The first ever Soweto Kota Festival took place at the Soweto Theatre on the 16th and 17th of September 2017. Patrons flocked in from all corners of the Gauteng province, out of curiosity and to experience a festival that celebrates the much-loved township burger.
The original version Kota is madeup of fresh bread stuffed with hot chips, atchaar, polony, cheese and a russian (the thick one).
Sidwell Tshingilane, the festival organiser, saw a need and demand for an event of this nature. “The Kota has been here for a long time. In townships, the idea to have a festival came last year when someone complained about how they went to some event in Soweto and there was no Kota in sight. So I developed the idea to do it…” said Tshingilane.
What did the festival goers think of the event?
Some LOVED it
— Zanele (@Zentro) September 17, 2017
— Lulama Amanda (@AmandaMaliba) September 17, 2017
— Mr Majadibodu (@JaksTheRunner) September 16, 2017
Others were not sure….
the #sowetokotafestival was a Flop, all the Kota pictures they showed us don't represent Kota,Please Stop disrespecting us, that's our food!
— Nobhala Wesifundazwe (@simangeleSmiley) September 17, 2017
Some of these kotas belong in a restaurant in Sandton??? #SowetoKotaFestival
— TOTAL~stranger⏩2~U? (@boitumelo_jobe) September 16, 2017
People are not so excited about the new kota recipes??
Should have left it to the kasi fast food ladies-it's their thing #SowetoKotaFestival
— I Am Xhosa (@Apiwe_Bobe) September 16, 2017
How will people chew a kota with chicken feet?
— Mzansi Facts (@mzansi_facts) September 16, 2017
The rest were open to the evolution of Kota....
I feel like the traditional kota is still king, but people's refusal to let it grow and evolve is what'll kill it #SowetoKotaFestival
— Kamakazi stuntman (@_skywizard) September 18, 2017
Just the other day I was criticizing a Kota that has ham. Guys we've been missing out. Nogal with pickels as well ??? #sowetokotafestival
— Katlego Ditlhokwe (@Flocart) September 17, 2017
What do we think?
What are the views for some of us who didn’t get to experience the Soweto Kota Festival? Should we keep Kota as it is and not play around with different variations? Should we experiment with the Kota just like the Italians allowed the rest of the world to experiment with pizza? Just think about this, we don’t hear Italians saying “That’s our food, stop messing with it and adding unoriginal ingredients to it.” Because of that, the pizza is great and it is loved all over the world.
There will always be people in the townships selling the original version of Kota. What about the person who lives in Sandton and suddenly craves for a Kota? Should they drive all the way to Soweto? Maybe they should, but on occasions where time is a limiting factor, it would be great to have a Kota that went to a private school at Rocomamas. I think we should let the Kota be great, let others come up with new variations. As one of our heritage foods, it can never lose its originality because we’ll always know where to find the real makoya.
What are your thoughts? Let’s have a conversation.
Featured Image by Zikhona Gwadiso