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18Dec/19

Celebrating SA’s township food

first_img(Image: Chris Kirchhoff,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more freephotos, visit the image library.)MEDIA CONTACTS• Soweto Food [email protected]@sowetofoodfestival.co.za• Adilia TeixeiraChannel Managed PRTel: +27 (0)11 327 5802Mobile: +27 (0)72 398 2525Email: [email protected]• Refiloe Mataboge+27 (0)72 622 0782• Mavis Mataboge+27 (0)72 458 6696• South African Chefs AssociationGraham Donet+27 11 482 7250USEFUL LINKS• Soweto Food Festival • South African Chefs Association• SowetoWilma den HartighThe first-ever Soweto Food Festival is set to celebrate Africa’s food heritage by showcasing both traditional ekasi cuisine – township food – and food from elsewhere on the continent, and will also introduce international cooking to the people of Soweto.“We would like to put township food on the map and bring international food to the township,” said Refiloe Mataboge, organiser of the festival, which will be held from 1 to 4 October 2009. She said people who don’t usually eat township food can sample it, and township residents who have not been exposed to foods from other parts of the world will have an opportunity to taste foreign dishes.According to Graham Donet, general manager of the South African Chefs Association (Saca), there are a number of misconceptions about indigenous South African food.“Traditional African cuisine is extremely varied and most people have not been exposed to its full scope,” he said. “We want to get away from the mopani worms that have been marketed for shock value and show people what wholesome tasty indigenous food is like.”Why township food?Sisters Refiloe and Mavis Mataboge identified the need for a food festival when they noticed that more people were moving back to Soweto. It seemed that the township’s food, the lively atmosphere and culture was a big drawcard.“We realised that there is no one fully capturing and telling the story of township cuisine and this is what we are setting out to do,” Mataboge explained.In recent years there has been growing interest in Soweto’s food establishments. Donet said this trend is encouraging because it shows that indigenous food is growing in popularity. The next goal is to see more South Africans choose township food establishments for a good night out.“What we want is people from other suburbs and areas in South Africa to also experience this and make the trip to Soweto to experience its vibrant culture,” he said.Food has a significant role in making cultures more accessible, according to Mokgadi Itsweng (PDF), head chef and owner of Black Sage, a catering company that specialises in contemporary African cuisine. In South Africa, food has been a main catalyst in making the townships more trendy.“There is a great need in society to learn about other cultures, and food is one of the easiest ways to do this,” Itsweng said.Mataboge said more restaurants and hotels are showing interest in serving traditional food as part of mainstream cuisine. “We believe that a great number of chefs are making an effort and we hope that through the Soweto Food Festival we can support them.”The origins of indigenous SA foodItsweng explained that South Africa’s food history is rooted in the country’s diverse population. Immigrants, settlers and migrant labourers brought much of today’s popular cuisine ideas, ingredients and food preparation techniques to the country.She believes that foreigners who made South Africa their home many years ago made a valuable contribution to food, spices and fresh produce diversity in the country. Immigrants brought with them the ingredients they needed to prepare their dishes, or adapted their dishes to the ingredients they found here. The ordinary orange carrot, for example, was brought into the region by the French Huguenots, and has now become widespread.Indian and Malaysian influences mean spicy dishes such as curry, bobotie and samoosas are now of South Africa’s food heritage.Even township food has incorporated external influences, and Itsweng believes that this diversity is what gives it such a wide appeal.“It is a merger between what is known as ‘western’ and ‘traditional African’ cuisine,” she said. Popular dishes such as pasta salads are a western influence, while atchar is uniquely South African.Food indigenous to the African continent also hasn’t remained unchanged. “Food is dynamic and always evolving,” she said. A common dish like morogo, made from indigenous spinach, has developed and now similar leafy crops from countries such as Zimbabwe, Kenya and Ghana are also consumed in South Africa.Itsweng has noticed that nowadays even township food has a healthy twist: “Food is cooked in less oil, olive oil is used and there is less deep frying,” she said. Salads and side dishes are also often stir fried or steamed.On offer at the festivalIt is South Africa’s food diversity that gives the Soweto Food Festival its significance. Numerous South African chefs will be preparing a variety of dishes ranging from everyday township food, to more daring local, African and international dishes. Itsweng is one of the chefs who will be preparing signature dishes at the festival.Saca will be running an interactive chef’s kitchen where top Soweto chefs such as Kabelo Segone will give demonstrations on township and worldwide cuisine. Audiences can also pick up tips on knife skills, new food preparation techniques as well as food trends.The practical food demonstrations will offer ideas to prepare tasty meals at home. Although many South Africans have been affected by the economic downturn, food remains an important part of everyday life.“We still celebrate with food, perhaps on a tighter budget, but it brings families and friends together,” Mataboge said.Township stokvels (informal savings clubs), catering companies and restaurants will also showcase their cooking talent. Traditional food will be on offer from many of South Africa’s cultural groups – Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana, Swazi and Venda.Some of South Africa’s food favourites such as magwenya or vetkoek (a large yeast dumpling fried in oil), kota/sephatlo or bunny chow (a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with curry) will also be available.Embassies in South Africa have been invited to bring their countries’ food to the festival and there will be wine tasting, whisky tasting and a beer garden. There will also be an area dedicated to learning about organic vegetable growing, health, nutrition and budgeting around grocery shopping.New trends in traditional foodDonet hopes that South Africa’s township economy will benefit as indigenous and township food becomes more widely accepted. Celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver (PDF) have recently placed the food industry on the map and as a result many young people are seeing hospitality and catering as a worthwhile career.“This event shows that there is a growing market for South Africa’s indigenous food and that people’s tastes and food preferences are becoming more sophisticated,” Donet said. Bringing more people to Soweto will also contribute to changing negative perceptions of townships in South Africa.“I would like to see people from north, west, east, south and west Johannesburg travel to township restaurants to enjoy a meal and experience more flavours and cultures.”The Soweto Food Festival takes place from 1 to 4 October at the Hyundai Stadium in Pimville. Tickets will be available at the entrance and cost R35 for adults and R10 for children. Visit www.sowetofoodfestival.co.za for more information.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected]last_img read more

