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Mandela's chef releases cookbook

By Louise McAuliffe | Feb 03, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 40 ]

FAMILY FAVOURITES: Personal chef to Madiba, Xoliswa Ndoyiya has just launched her cookery book Ukutya Kwasekhaya: Tastes from Nelson Mandela’s Kitchen.

Revealing the secret to her success in preparing meals for Madiba, his family and many guests who have visited the Mandela residence, Ndoyiya, who regards Madiba as her parent and leader, said:

“The food that I have been feeding Tata does not have any secrets.

“The reason that I have had to come up with this book is because whenever the children or guests come to the house they always accuse me of having a secret,” said Ndoyiya, whose first job was peeling potatoes and washing dishes.

“Now I am saying YES there is a secret – It’s love.  I cook food with love.”

The cookbook contains a collection of more than 60 recipes that Ndoyiya has prepared over the last 19 years.

Madiba was unable to attend the event but a granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela, read out a letter from him and his wife Graca Machel, which said: “Your love and devotion to Madiba and I is beyond words”.

Mandela’s grandson Luvuyo Mandela said: “uMam’Xoli has been the family’s best kept secret. She is more than someone who prepared meals ... she was a parent to us”.

He thanked an emotional Ndoyiya for her “many sacrifices” including spending more time with his family than with her own family in the Eastern Cape.

“Thank you for everything, we love you,” said Luvuyo.

Also in attendance at the launch, held at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, was Mrs Paulette Rothstein, who employed Ndoyiya when she first came to Johannesburg in the 1980s.


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Xoliswa Ndoyiya is trying to prey on the Mandela name, nothing else.

Feb 03, 2012 8:29 | 0 replies


This morning she was sharing about how particular Madiba is about his meals and how her whole idea of cooking was changed by him. It seems that he will not touch his food if there is any oil on his plate and he taught her how he prefers his gravy made - so I guess there is a bit of Madiba Magic in there :)

Feb 03, 2012 12:21 | 0 replies

If she was a chef from Ricardo's fish & chip, no one would have cared jack sh!t.

It is not like the food has Madiba magic in it.......... samp is samp whether eaten by a Mandela or a Mokwena

Feb 03, 2012 12:7 | 0 replies

She is just sharing her cooking and receipt that it all. I think i will buy the book because i like cooking nice food for my man.

Feb 03, 2012 11:31 | 0 replies

Sis Xoli, is the book in stores or that was just a launch, bcoz my w.i.f.e must have one even though she is a good cook both ways.

Feb 03, 2012 11:30 | 0 replies

who gives a rats ass

Feb 03, 2012 11:15 | 0 replies

If it was a white person doing this, I don't know what people were going to say. Or was it going to be obvious. Why don't we support each other like how other nations out of Africa Contitent do? I think she did the right thing to write this book. I wish she can also write a book how she leave with our father. Maybe people need somebody from UK or USA to come and write these types of books. People who will benefit won't be local after foreign people wrote or publish those books

Feb 03, 2012 10:41 | 0 replies

This mama stole from no one, If people like my food....Hell yeah, I would make more money out of it.
In America you make money for just doing silly things and you get popular for it.
Why not celebrate her?
If she's using Mandela, then his grandchildren are too.

On that note, I want to buy that book.
I will go see if the photocopies are on the street already for R10 lol (jokes)

Feb 03, 2012 10:39 | 0 replies

Xoliswa Ndoyiya was on SABC2 this morning. What a lovely, humble, sweet lady she seems to be. Her passion for cooking was obvious as was the influence that Madiba had on her cooking style.

Hopefully her book will become a staple in many houses as some serious reduction of oil intake would do the nation a heck of a lot of good

Feb 03, 2012 10:8 | 0 replies


I know about this woman, Im not doing a PHD but it irks me that anything Mandela is glorified

Feb 03, 2012 12:29 | 0 replies


It happens. It used to be Gandhi. The man was painted as some kind of latter day messiah and everything revolved around him. Now its Madiba. We just have to hope someone else comes along to topple him. They say a change is as good as a holiday.

Feb 03, 2012 12:34 | 0 replies