Festive Things (Mgidi Vibes) And Happy 2015 Wishes!

Hey guys!  Happy new year!  I hope 2015 is good to you so far!  I took a break from blogging, trust me it was needed.  Thank you to everyone who has been trying out the recipes on the blog! I saw some of the comments and appreciate them!   I always use the “time off” reflect and look at ways to improve the platform.  This includes compiling a list of all the recipes I still need to share and trust me, they are worth looking forward to.

Festive season may be over but it is our favourite time of the year!  Some of us spend the whole year saving up and making plans for the time and who can blame us?  There’s no time like Ke Dezemba!  Once you get home it all suddenly makes sense, one finds peace from just looking at the open spaces of the homelands (Eastern Cape in my case), being surrounded by family, the love, being around familiar faces of people we grew up with, the vibe and  excitement…..

My favourite part is attending ceremonies.  Attending is a nice way of putting it,  I like to gate-crash.  In fact, who doesn’t? Before you start rolling eyes or side eyeing me, let me clarify my definition of “gate-crashing”.  There’s no such thing as gate-crashing in the rural areas.  Everyone is invited  and the more, the merrier!  That’s the spirit of Ubuntu right there!  With the prevalence of social media, people get to share snaps of their homes and it is very fascinating!

I spent my festive in Cape Town, however,  a friend of mine from varsity, Dudu, captured some of her favourite moments to share with us.  Dudu and I go way back from high school then varsity.  She is a Food Technologist by profession, a mother, a glamour girl, a diva and a wife.  Being a wife means taking up your Makoti (bride) duties whenever there are ceremonies at your in-laws.  For someone like Dudu (being a glamour girl and all) this means taking off the skinny jeans and kicking off those Christian Louboutin’s , covering up the weave with a turban and wearing those long skirts which go down to the ankles.   It does not end there, the Makoti has to wear a scarf around her waist.   This shows respect to her in-laws and it symbolizes that she is a wife to her husband’s family.

It happened that there was an initiation ceremony (umgidi) at her in-laws.  Some call it “boys to men” as the boys go to the bush and come back as young men.  Umgidi celebration involves the preparation of traditional beer, Umqombothi, and traditional dishes are prepared.  The Makoti cooks but is helped by other women from the community.


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When I asked Dudu to let us in of her role, this is what she said…..

“My role as uMakoti was to ukusila (making traditional beer) before the day of the main function and also cooking the food in those big black cast iron pots.  Traditionally, the food for umcimbi (the ceremony) can’t be cooked inside the house it must be outside. To me the most part I always enjoy is to cook outside and do my own innovation.   People always thought ukutya kwaphandle (food cooked outside) should be bland but I always  add my own twist and take it to another level.  People love it!”

It is not all fun and games though, as you can imagine, a Makoti is the first one to wake up and make tea or coffee for the elders.  She is also the last one to go to bed as she ensures that everything is ready for the next day.  One cannot really blame them when they dash off to the big cities immediately after the ceremonies are finalized.  My friend here could not wait to go back to her base, Jozi and book herself into a spa for a full body massage! Ha!


Celebrations like this one are a great way to remind us of our culture and also showcase it!  I also couldn’t help but notice that this generation of Makotis spices up the look, one doesn’t need to look dull when doing the duties!

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Not going home during the festive season has its benefits (you get to actually relax) but looking at these pics gets one to feel like they still need some “life” or that home vibe and energy injected into them.  There’s no place like home!  What did you guys get up to?  Would love to hear your festive experiences!


Check out more photos from Dudu’s instagram:  @dumisaxashimba

Thanks for the stunning pics D!  You’re a STAR!


About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

Comments ( 2 )

  • Lauren Cohen

    Happy New Year Thuli! Loved this blog post and insight into cultural ceremonies. Hope to see you soon.

    • Great to see you here Lauren!

      Happy 2015!

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