‘Find your purpose and be true to it.’
“I believe this is what has sustained me throughout my trip. Waking up daily and working to preserve and celebrate our culture through food.” – Mogau Seshoene
An African, a daughter, sister, a friend, a foodie, and an entrepreneur in that order. The six things that were mentioned by Mogau Seshoene when I asked her to describe who exactly she is, but what was most touching, was when I asked her what best represents her as a person, and she had one answer. Family.
This remarkable young lady has achieved so much, at such an early age. For a spin, ‘cause it’s 2017. Let’s get right into her accolades. Check these out yo!
· Making Forbes 30 under 30
· Meeting Oprah and Obama
· Mail and Guardian Top 200 Young SA 2015
· Mandela Washington Fellow 2016
· Tshwane Young Entrepreneur of the year 2015
· Giving a Ted talk on the significance of preserving our food culture and heritage
For those of you who are still wondering who exactly she is, well then, sit tight and read on!
She recounts, “A few years ago; I discovered The UN list of intangibles of the heritage of humanity. This is a list of aspects of the culture of the world in need of immediate safeguarding so as not to die out, to be documented and preserved for future generations because of their significance in the heritage of the human race. Such a fantastic list of inspirational music and instrument, regalia and art and of course food. But on this essential list is everything from Japanese, French and Italian food but no African food. None! This very greatly disturbed and disappointed me, that while the world endeavors to safeguard food cultures of the world, no one cares for ours. Now I am to celebrate and promote our unique cuisine through the cooking lessons, cookbooks, TV & dining experiences, and hopefully, one day get our food on that list as well. TLM began as cooking lessons for makotis with a focus on traditional South African food. A friend, a true Sandton City girl who was due to get married, into a very traditional Zulu family, needed lessons on traditional food and had no clue where to start.”
As I listen intently…
She continues, “Worried about making a good impression and not getting branded “The Lazy makoti.” That is actually where the name comes from, a fun humorous take on the expectations that still exist for us African girls, to merge the Western ideals [education, wealth, beauty standards] and the African that many times involve being custodians of our unique cultures particularly the heritage that is our cuisine.”
It’s interesting to see where TLM started from, and how the idea sparked from an opportunity that came dressed as a friend in need. Since that time, they have evolved into a food solutions agency. Doing everything from cooking lessons for groups, individuals, domestic helpers, recipe development to corporate, private cheffing and bespoke catering.
It may all seem easy when it’s put down on paper, and someone has already been through all the sleepless nights, blood, sweat, and tears. Mogau had some insightful advice to share with the readers, “Learn the critical skill that is knowing when and how to ask for help. Living in this Instagram perfect life driven time, it’s so easy to keep faking it til you make it. Stop! You cannot and will not know everything. Whether it’s a mentor, friend, incubator, find help and use it! Make time to listen to yourself. Pray, meditate, hike, gym, find something that relaxes you and is just for you and regularly spend time with yourself away from all the noise and expectations.”
From reading this you’d think Mogau is nearly done, but she isn’t stopping anytime soon, as she has plans of building a food empire. Everything from a cookbook, TV series to retail of consumer goods and kitchen accessories. All with an authentic South African flair. Showcasing how truly authentic TLM is.
Before swiftly exiting, Mogau wanted to leave the readers with this to ponder over, “A journey of a thousand steps begins with one. Sometimes life can seem overwhelming, and you have no idea where or how to start, in those moments I remind myself that nothing happens overnight and that it's important just to start. No matter how long you procrastinate, whatever you have to deal with will still be there waiting for you. And if you don't start soon it'll be even more daunting.”
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