Don't touch mom's prized Tupperware

On this Mother's Day, make sure the prized Tupperware dishes are safely tucked away, because Tupperware can make or break families.

Melissa Moloi says her mom and aunt did not speak to each other for a few years after the kitchenware went missing.

She clearly remembers the brown, beige and orange oval bowels, as well as the rice steamer which she now owns.

"It was a rule in the house that not even family would leave with food in these prized bowls.

"My mom kept a stack of butter dishes, ice cream containers and meat trays for people to take food with. When those ran out, she'd tell the guests to wrap their food in plastic," she says.

Moloi says her mom was so bad, she reminds her of the meme where the lady gets on a bicycle to collect all her dishes from her neighbours.

"On this one day, my aunt somehow managed to sneak away food in two of my mom's dishes.

She came back weeks later with one burnt from leaving it near a hot plate and the other one scorched from using the wrong cleaning products. My mom was furious. The argument escalated quickly from Tupperware to old family secrets. They never spoke for a few years after that."

As for Moloi, she doesn't own any Tupperware dishes, besides her mom's old dishes.

"It's not worth the pain. They end up missing, no matter how hard you try to guard them. Besides, cheaper plastic dishes serve the purpose of storage just fine," she says.

Keitumetse Molebatsi and Lesley Barlow are both sellers of the product today, founded by American entrepreneur Earl Tupper in 1946.

The pair say the business has helped them financially, as it has for many other women over the years.

"I saw it as a great opportunity for someone who is fresh out of university to make extra money," says Molebatsi. She says while growing up, these dishes were a treasure to her mom.

"She bought them and hardly ever used them. They were always put away in a room-divider for us to stare at.

"For birthdays and other special occasions, that's when they came out and we would use them."

Losing a Tupperware was worse than losing your school jersey in winter. My mom still has the quick shake measurement cup which my sister uses when she bakes."

Barlow says even though she started selling the brand to make ends meet way back in 1999 whilst unemployed, she still does today.

"About a year ago I was unemployed again and selling Tupperware was my main source of income."

She agrees that black people have an unusual love affair with the brand.

"Growing up we were allowed to use my mom's dishes, but not share any leftovers in these special containers as we all know they never come back."

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.