Minister Kubayi-Ngubane’s cook-off with Somizi leaves a bad taste in SA’s mouth

18 May 2021 - 12:00 By unathi nkanjeni
Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane cooking with media personality Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung.
Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane cooking with media personality Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung.
Image: Department of tourism/Twitter

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. 

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:


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