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Thuli Gogela has always loved traditional food. She grew up in the Eastern Cape and for a time lived with relatives on a farm, helping prepare recipes and watching her aunts source local ingredients for the pot.
A dream was born to one day open an indigenous African restaurant. Thuli wanted to keep an appreciation for traditional food alive, especially amongst young South Africans.
After completing a diploma in Consumer Science, Food and Nutrition at the Cape Technikon and getting a job as a food technologist for a leading manufacturer, she set about opening a traditional food restaurant with two others.
But suddenly her dream was shattered. They absconded with the money she had invested in the project. She had borrowed heavily to do so and her savings were gone too. It was a mighty blow for someone who had given life and soul to a dream.
Thuli went into a deep depression, overwhelmed at the years it would take to pay back the money with nothing to show for it. Her sense of positivity about the future hit an all time low.
But Thuli remained in her job, dug deep and turned to the Internet for inspiration. She discovered food blogging and after much research and technical help launched Mzansi Style Cuisine an indigenous food blog filled with articles, recipes and passion. Today it is a much visited and respected online indigenous food destination, bringing cultures together and keeping recipes alive.
Since taking her second Leap wonderful opportunities have unfolded for Thuli. Her blog has been well received and continues to grow; she’s been featured on TV shows - including ours; is a freelance writer for food magazines and recently launched her own newspaper column in the Cape Times. Well done Thuli. You have bounced back with great culinary style.
If you love good food and a great story don’t miss this episode.
Don’t forget to check out Mzansi Style Cuisine at www.mzansistylecuisine.co.za