WATCH: South African boerewors and T-bone steaks are big business in Côte d’Ivoire

South African boerewors has proven to be a hit in Côte d’Ivoire File Picture

South African boerewors has proven to be a hit in Côte d’Ivoire File Picture

Published Aug 10, 2022


Johannesburg - South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in Africa, if not in the world. This translates into a plethora of languages, cultures, and diets.

Be that as it may, there is one thing we can agree on when it comes to food: nothing beats a serving of meat and pap, or “pap en vleis” as it is more commonly known by South Africans from all walks of life.

Now this South African staple has gone international and is a big hit in Côte d’Ivoire thanks to entrepreneur and restaurateur Juliet Jekera.

Juliet was born in Zimbabwe and moved to Côte with her aunt and uncle. Her uncle was employed in a bank, and her aunt owned a Newscafe franchise, and this is where Juliet cut her teeth in the food business.

Juliet Jekera owns a restaurant in Côte d’Ivoire, Restaurant Espace 777, where she serves African and European dishes. Her most popular dishes are boerewors and T-bone steaks from South Africa.

She rates South African meat very highly, and she believes it gives her a competitive edge over other eateries in Côte d’Ivoire.

“I wanted my restaurant to be unique, to serve meat that others are not serving. And I think the meat from Southern Africa is tastier,” she said.

Up until recently, Juliet has been unable to serve customers’ favourite dish back in Côte d’Ivoire due to not being able to acquire the meat. It’s been years since she has been able to do so – she was on the last SAA flight to Abidjan before SAA closed the route due to the Covid-19 pandemic two years ago.

Ivorian restauranteur Juliet Jekera Picture: Supplied

All that has changed, and Juliet Jekera was a passenger on Air Côte d’Ivoire’s inaugural flight on the quickest route between Abidjan and Johannesburg when it launched in June this year.

The Johannesburg-Abidjan via Kinshasa route, launched on 29 June 2022, is the fastest route – at seven hours and 45 minutes – between South Africa and Côte d’Ivoire offered by any airline in Africa.

Juliet’s eclectic mix of clientele will now finally be able to order South African meat off of her menu again and be able to fulfil a two-year-long craving.

“My customers will be very happy because we have been without (South African) meat since Covid,” she says, “My customers are Ivorian and international, I have all sorts of clientele,”

“This (new Air Côte d’Ivoire) flight is just going to make my life easier,” said Juliet

She buys her meat in Kempton Park, close to OR Tambo International airport, and is now looking for other butcheries to buy meat from.

“This route will mean a lot for business opportunities between Côte d’Ivoire and South Africa. It will bring a lot of new opportunities for others who want to do business between the two countries”

“I love doing business in Africa,” said Juliet.

IOL Business