18Dec/19

Opera for and from Africa

first_imgKelebogile Boikanyo and Aubrey Lodewyk play the parts of lovers Musetta the singer and Marcello the painter in Opera Africa’s production of La Bohème. (Image: Opera Africa) Sandra and Hein de Villiers’s passion for opera has led them to mortgage their house to fund a production – not once, but twice.Sandra is the CEO of Opera Africa, the company she started in 1994 “with the vision of fostering new audiences for opera that were previously excluded from enjoying this genre, and to promote talented young soloists and choristers”. Hein has been Opera Africa’s artistic director since 1995. Like his wife, he brought with him a distinguished track record from more than two decades in music education, as both teacher and administrator.Together with a band of similarly committed individuals – and, of course, some extremely talented performers, directors and visual artists – the pair have been the driving force behind staging a host of operas in South Africa over the last 15 years, including such favourites as Carmen, Faust, La Traviata and Aida.The name of the company is usefully ambiguous; inserting different prepositions between the words “Opera” and “Africa” gives you some idea of both its ambitions and successes. For starters, there is the slightly contentious question of opera in Africa – does a Eurocentric high-art form such as opera have a place in post-apartheid South Africa?Well, yes. First, there are musical and aesthetic strong affinities between opera and South Africa’s well-established choral tradition. Second, in an era of unprecedented globalisation and migration of cultures, there is little value in essentialising what it means to be “African” or “European”.A fine example of such hybridisation is, in fact, Opera Africa’s Princess Magogo – the first full opera sung entirely in isiZulu. First staged in 2000, this is an opera about Africa, depicting the life and times of one of the Usuthu-Buthelezi dynasty’s most famous daughters, herself a renowned composer and singer, with a score by Mzilikazi Khumalo and libretto by Themba Msimang.Princess Magogo and the company’s other productions have appeared across South Africa, in major urban centres as well as in more remote rural areas – opera for Africa, one might say. But they have also toured internationally, in cities as far afield as Chicago, Amsterdam and Oslo, demonstrating that there is such a thing as opera from Africa.Opera Africa’s latest enterprise is La Bohème, which will run at the State Theatre in Pretoria in March 2010 before moving to the Joburg Theatre Complex in Johannesburg in April. (The company has established a good working relationship with these two major Gauteng theatres since relocating from Durban six years ago.)La Bohème is, after Madama Butterfly, the most popular work by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. Based on Henri Murger’s novel, Scenes from Bohemia, the opera is set in 19th-century Paris and centres on the love affair between Mimi, a seamstress, and Rodolfo, a poet.Over the course of its 110-year performance history, La Bohème has contributed substantially to the modern archetype of the poor artist, struggling in a freezing garret to create immortal works of art but also finding ways to indulge in bouts of hedonism. This archetype has had more recent manifestations in, for instance, the Broadway musical Rent or Baz Luhrman’s film Moulin Rouge.The themes of poverty and illness have obvious echoes in contemporary South African society. While previous Opera Africa productions have foregrounded such similarities by presenting “African” settings, however, the artistic team behind La Bohème have chosen not to do so here. Instead, the production will be “an exquisitely imagined period piece” taking for granted that the “universal and timeless themes” of Puccini’s opera will resonate with local audiences.Andrew Verster, who has worked with Opera Africa as set and costume designer on numerous occasions, will again weave his visual magic, and Themi Venturas, whose Opera Africa repertoire includes Princess Magogo and the 2007 Opera Extravaganza, will direct the stage action.Musically, the production promises to be of the highest standard. Conductor Timothy Myers, who has previously worked with orchestras in New York and London, will have the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra under his baton. And the company has recruited a formidable group of divas and divos to give voice to the lead roles.Soprano Hanli Stapela, joining Opera Africa for the first time, brings an international reputation to her reprisal of Mimi’s tragic story. Tenor Stéfan Louw, who has likewise been widely acclaimed for his performances in previous productions of La Bohème, will portray the equally unfortunate Rodolfo.Two rising stars of the South African opera scene, Kelebogile Boikanyo and Aubrey Lodewyk – both products of the Tshwane University of Technology’s vocal arts programme – will sing the parts of Musetta and Marcello, the singer and painter whose tempestuous on-off relationship mirrors that of Mimi and Rodolfo. Otto Maidi completes a quintet of bohemian characters as Colline, the philosopher. Veteran bass Rouel Beukes will contribute his idiosyncratic combination of gravitas and levity to two roles: Benoit, Rodolfo’s landlord, and Alcindoro, the wealthy government minister who fancies Musetta.And it’s worth mentioning that the production is sponsored by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund – so Sandra and Hein won’t need to mortgage their house again.last_img read more

