Take A Trip Down Memory Lane With Homemade Bompies / Obhompi


Where does the story of obhombi begin?  For me, it goes way back over a decade ago.  In primary school, my friends and I attended a school in town which was a kilometre away from where we lived.

Normally our parents would give us taxi fare however, as kids we would rather keep the money then walk in a group and spend the money on food (eats) for the road.  One of the eats we spent the money on was obhompi. Those days were just awesome!

As the school bell rang, we ran to the nearby house that sold obhompi.  Sometimes we would be told “they are not frozen yet” That would result in disappointed and sad little faces.

What is ubhompi?  It’s a drink (it can be any drink) poured into a transparent plastic bag, tied on top then frozen.  Some would say it’s the township version of ice lollies. They are sold at different prices depending on the amount of drink poured into the bag.  Back in the day, we would prepare a drink with Oro Crush, now I’ve seen and tasted the commercialised version and they are prepared with fruit juice.  They are actually very nice but a tad expensive than the normal ones.   You get people going around selling them and yelling “ice” like the mealies lady on Madam and Eve.

Obhompi / Bompies
Obhompi / Bompies before going into the freezer

In high school, it was the same.  We bought bompies especially at this time of the year.  The funny thing we would hit them up against a hard object to crush the ice without tearing the bag.   I’m not sure what’s nicer, sucking the ice or crushing the ice with your teeth.

Last month at my mom’s place it was very hot and the cooldrinks weren’t doing the job so I made them up.  As I was sitting outside enjoying my bompie my brother saw me on his way out, he immediately went straight inside the house, right into the kitchen.  I asked what he was looking for.  He opened the freezer then asked “can I have one?” hehe!  My mom told me he loves them and I didn’t even know that, but then again he is in high school and he walks from school with a group of friends.  I’m sure they buy them on their way back.

Everyone growing up in the townships of Mzansi grew up buying obhompi.  They are called different names due to language differences.

Personally, I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything.  The long walks back from school sucking and enjoying obhompi with friends.  I made them up with my nephew and he was overly excited!  So, making bompies is something you can do with the kids …for the kids.  I bet they won’t be asking for money to buy them.

Did you grow up in the era of obhompi?  I would like to hear about your experience 🙂


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 ( 12 )

  • I love how you transport me back to my childhood with your posts. I actually forgot about bompies and they would be so perfect in this weather.

    • Thanks lady! That is the aim, to go back into our childhood days and make everyone realise that even if we didn’t have much our parents managed to ensure that we had an amazing time making unforgettable memories!

  • Still a hot favorite with my children…..love them!!

    • I almost forgot how much I loved them. Thanks for your comment!

  • Love this post Thuli. I saw these, made with granadilla pulp, and branded with a similar name, at the Peregrine farmstall in Elgin this weekend.

    • Thanks Jane-Anne! Those sound interesting! Would love to try them.

  • BlueWolF

    ahhhh, so thats what U call them !!!! – I must still be a kidlet then !!! heeeehheeee

    • It’s good to see you back BlueWolf! Hope life is good in P.E.!

  • Mariette

    We called them “ysies” (little ices) in Afrikaans in the eighties. They were sold at the tuck-shops at schools. Have never heard the word “bompie” until earlier this year.

  • your grace

    Love bompies! That’s the name I grew up with. Kids still eat them. My kids love them. Think I will make this tmrw 🙂

  • Anonymous

    What is the recipe for ibompie, I have a sealer I would love to make it for my kids

    • Hi Anonymous,

      There is no particular recipe for ibompie, you can make it with Oros, fruit juice of your choice or even drink o’pop. Kids will love it!

      Thuli Xx

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