By Nomali Cele
Traditional practices are often criticised for being ‘backward’ and irrelevant in today’s world. With increased globalisation, African ideas and traditions seem to have reached a point where they are at risk of becoming obsolete. However, there are some Afropolitans who are modernising tradition and keeping it relevant in their lives. Here are two women with very different approaches:
The Lazy Makoti – Cooking Teacher/Entrepreneur
Leading up to Easter weekend this year, we ran a survey on our Facebook page asking you what advice you would give fellow Afropolitans spending the weekend with their partner’s family for the first time. Along with not having much advice for the men, the consensus seemed to be simply ‘don’t be lazy’.
Then there’s the traditional notion that brides must be busy and prepared to work hard which persists. But what about those brides who don’t have the time? What about those who don’t know how to cook traditional food or those who simply don’t want to perform these roles?
Enter The Lazy Makoti.
Mogau Seshoene is a foodie who is in love with South African cuisine. She has turned that love into a business, The Lazy Makoti, where she helps young brides – and anyone interested in South African food – get better at preparing it. Seshoene gives one-on-one cooking lessons that centre around South African traditional food, shares recipes and also sells cooking utensils, such as wooden spoons and chopping boards.
Despite the name, The Lazy Makoti isn’t necessarily about getting women ‘un-lazy’. It’s a chance for people who want to learn to cook South African food to be able to do so with less effort.
Nokulinda Mkhize – Sangoma
Nokulinda Mkhize, 31, is a mother, ‘bhujwa housewife’ blogger, tweeter, hip-hop head and also isangoma. Mkhize accepted her calling and was initiated as isangoma in her very early 20s. She has just added the title of gobela by initiating someone who has accepted their calling too.
Mkhize’s healing practice has had many talking because she has been vocal online about ubongoma and African spirituality. It’s also that, in recent years, she has made the decision to make her work (consultations, divination and other spheres of ubungoma) a virtual practice. This means – aside from her workshops – she consults over the phone, on Skype and through other means of online communication.
So African traditions seem to be alive and well after all among some Afropolitans, who are adapting them to their lifestyles and their work and keeping it going in a new way.