Culture Cuisine Highlights From UJ 2018 International Festival

As part of the Festival’s procedures, its participants were judged based on which country had the best food and presentation.

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By Nandi Ntini & Kupakwashe Kambasha

The 2018 International Festival had food galore and featured a number of countries flaunting interesting displays of culture and their respective cuisines.

As part of the Festival’s procedures, its participants were judged based on which country had the best food and presentation.

Some of the countries that took part in the food displays included Swaziland, Egypt, China, Zimbabwe, Angola, DRC and South Africa.


A glimpse of the Swaziland team’s traditional taste. Photo by: kupakwashe Kambasha.

The Swati tribe decided to amaze with both solid food and drinks, but their main focus was their snack food.

“This year we decided to concentrate a lot on the snack part of Swaziland food. We have biltong which we call Umcweba, Tindlubu which is our soya beans and Tinkobe that is our maize,” Nkosingiphile Dlamini said.

For their liquid and solid meal they made Umgqomboti, also known as traditional beer with pap and roasted meat.

Democratic Republic of Congo

DRC displaying their traditional cuisine. Photo by: Siyabonga Chila

This year they decided to use Poulet mayo, a current trend in the DRC. Not forgetting the Matembele salad consisting of sweet potato leaves and fish.

“The choice of the food was actually choosing the staple food that is eaten all over DRC, because as you know different culture, different food,” Benedicte a-mutshail said.

You can find their food in the Yeoville market and the Urban African market in Cresta, Shopping Centre.


Angolian presentation of their traditional food. Photo by Siyabonga Chila.

The Angolans prepared a very different meal to the one they presented last year.

The Angolan chef cooked two types of chicken, which were accompanied by roasted plantains and peanuts. A mouth -watering peanut cake was also tabled.

“We have Muamba that we do it with chicken, peanut butter, onions and tomatoes. Then we made Cabidela: here we first cook the chicken, then when it’s almost read, we put the blood inside,” said Ana Santiago.

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Food presentation at the Chinese stall. Photo by Siyabonga Chila.

The Chinese prepared their country’s traditional war food.

The inspiration behind their food were the traditional meals from their war festival. During the International Festival, different families gathered together in a peaceful act of unity and remembered those who died in the years of war.

South Africa

Viewers gather to see the South African food presentation. Photo by Siyabonga Chila.

Right before the judges came to observe the South African tent, it was flooded with students who were excited to see what food there was.

Instead of placing their focus on one dish, the South African chefs delivered multiple dishes.

They decided to incorporate many different traditional cultural dishes. They cooked mohodo for the Pedi and Setswana tribes, as well as, the traditional Zulu favourite amanqina and ujeqe.


Display of the traditional Zimbabwean cuisine. Photo by Kupakwashe Kambasha.

The Zimbabweans served traditional dishes of  Mazondo or cow hooves along with Sadza, beef stew and a vegetable mix.

They also amazed the audience with their traditional snacks that included Mutakura. This is a mixture of ground nuts, round nuts, beans and maize. Not forgetting the Nhopi: smashed pumpkin and peanut butter.


Umm Ali, an Egyptian dish. Photo by Siyabonga Chila

Egypt prepared two tasty dishes consisting of mainly vegetables.

The first dish for the Egyptians carries historical inspirational. The dish is called Umm Ali meaning mother of Ali. It was named by a woman in honour of her husband.

The second dish represented their country. “We have the one main dish which is Koshari. You will find it everywhere across Egypt and this is the main Egyptian authentic food and it’s basically vegetarian,” chef Hadeer Amer said. TOJ

Reporting by Nandi & Kupakwashe Kambasha; Editing by Amber Richardson and Gaby Ndongo.

Feature image: Swaziland presents a mouthwatering display of their traditional food.

Image courtesy to Kupakwashe Kambasha

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