Be my guest, say good hosts Khune and Lebese

Itumeleng Khune and his girlfriend Sphelele Mak.
Itumeleng Khune and his girlfriend Sphelele Mak.

The season of amachillas and get-togethers is upon us. Copious amounts of beverages will be consumed, fingers will be coated with sticky marinades and compliments and complaints will flow fast and free.

So, with this in mind, I caught up with two of Mzansi's well-known soccer stars, shot stopper for Kaizer Chiefs Itumeleng Khune and Mamelodi Sundowns' George Lebese, about their hosting style and preferences for the braai season.

I cornered the two on Spring Day when Khune was hosting us at a swanky venue in Houghton, Johannesburg, for a braai held by one of the companies he's an ambassador for, where socialising, games of pool and cold libations were the order of the day.

George Lebese and Itumeleng Khune.
George Lebese and Itumeleng Khune.

Khune, who assured me that he'll be the one standing in front of a braai stand at any chillas, says he makes sure there's photographic proof of his contribution to festivities.

"I'm a photo freak, everything I do I want to take pictures of and I want to make sure that it is indeed me who did the meat. I want to take pictures and videos and post on my social platforms so that people won't say that Itu is lying, he's not the one who made the meat," he laughs.

He's got no secret sauce but says time is of the essence, feed the people as soon as you can.

Although Khune was not the one braaiing meat at the function as all the food was prepared by a catering company, guests were treated to an array of food, with sticky BBQ chicken wings among the starters and the mains served buffet style.

A spit braai is delicious as an option.
A spit braai is delicious as an option.

Whole fresh kabeljou fish) from the braai, beef from a spit braai which was unfortunately overly salted and mielies with a choice of sides such as pap and chakalaka, a trio of butter and a creamy potato salad with fresh cilantro and pickles, made for delicious and familiar food.

Khune's friend George Lebese who was there to support him loves hosting people. "I like hosting people. I feel . you should know what type of people you're expecting so you can make it comfortable."

Lebese says he likes to braai though he's a terrible cook, in fact he needs somebody to marinate or spice the meat and then he comes in with stoking the fire before laying the meat on the grill.

"For me hosting is about interacting with different people, obviously if we have a conversation, we're sharing different ideas, so you'll never know [where] your biggest inspiration could come from. So just having people around, good energy, is okay for me."

Mielies served with a trio of butters surprised guest by using a herbed variant.
Mielies served with a trio of butters surprised guest by using a herbed variant.

If you're ever a guest at one of his get-togethers, the 30- year-old says bring a healthy dose of respect. ". if you're hosting, it's your own comfortable place so people need to respect that place as if it was theirs. Respect goes a long way, you must respect other people as well."

Lebese says the spring/summer season is his favourite.

"I'm looking forward to being hosted, instead of hosting, because it's a lot of work. After hosting you need to clean up. If you are hosted, you don't have to clean up!"

Lebese and Khune are both avid music fans. Lebese enjoys Bryson Tiller, while Khune favours Tswana music, though he listens to all genres. He trended last year in June after posting a video of himself rapping.

"I'm a bad rapper, but music keeps me going, before every match I listen to music, I sing and because I have my headphones on, my teammates would look at me and be like Itu you're such a bad singer, because I'm singing out loud and I'm not hearing myself."

Potato salad is a must at a braai.
Potato salad is a must at a braai.

Even his next holiday destination, Santorini, Greece, is inspired by music.

"My favourite rapper, which is Rick Ross, performed one of his songs in Greece Santorini, that is the name of the song. When I saw the video, I said this is where I want to go to next. I'm not a big fan of leaving the country, but Santorini would be my next destination."

Hold my beer

To say beer is a universal favourite is arguable, but this country is definitely a beer-drinking nation.

And did you know there's a perfect way to pour a beer? If you're surprised, you're about to get schooled. The following is a step-by-step guide on how to do it, compiled by Anton Erasmus, Trade Brewer at SAB.

Hold the glass at a 45-degree angle, about 2.5cm below the bottle or can.

Let the beer flow down the side of the glass until it is half full.

Gently tilt the glass upright and pour down the centre to create about a 2.5cm head of foam on the top. If you have more foam than expected, let the beer rest until the head calms down and then resume pouring.

Once the foam is in place, stop pouring, sit back and enjoy.

Beer is now appreciated as more than just an enjoyable thirst-quenching beverage. Pouring the perfect beer takes practise and it is a true art to pour one perfectly. 

- Remember to consume alcohol responsibly.

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