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Meet the scientist, influencer and engineer in the MasterChef kitchen

The trio are part of 20 contestants cooking off to win a million bucks in the new series which premieres on Monday

24 February 2022 - 09:00
Tembisa Jordaan
Tembisa Jordaan
Image: Supplied

I’m a MasterChef junkie and the Australian version, my favourite of this global show, has a pedigree of more than a dozen series. After a long hiatus the SA version is back, kicking off on Monday on M-Net with an all-new team — new judges, new production company and a new kitchen. I can’t wait. Watch all the drama unfold as 20 contestants battle it out in a hot and steamy kitchen and all with one goal: to cook their hearts out to stand a chance of winning one-million rand. Meet three of the contestants:


Marine scientist and documentary filmmaker from Durban

Tembisa, 37, is as passionate about people-centric biodiversity conservation and transformation as she is about being in the kitchen. She’s been cooking since she was 10 — the tenacious nonconformist grew up in Dobsonville and in the Eastern Cape at her beloved grandmother's side.

The multitalented Tembisa is also a filmmaker and recently won second runner-up in the Yale University Environment 360 Video Contest for her multi-award-winning short documentary film titled ‘Ulwandle Lushile’.

Simphiwe ‘Sims’ Kubeka.
Simphiwe ‘Sims’ Kubeka.
Image: Supplied


Software engineer from Midrand

Yearning for a career in food the high-energy Sims, 25, entered the competition to convince his family he should pursue a culinary arts education with the proviso he makes it through to being named one of the top five in the reality cooking show.

He likes nothing better than baking which was inspired by his childhood growing up with his grandmother’s cooking and baking. His gogo, so impressed by his love of baking, enrolled him in a baking class at church where he found he was the only boy in the class.

This didn’t deter him from keeping his love of the kitchen alive even though he chose to study mathematical statistics, key to the job he has today.

Luyanda Mafanya.
Luyanda Mafanya.
Image: Supplied


Food blogger and private cook from Johannesburg

With a whopping 120,000 Instagram followers, Luyanda, 27, is a food influencer who sees creative plating and flavour development as her strengths.

She cooks everything from African and Italian, to modern cuisines from around the world. 

She’s cooked since she was seven years old and her real love for food was ignited by the sad loss of her beloved grandmother and today cooking makes her feel connected to her late gogo. 

No stranger to reality cooking shows she made it to the semifinals of My Kitchen Rules SA and her greatest influence is SA’s Michelin star chef Jan Hendrik, who has put SA cuisine on the world stage.

• MasterChef SA M-Net  (DStv channel 101) Monday to Thursday at 6pm


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