'no one makes it like my mother does'

CANNED HEAT: Mo Mafatso tried out tinned chakalaka. Pic. Thys Dullaart. 25/11/2009. © THE TIMES.
Isidingo actor Motlatsi Mafatso tested chakalaka for The Times Picture THYS DULLAART


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CANNED HEAT: Mo Mafatso tried out tinned chakalaka. Pic. Thys Dullaart. 25/11/2009. © THE TIMES. Isidingo actor Motlatsi Mafatso tested chakalaka for The Times Picture THYS DULLAART ------ 35 across full pic

BY the tender age of 25 Motlatsi "Mo" Mafatshe has already acted in series that have caught the attention of the Emmies and Oscars.

BY the tender age of 25 Motlatsi "Mo" Mafatshe has already acted in series that have caught the attention of the Emmies and Oscars.

He was also named one of the top 100 South Africans in 2007 - an accolade that puts his name among others such as Toyko Sexwale and Nelson Mandela.

Soap opera fans will recognise him as Sechaba from the soapie Isidingo.

Mafatshe describes Sechaba as being, "fiery and loud".

The Soweto-born actor says there are similarities between him and Sechaba: "We both fight for what we want".

Mafatshe has worked hard to get to the respected position he has today. He graduated from the school of Motion Picture and Live Performance with honours in Live Performance in 2006.

"I didn't do any theatre before acting on screen. Music was actually my first love. People say my style of singing and music is like John Legend, Robin Thicke and a little like Lil Wayne."

He is working on his first album. "It will be a funk, rhythm and blues album." He also speaks of the album being inspired by Frank Sinatra and Lil Wayne.

Mo has acted in the Emmy Award nominated series Home Affairs and When we were Black, which won the Student Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

Today his acting and singing skills take a back seat to his tasting skills. Chakalaka, a dish he is very familiar with, is put to the test.

He first tries Pick n Pay's Hot and Spicy chakalaka.

'This is spicy but not hot. It's far too oily and it tastes like a student made it. It definitely does not taste home-made."

He tries the Koo Hot and Spicy Chakalaka. "This one looks nice. But the beans take away from the chakalaka - they take the laka out of the chakalaka."

The third one to be tried is Miami's Hot chakalaka. "This one might taste better if it were warm. It's also far too oily."

The last to be tried is All Gold's Hot and Spicy chakalaka. "This is horrible."

He is not impressed with any of the chakalakas he has tasted, and it turns out his mother is to blame.

"My mother makes the best chakalaka. You can taste each ingredient. Her chakalaka is hot and spicy."

"Selling chakalaka in a can doesn't work. It's like trying to sell ready-made pap."

But if Mafatshe really had to choose he would have to say that Koo's chakalaka is the best. - Keitumetse Segoai

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