Cooking up a storm the African way

by Aviwe Mtila 0

‘A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’, an ancient belief that has never swayed even in modern times. You can acquire all the qualifications in life and the success that comes with them, but most men, especially African men, will tell you that the most crucial characteristic that they want in their wives is the ability to cook. This is what led to the birth of ‘The Lazy Makoti.’

The brain child behind The Lazy Makoti, Mogau Seshoene, describes the company as one that provides cooking lessons primarily on South African cuisines.

How it came about is a story on its own.

A friend of Seshoene was getting married and she knew that as a newlywed or what South Africans term a Makoti, one of the expectations was that she knows how to make South African food.

“Fast forward to a few weeks where she’s trying to find a cooking school to help her with that and, surprisingly, in South Africa she couldn’t find any place that offered the service,” says Seshoene.

Seshoene says there were plenty of places offering lessons on other countries’ cuisines such as Italian, French and Asian, but none whatsoever offering local cuisine lessons. This is when her entrepreneurial instincts kicked in and she went for the gap she saw on the market. The bonus factor to this was her good skills in the kitchen and her knowledge of African dishes.

Seshoene’s friend was her first client. After giving her friend a few lessons, she recommended Seshoene’s talents to those she knew and her company started snowballing from there.

“Now in addition to the cooking classes we also have a merchandise line of kitchen accessories. That’s everything from chopping boards to aprons to wooden spoons, that all get manufactured locally in Mamelodi, Pretoria,” says Sehoene.

Seshoene was one of many unsatisfied auditor interns before she pursued the company. She says she always knew there was much more waiting for her in life than just auditing.

One thing that really rubs Seshoene up the wrong way is the label Africans have of being consumers.

“It’s really disappointing to be known to consume and never create anything. I think now is the time to make our own and make moves around the globe,” says Seshoene.

With her own cooking show, Seshoene is following through on her message of making moves. She also has her own recipe book which also has its own unique inspiration.

“Having gone back to culinary school it hurts me so much that we learn so much about everybody’s food story except for ours. I know why French people eat the kind of bread that they eat, how it evolved. I know all of those things but I don’t know why we eat mogudu, how it evolved or how we came to cook it the way that we do. Nobody knows any of these things and we are in Africa.”

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