16Dec/19

When HVAC Manufacturers, Efficiency Advocates Find Common Ground

first_imgIt’s rarely easy to get groups with disparate interests to collaborate, but an agreement announced this month between HVAC manufacturers and energy efficiency advocates illustrates that it can happen with potentially significant positive effects.On October 13, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, more than a dozen manufacturers, and seven energy conservation groups announced an agreement that calls for regional HVAC-product efficiency standards and more-stringent building code provisions for new construction.The federal government has been slow to establish a new system of requirements that addresses the energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness of HVAC products in different climates. This agreement pushes the issue to a conclusion, although it still allows state governments to impose stricter standards for equipment installed in new homes “in which there are no physical restrictions to prevent or hinder installation” of the equipment. On its website, the AHRI explains that the agreement establishes product performance requirements for three regions in the U.S.: the north (including Alaska), which has population-weighted heat degree days (HDDs) of 5,000 or more; the south, with HDDs of less than 5,000; and the southwest which includes Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico.A long-term planFactoring in the added cost of more-efficient equipment, the regional standards, which AHRI notes are allowed under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, are expected to save consumers about $13 billion between 2013, when the standards take effect, and 2030. AHRI estimates that the new standards will raise the minimum efficiency of residential central air conditioning systems by about 8% and furnaces by about 13%. By 2030, those standards are expected to have reduced the overall heating energy load by 5% and the cooling energy load by 6%.The energy efficiency advocates that signed the agreement include the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, the Alliance to Save Energy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership, the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, the California Energy Commission, and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. The signatories jointly sent the agreement to Congress for possible inclusion in climate legislation (the proposed American Clean Energy and Security Act is still making the rounds on Capitol Hill).A realist’s approachIn terms of its long-range strategic merits, the agreement seems like a good thing for all concerned. As a recent New York Times story on the subject notes, the HVAC manufacturers not only have reached agreement on future product-performance standards and reached better terms than they might if they’d negotiated with the Department of Energy, they also have time to gear up to meet those standards.“Being able to look at the agreements that are being put in place here allows us to put a template in place for the next 10 years, really,” Bob McDonough, president of residential and light commercial systems for Carrier, told the Times.last_img read more

