Minister Kubayi-Ngubane’s cook-off with Somizi leaves a bad taste in SA’s mouth
Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane’s cook-off with media personality Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung to promote township tourism has drawn widespread criticism online.
Kubayi-Ngubane participated in the cook-off with Somizi on Monday, ahead of the department of tourism’s budget vote on Tuesday.
The cook-off took place at DJ Shimza’s restaurant, The Hang Awt, in Tembisa.
The department said the event was an opportunity for Kubayi-Ngubane to showcase some of the skills and innovative entrepreneurial ventures that are critical in growing and sustaining the hospitality industry.
“The event will feature exhibitions by young entrepreneurs who are new entrants in the hospitality space, and those who have initiated successful businesses within their communities following the completion of the skills development programmes implemented by the department of tourism.”
Speaking on Power 98.7, the minister said Somizi did not charge for the event but the restaurant was booked. She said having Somizi on board was part of the department’s marketing strategy.
“I understand he normally charges a lot of money, but he didn’t,” said Kubayi-Ngubane.
She defended the event on social media, urging her critics to “go and check celebrity cooking shows”, saying they are a global trend.
This event is the last pre-budget event we are hosting since last week. Do you have feedback on other events that we held so that we can use this as part of the debriefing session with the team. If you didn’t notice other events also do indicate 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽— Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane (@mmKubayiNgubane) May 17, 2021
The cook-off left a sour taste on social media as many users questioned how the event was supposed to boost the country’s tourism and why Somizi, and not a young professional chef, was involved.
Here is a snapshot of what was said:
Tourism industry suffered during lockdown and the minister see it best to do a cook-off lebo Somizi ai this country— The Chosen one 🕯️ (@hunadi_mpho) May 17, 2021
i’m sure the Ministry of Tourism thought to itself they are empowering you black entrepreneurs by using Shimza’s restaurant&hiring Somizi to battle the Minister in a cook-off. I kind of applaud it but there’s just sooo much wrong with this picture, it will end badly unfortunately— .yoda (@Monde_Kapa) May 17, 2021
I need someone to explain it to me, as if I was a 5 year old.— Morolong (@TowardsUhuru) May 17, 2021
How is anyone going to be influenced into traveling and supporting the local tourism sector after a cook-off between Somizi and the Minister?
How does that cook-off help the tourism sector?#shimza #Nota pic.twitter.com/U0iYgF2iCV
The pandemic has left a whole lot of chef graduates without places to go work or do practicals within the hospitality & tourism industry. An event to show their plight and highlight the young up and coming chef skills in SA Tourism would have made more sense.— Lesego Semenya (@LesDaChef) May 16, 2021
But what do I know https://t.co/ZQXSQvnKCN
The problem is your team didn't read the room. Yes celebrity shows under normal circumstances were a tourist puller not now. Anything around launch of vaccination programme would have done better. Which tourist will care about u cooking in Tembisa😢— lisazizo (@molili07) May 16, 2021
But how will that cooking shandis of yours contribute to our country's struggling tourism sector and how will it make tourism more accessible & affordable to South Africans?— Kwena Molekwa (@Ruraltarain) May 16, 2021