter, Daphne, and her husband provided for his family. 8 years ago, Lavina’s husband passed away from a heart attack and Lavina found herself on her own trying to provide for her daughter. No education, no work experience and herself having heart issues (was scheduled for a triple bypass), she found herself slipping in to a state of depression which involved sleepless nights and days sitting in front of the TV.

It was at this point that she was treated for depression when her doctor (Gail Blake) who also organises a local market, encourage Lavina to run a stall on the weekend. Daphne and Lavina, knowing spices and Indian food best decided to invest their last R100 and traded that weekend selling spice packets and home made samoosas.

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Seeing this as a profitable opportunity, Lavina re-invested her profits into more stock and traded again the following the weekend.


Fast forward to today. I met Lavina by chance at the Winter Wonderland festival in Gordon’s Bay last night. Her business, Mistress of Spices & Indian Foods and passion, has grown so that they currently:

  • Are totally self sufficient
  • Operate at multiple markets simultaneously
  • Employ 6 single moms thus enabling them to ‘put food on their tables to feed their family’
  • Had articles in the Getaway and Keur Magazines
  • Been on cooking TV shows
  • Not only empowering themselves as 2 single ladies but creating work opportunities for others

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When talking to Lavina, her Strength is Motivating – her Passion is Inspiring. She is testament that you can do it for yourself with hard work, commitment and passion.


Mistress of Spices & Indian Foods

Authentic Indian Cuisine

Lavina and Daphne Gengiah

021-880-2773 | 082-921-9548

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