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Heat-and-eat mogodu to hit the shelves at your supermarket

Finding the time to cook a good‚ hearty meal at the end of a demanding day is a challenge‚ how much more having to cook a traditional dish like pap or even mogodu (tripe)?

 AfricanDeli seeks to solve that problem through their heat-and-eat mogodu‚ which was launched in the world-famous Vilakazi Street in Soweto on Monday.

Silvanus Kathindi‚ CEO of AfricanDeli‚ said his product was inspired by his busy life and a nagging need for traditional food that kindled his childhood memories.

“I grew up in a village. I went to the city for studies and I kept going back to the village for its unique offer of good African food. As the time went by‚ I went into business‚ life got busy‚ I got so modern and upgraded my lifestyle‚” Kathindi said.

“But I always felt like having mogodu and I could only get it at home or by the mama at the corner. I told myself that there has to be a way to bring this closer to me‚ to the people.”

In an age of long office hours‚ an obsession with bandwidth and instant gratification‚ people are constantly looking for smarter and faster ways to do things. Mogodu is no different.

“When I did my research I received overwhelming support and input from the people I engaged. Mostly they said that they want a product that’s African and would have their interest at heart. Women advised me to use plastic for packaging over a tin‚ for convenience. I initially wanted to use tin‚” Kathindi said.

“This is for the modernised‚ aspirational traditionalists‚ who also have busy lives. You are saving time‚ you won’t have to deal with the smell of fresh mogodu and there won’t be a need to use a lot of electricity cooking it for up to five hours.”

Kathindi said his product will be available at Pick n Pay and Spar supermarkets.

The flavours are normal gravy and chili sauce‚ with an 18-month shelf life. The 165 gram bag will cost a minimum price of R30 while the 330 gram will go for R45 or so‚ depending on the shop and market prices.

Nomantombi Mdodana‚ a local from Soweto‚ said she was looking forward to buying the product.

“It’s like baked beans‚ easy and quick. Obviously you can’t expect it to taste exactly like the one you have at weddings‚ but it is tasty enough. It’s a good thing. Mogodu normally wastes electricity‚ water and time. We are too busy to sit in the kitchen for hours‚” Mdodana said.

Kevin Malunga‚ a Johannesburg local‚ was sceptical about the concept.

“I don’t know. I don’t think I would buy it‚ I mean where have you heard of mogodu in a tin or plastic? What if my stomach runs? I don’t get it. I normally eat it once a month and I would rather stick to the one cooked at home‚ no surprises there‚” Malunga said.