If there is one thing I enjoy more than sex and wine, it’s having a chat with fearless African women who are bold and wild, making sense of their lives while taking their rightful place in the world. So, ever since I started binge watching the crazy women of La Sauce Africaine on Youtube after meeting them at the fabulous SheLeadsAfrica event, I knew I had to talk to this witty, quirky and captivating sauciness!
We are always trying to find our strengths and weaknesses so that
we can do what we are best at, but we are willing to learn new things so that we can
always fill in where others can’t. It has been working for us so far and that’s how we
are able to serve one delicious dish after the other.
How did this pot of greatness begin?
Enjema and Ajoh first had the idea of having an online book club on Youtube with the aim of empowering black women through the type of books they would choose to read.
H.a.p.p.y and Bongi were then brought into the picture as this would mean that a variety
of perspectives would be available. At this point LaSauce was a group of young women
with a passion for improving their lives and impacting the society they live in positively
through education because we thought the change we need could only come through
Hahaha yes. But, needless to say the idea of a bookclub quickly lost its charm and so we thought to just have a channel on which we would discuss important issues related to women and more generally to Africa as a whole since we love our continent. At that time we had no idea what having a YouTube channel really meant but we set it all up: the channel, social media pages, a logo etc and we were on our way. Enjema, Ajohche and Bongi were not social media friendly then except H.a.p.p.y who seemed obsessed with it.
For someone who doesn’t know your YouTube page, give us a glimpse into the broad
spectrum of the things you discuss and what inspires them?
We discuss everything that concerns us as people as we experience them in the different
places that we find ourselves. So if you want commentary on social issues, gender
stereotypes, Fashion, Sport, African culture and just life issues in general, you’ll find it on
our page. LaSauce is a lot more than just talk. We have started introducing new segments that allow each of us to share more of ourselves with our audience. So Enjema is the soccer god and will dish out delicious soccer commentary on the channel on SauceySoccer (She says she’s aiming for Minnie’s (Dlamini) job and more.
Bongi is our fashion icon. She will share tips on how to be stylish on a low budget on Sauced. Ajoh the hair and make up queen will share tips on how to slay the world with her makeup and healthy hair tips that will keep your face beat and your hair glowing and growing on a low budget too. H.a.p.p.y, the health and fitness enthusiast will basically share her fitness journey with you and this includes the struggles as well. She has been there with what society considers as ‘fat’. Her health and fitness journey has been an inspiration to us and she is excited to share it with everyone.
We realized that we are the type of people we are trying to reach out online and while we are always talking and ranting about social issues in our lives, we are also always looking for the next cool outfit or trying to get fit or trying to get that afro and the brows on fleek. We manage to do this with little or no budget. So we thought to share these different sides of ourselves and what we know with our audience. Why not?
I agree. Now, take us through the entire process of making a YouTube video from pre-planning to
Hmmm you can only imagine what we go through. From the anxiety, disagreements to
the uncertainties, it all goes down. We basically fight about the topics, laugh about them and finally agree. We are each responsible for one post a month, though we try to have the topics lined up in advance through a monthly schedule of the topics. So for each week one of us is in charge of what angle we would like to interrogate of any given issue. That person plans everything and sets a date for recording. We each do research on the issue and on the agreed date we go and shoot. Our conversations are not scripted, we do not have practice runs because we want to capture how we really feel in the moment of shooting. However, if we find what we have shot underwhelming or just not good enough for whatever reason, we go back to the drawing board and recook the soup with different spices until we get the conversation that is posted. After this we edit, post and make sure we are pushing the video on all our social media platforms.
YouTube is a growing industry in South Africa, and you chose it because you obviously see opportunities; where do you see LSA going in terms of this industry?
We are taking over! That’s the plan. To take over the industry. We want to create a social
media empire. We want to create content that everyone will not be able to get enough of
because they need it, feel empowered by it or because they just love us. We know though,
that we need to take it one step at a time. Our immediate goal right now is to get to 500
subscribers and followers on all our social media sites by the end of June come rain come shine. In five years we want to be one of the top YouTubers in South Africa and Africa with a million subscribers. We are ready for the challenge!
How is the internet receiving you?
Yooooh it’s been rough! We got about 600 views for our first video. This was the one about the practice of women being the ones to take on a man’s surname. Since then we’ve seen a steady decline in the views and interaction on the channel. With the spur reaction video which was a trending topic we shot up to 14 000 views and then the week after we got 24 views on the next video. That was a hard one to swallow but it was a wake-up call and since then we’ve been breaking our heads to step up the game. We now take very seriously how our pages look and what we post on them, we care about how we look as a group when we go to places now, and we are trying with the means we have to keep content coming and to ‘shamelessly market [ourselves] online’.
Any exciting upcoming projects or plans for 2017?
Yes indeed, we can’t wait to share all the exciting things that we have planned. Sauced, SauceFit and Sauceysoccer will be unleashed to the world. Saucessentials has posted it’s first tutorial on Instagram and its just all the way up from here. We have Acoustic Night which happens every second Thursday of the month at Cafe Ganesh, 38 Trill Road Observatory. We are so excited to put comedians, painters and just about anyone who is gifted and doesn’t have the resources, on a stage. We have our One More Girl initiative in which we take all that we have learned to young girls in schools around us. These girls are the women we want to empower and for us it’s important to tackle these issues from different angles. This project is still in the pipeline, but when it is ready you will know. This is just a sneak peak of our upcoming projects, stay glued to our social media pages for all the juicy updates.
People can watch our episodes on this link