Happy Women’s Day to all the wonderful ladies out there. As we continue to celebrate and acknowledge the amazing women in our communities, I would like to give a shout out to the humble soul that is Siphokazi Mdlankomo.
With just over six years’ experience in the culinary arts, bubbly Siphokazi’s journey towards gastronomic success started in a small rural town called Tsolo in the Eastern Cape, formerly known as Transkei. This is where both her grandmother and mother taught her everything about cooking, from the tender age of 10 she remembers watching and helping her mother bake scones on a three-legged pot on an open flame in the days when electricity was still luxury. Despite all the adversity that she faced in these tough circumstances, she still managed to develop and nurture her love for cooking. When she moved to Cape Town in 2005 she was employed by the Andreasan family working as a housekeeper where she was given the opportunity to start exploring her cooking skills.
Siphokazi soon felt confident enough to start entering cooking competitions and when Master Chef came around it was an obvious choice as it’s the biggest cooking competition in South Africa. As a runner-up on Season three of MasterChef, she learned a great deal on the show such as patience when cooking, how to be creative when plating a dish and respecting the ingredients that you use to make tantalizing dishes.
Siphokazi captured the hearts of many viewers of the show as the perfect example of how not to let your circumstances determine the course your life takes. Master Chef also opened many doors for Siphokazi who was not only chosen to be a Brand Ambassador for Royco, she ended up with her own cooking TV show which is to be aired on channel 161 Mzansi Magic.
What makes her show outstanding is the fact that the focus will not be based entirely on cooking, it will also touch on many issues that women are faced with and how they have managed to overcome their personal challenges to improve their lives. The ladies will get an opportunity to share their life stories with Siphokazi and inspire other women.
Before her rise to fame, she entered a leisure cookbook competition in 2010 and was chosen as part of the Top Ten home cooks, she was a semi-finalist at the SA Cook-Off in 2012 and she was also included in a cookbook recently released by Leisure Books. She is the author of “The Little Black Recipe Book” that was launched in 2015.
Talk about talent and hard work to overcome your life challenges!
“Nothing can stand in your way of success if you are determined. I never stopped dreaming and I knew that one day all my hard work will not go to waste” says Siphokazi with a smile.
Keep up with Siphokazi’s endeavours by following her on Twitter:
— Sipho Mdlankomo (@Chef_Sipho) July 30, 2016