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
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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More