In South Africa, it is common to find that the wife is responsible for making sure that there a tantalizing, warm meal prepared for her husband and in-laws on special occasions. The Makoti, which means daughter-in-law or bride in isiZulu, spends hours preparing the pap, marinating the meat, and taste-testing the tripe, all served with a hefty serving of spicy chakalaka and baked beans. As part of the marriage tradition, the bride is expected to spend time with the groom’s family, learning their customs and, most importantly, cooking. It is an honour with great responsibility to be a Makoti, but this can be tremendously stressful if you are not a good cook. So when Mogau Seshoene’s friend was marrying into a very traditional Zulu family, she desperately needed lessons on how to cook the customary dishes. To assist, Mogau tirelessly spent two weeks passing on her knowledge of cooking to her friend so she would not be branded a “Lazy Makoti”. .
“That is actually where the name comes from, a witty take on the expectations that still exist for us African girls to merge the western ideals (education, wealth, beauty standards) and the African values that many times involve being custodians of our unique cultures particularly the heritage that is our cuisine. It’s incredibly sad to note but in South Africa, it’s easier to find an Italian or Indian eatery than it is to find a Zulu or Xhosa one,” Mogau explains.
Mogau Seshoene: Building a Food Empire with Authentic South African Flair
You can read her story on She Inspires Her (link in bio). Thanks to @eliza_makumbi for the story!
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