Growing up in the rural Eastern Cape, Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela is familiar with the process of brewing beer. For thousands of years, brewing umqobothi (traditional beer) has been the realm of women. What is different now is that Nxusani-Mawela is the first black female shareholder in a microbrewery in South Africa and the first black South African to be accredited as a training provider by the Institute of Brewing & Distilling.
With the help of South African Breweries, Nxusani-Mawela managed to get a bursary to do her BSc Honours in Microbiology at the University of Pretoria. Afterwards, she did a brewing internship with the company for 18 months. Once she was working as a brewer, she obtained her brewing diploma through the Institute of Brewing & Distilling in London.
Nxusani-Mawela says there are not a lot of black players in the craft beer space and there are even fewer women. To this end, she has started another business.
“Last year I started my other company called Brewster’s Craft where I do brewing training and offer consulting for other emerging brewers. I also offer a lot of science exhibitions to high school learners just to expose them to different brewing sciences and to make science more relevant and fun,” she says.