South African Rum Receives World Recognition


You know what American music legend Michael Jackson once said, huh? He said “I’m really very self-confident when it comes to my work. When I take on a project, I believe in it 100%. I really put my soul into it. I’d die for it. That’s how I am.”

Truly, 12 years of determination and hard work has paid off for Clinton Wyness and Wayne Oliver. Wyness, who once toured around South Africa as a bicycle salesman has been crowned with international accolade. The business partners were not in anyway deterred by folks who made jest of their efforts.

“I used to be a rep for a bicycle company and spent a lot of time touring KwaZulu Natal”.

“I enjoy a rum at the end of the day and would ask myself, why don’t we make rum in SA? There’s plenty of sugar cane and we have a similar climate to Jamaica and Cuba. So why aren’t we producing our own rum?” said Clinton Wyness

The local rum manufactured in South Africa gained global recognition lately. Zulu Rum (white) has been named one of the best rums in the world. New York based ‘Fifty Best’ guide showered accolade on the rum this week.

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Zulu Rum (white) came on board over two years ago when Clinton Wyness and Wayne Oliver launched the bottled drinks in South African market. The partners have always believed in turning the world around with their drink. In 2013, their first bottles were grabbed after obtaining an export licence from the South African Revenue Service.

Wyness, who was inspired by the fact that producers of rum do not mix it up with sugarcane, took up the challenge to explore and achieve something different. He has only enjoyed rum produced by others, but this time, he wanted something with a unique taste. He had to set up a distillery near Durban. Presently, the distillery is pumping out bottles of Zulu Rum, which comes in different flavours.

When they started, their first attempts did not yield a pleasant taste. But, as time progressed, they perfected the flavour of the drink. He also told the history of rum in South Africa,

“Rum was first introduced to the Zulu people after the Battle of Isandlwana.” Wyness said.

Cuba and Jamaica are great rum producers. Also, Kwazulu in South Africa has proved to have a conducive environment for rum production. In fact, the more reason Wyness and his colleague moved into action. When success smiled at them, Kwazulu received the first set of their drink.

“Our sales were so good last October that we sold out for a day as we battled to get molasses.”

“We were selling 400 litres of Zulu Rum cocktails a day,”  Wyness said.

Wyness and Oliver are however set to shift the drink to other countries while setting up ways to promote national distribution. To them, Germany may likely receive the drink first, then followed by China.

You know, Tommy Lasorda said “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination. ”South Africans should borrow a leaf from Wayness and Oliver. They have made the country proud, beyond Africa. More of this should be seen.

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