News / Africa

Mandela’s Chef Publishes Cook Book on Ukutya Kwasekhaya, Home Food

Nelson Mandela's personal cook Xoliswa Ndoyiya poses in Johannesburg after the release of her cookbook entitled "Ukutya Kwasekhaya: Tastes from Nelson Mandela's Kitchen" featuring the former South African President's favourite food, (File December 14, 201
Nelson Mandela's personal cook Xoliswa Ndoyiya poses in Johannesburg after the release of her cookbook entitled "Ukutya Kwasekhaya: Tastes from Nelson Mandela's Kitchen" featuring the former South African President's favourite food, (File December 14, 201

Have you ever wondered what’s being served in the kitchens of some of the world’s most prestigious people? Ever wanted to have dinner with a president?  Well South Africans may not be breaking bread with Nelson Mandela these days, but they now have the secrets of his favorite recipes.  His personal chef, Xoliswa Ndoyiya, has published a cookbook of meals she serves to the former president, his family and guests. 

“Now I am saying yes, there is a secret.  It is love," Ndoyiya explained. "I cook food with love.”

After two decades of being asked by members of the extended Mandela family and guests to Mandela’s home about her secret for preparing such delicious meals, Xoliswa or Xoli Ndoyiya has finally revealed it at the launch of her cookbook.

The title of the book, Ukutya Kwasekhaya - the isiXhosa phrase for home cooking - comes from her brief job interview  with Mandela in 1992, when he told her he had heard she was a good cook but wanted to know if she also cooked traditional food well.

“When Tata [Nelson Mandela] [asked] me, am I going to cook because he heard that I am a good cook, and I said yes, I am and I will cook for you Tata. I thought I was still going for another interview, but then it was just, you got the job, there and then,” Ndoyiya said.

isiXhosa is the language of the Xhosa people of the Eastern Cape Province, the home of both Mandela and Ndoyiya.  Ukutya Kwasekhaya is filled with recipes of typical South African food, such as boerewors, a spicy sausage; soup made from butternuts, an indigenous South Africa squash; and ginger beer, a non-alcoholic spicy, refreshing drink.

Also included are recipes for Jewish foods such as chicken liver spread and potatoe latkes; Italian pastas and Spanish paella.  And there are a number of Ndoyiya’s own creations, such as soy baked lamb chops, orange turkey, creamy chicken with Italian herbs, and peanut butter and spinach soup.

But the book is dominated by traditional Xhosa food such as amarhewu, a fermented maize drink; ulusi or tripe; umsilo wenkomo or oxtail stew; tshakalaka, a spicy relish; and, umfino, which is maize meal porridge with spinach.

Soon after she began to work for Mandela, he asked Ndoyiya if, in addition to being his chef, would she be willing to also undertake the day-to-day care of his grandchildren, whom he wanted to bring to live with him.  He told her he wanted to be able to spend lots of time with them, because he was in jail when his own children were growing up.  In a letter from Mandela and his wife, Graca Machel, read by Mandela’s granddaughter Ndileka Mandela - the couple spoke of the close ties that had grown between the family and their chef.

“Xoli, our home is warm and welcoming because you have always been there," Ndileka said. "With a smile you treat our children as your sisters, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren with the love of a mother.  You welcome and serve all of our guests with distinction.”

Hlangenani Mandela, the elder statesman’s great grandson, told Ndoyiya the Mandela family is appreciative of the personal sacrifices she made to cook for the family and to take care of them.

“In short I would like to say thank you for the very many sacrifices you have given to our family, staying away from your children.  And I stand here looking across at my bigger brothers, your sons, that you’ve shared stories and how you would like to be around them and with them, instead you spent that time with us and the family.  So a very heartfelt thank you from me. I am sure I speak on behalf of the family in saying that we love and thank you very much. Siyabulela [isiXhosa: thank you for improving our lives] mama,” Hlangenani said.

Ndoyiya says she has wanted to write a cookbook for years, and is thrilled it has finally come to fruition.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid