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

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid