The Lazy Makoti demystifying the kitchen
A table neatly stacked with the distinct red copies of The Lazy Makoti’s Guide to the Kitchen welcomes attendees of the light-hearted book launch. Around the numerous seating arrangements, guests sip on wine, peruse the pages of their copies, and hug the woman of the moment: Mogau Seshoene.
The Lazy Makoti was established when Seshoene started giving cooking lessons to a friend who was preparing for marriage and struggling to make authentic and traditional South African dishes. In The Lazy Makoti’s Guide to the Kitchen, Mogau demystifies the often daunting tasks of preparing the dishes that South Africans have come to love over the years.
The launch of this charming cookbook was headed by an on-stage Q&A session, facilitated by Olwethu Leshabane. Amongst the topics of discussion were the politics of food, Seshoene’s love for home-cooked meals, and the process of turning one’s passion into a business and career.
“Unfortunately the food industry in South Africa is still male and white dominated,” Seshoene said. “But some of us are trying to change that”. As a black woman in the chef world, Seshoene’s role as not only a cook, but an entrepreneur, is a rather transformative one. At the same time, her role in the kitchen seems to confirm a certain stereotype within the black community, which is that a woman’s place is in the kitchen. This matters little for Seshoene, however, because her simple answer to the question of why she started this venture is that she wanted to be happy. And that happiness has found its way to the pages of her book.
The Lazy Makoti’s Guide to the Kitchen also seeks to incorporate storytelling and taps into the nostalgia that its recipes tend to evoke. “I wanted a book that was truly a representative of South Africa. It’s not a Jamie Oliver book; it looks like us, it feels like us, it embodies our grandmothers, our aunts and uncles and cousins,” she explained.
The night featured some thought-provoking conversation around food, with guests being afforded the opportunity to ask questions, congratulate Seshoene as they pleased and get their copies of the book signed. With a presence of warmth and utter joy, it is no surprise that she has grown as popular as she has. The future of The Lazy Makoti will, without a doubt, bring success as authentic as the cuisine in the publication!