09Dec/19

I Am Not Social Selling

first_imgI am not selling through social media. I am content marketing.Everything that I do on social is above the funnel. I am concerned about attention and awareness. I am concerned with my personal brand. I am focused on being known and being known as a value creator.So far, it’s been very good for me. Because I create content, I have attracted my dream clients. By reading this blog or watching my videos, you already know what I believe. You have some idea of what it might be like to work with me.But this isn’t selling. It isn’t part of a sales process. It’s lead generation and nurturing.I never ask anyone for an appointment using Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. But, I have asked for appointments on LinkedIn. I’ve done a lot of call research on LinkedIn, too.I have never done discovery work or collaborated with a client around their needs using Instagram or Snapchat. None of them has ever engaged to do discovery without it being done face-to-face, by video conference, or on the telephone.I have never presented a solution using SlideShare. But I have presented a solution using a custom video on Vimeo, and that was exceedingly well received.There is no social channel that looks like the right choice for asking for commitments once your dream client is in your funnel. I can’t imagine a tweet being the right way to gain a commitment in business-to-business sales.Selling is about conversations and commitments. But conversations without commitments isn’t selling. It’s just conversations.There isn’t a lot of selling in social selling. But there doesn’t have to be for you to realize an ROI from using the social channels. Just don’t confuse it with the real activity of selling. Still pick up the phone. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

27Nov/19

Madrid Open favorite Naomi Osaka recaptures spark

first_imgJapan’s Naomi Osaka serves the ball to Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh during their round-of-16 match at the WTA Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on April 25, 2019. (Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP)After a week of training on the clay courts of the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Naomi Osaka feels she’s rediscovered the form that had been missing since her Australian Open triumph in January.The top seed at the Madrid Open this week, Osaka says she’s ready to return to action and isn’t too concerned about the abdominal injury she sustained in Stuttgart where she reached the semi-final last week.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated The world number one was forced to withdraw ahead of her semi-final against Anett Kontaveit at the German tournament but was seen hitting at Madrid’s Caja Magica on Friday, and says she’s pain-free.“I haven’t served up until today and basically I was just resting it,” Osaka told reporters in the Spanish capital on Friday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“Of course I hit ground strokes for the past three days because it’s not like I could fully rest, but it’s not painful, so I think it’s looking good.”Seeking her first title on clay, Osaka opens against 2016 runner-up Dominika Cibulkova in Madrid. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew “It was really fun actually, those matches, so I’m really looking forward to my next one,” added Osaka.Successful adjustmentAll three of Osaka’s career titles so far have come on hard-courts but she believes she’s been successfully adjusting her mentality on clay in order to contend at Roland Garros.“I think it’s fitness and also mental. Because last year I thought the number one thing I could have improved on, on clay, is just prolonging the point, or like accepting when I have to back off being aggressive,” she said.“So then when I played Donna (Vekic in Stuttgart) … I just remember telling myself that I don’t have to hit a winner for it to be a good point and I don’t have to play perfectly to win, so I think I was able to do that.“I was a bit sad I couldn’t continue that way of thinking because I had to withdraw but hopefully I can keep it here.”Osaka said she was impressed by Nadal’s academy during her training block there, despite her shyness in meeting the Spanish 17-time Grand Slam champion.“He’s a really nice person, he was sort of the one talking more than me, which you can kind of tell that that would happen,” she said.“Yesterday (in Madrid) he went on the court after me and he was talking to me again and I was like ‘woah’,” she said with a smile.Defending Madrid champion Petra Kvitova, a losing finalist to Osaka at the Australian Open, is the number two seed at the Caja Magica and opens her campaign against talented 20-year-old Sofia “Sonya” Kenin. MOST READ Following a second consecutive Grand Slam triumph at the Australian Open in January, the 21-year-old Osaka lost some momentum.The Japanese-Haitian star parted ways with her coach Sascha Bajin and suffered an opening round defeat in Dubai, a fourth-round exit in Indian Wells -– where she was the defending champion -– and a third-round loss in Miami.She hired Jermaine Jenkins as her coach ahead of Indian Wells, and says she feels like Stuttgart has got her back on track.“I think in Stuttgart, I did pretty well,” she said.“I played two really hard matches and I think that I just was able to turn a switch on that I haven’t been able to since the Australian [Open].ADVERTISEMENT PBA Finals: Beermen get back at Hotshots to tie series at 1-1 Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassleslast_img read more