We are well into Heritage Month, dubbed “Indigenous Heritage Month” for 2022, during which all South Africans rally to learn, appreciate and celebrate our country’s rich and diverse heritage.
From Braai to Bobotie, Mogudu to Malva Pudding, when the kitchen is concerned, our favourite dishes are a true reflection of the diversity that characterises us as South Africans.
Our cuisine is another touchpoint on a brand that has always stood for the celebration and appreciation of each other’s differences, a platter of rich cultural history that stands as a billboard for Ubuntu. Flagship establishments such as the legendary Sakhumzi Restaurant on Vilakazi Street in Orlando, Soweto have redefined the art of fine African dining. Through scrumptious meals such as their irresistible mala-mogodu and dumplings, served in a hearty environment engulfed in rich South African history, it is impossible not to get lost in Mzanzi’s taste.
South Africa’s mouthwatering dishes are globally renowned, through efforts by Play Your Part ambassadors including culinary extraordinaire Siba Mtongana, whose table has always painted a beautiful image of love and family in South Africa. Her rockstar status as one of South Africa’s most celebrated chefs, has created a gateway for other up and coming food enthusiasts to marinade the world with an authentic Mzanzi food experience. One of those worth mentioning is talented Siya Kobo, whose advocacy for indigenous food has resulted in a refreshed look at local favourites like skopo (sheep’s head) and pap.
“Being able to bring my continent the food acclaim it deserves is both a privilege and a blessing,” says Siba. Other notable Che’lebs include musician and member of mega band Micasa – J Something, who has cemented his place on Mzanzi’s table with delicacies served at his restaurant, as well as through numerous recipes shared in his recently published cookbook, Something’s Cooking. Not forgetting the taboo-breaking Lazy Makoti, whose candid approach has taught many how to simplify homemade feasts with a girl-next-door charm.
For South Africans, it is impossible to separate food from identity. We experience identity through language, but taste culture through food. Both are colourful ingredients that are blended with Ubuntu, in preparation of a platter laced with 11 ways of saying “God Bless Africa”. On that platter, one is bound to have some biltong, koeksisters, bunny chow, Sunday Seven Colours, and a whole lot of Mzanzi’s Soul.