Dumplings and tripe for Madiba. Pic by Lutho Pasiya
July 18 will mark the day that Nelson Mandela would have turned 100 years old.

He was a man who fought for what was right, a global icon that has touched our lives in so many ways. 

I remember when I was seven years old holding his hand for the very first time at his home in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape where he had a Christmas party for kids. His hands were soft and warm, just like his heart.

The party was a traditional Mandela Christmas party which ran almost annually until 2007. We were showered with toys and goodie bags of sweets, chips, chocolates and biscuits, everybody was happy. This all goes to show that he was a people’s person. The Zulu word “ubuntu” meaning “humanity” in English best describes him.

As a person who lived his life in service for me and many others it would have been a great honour to have him visit at home and prepare a three course meal for him.

Sour porridge on the menu. Pic by Lutho Pasiya.

My Madiba meal

Cooking for an iconic person would not be easy because I wouldn’t really know what that person likes but with Mandela it’s different - I would have prepared the kind of food he grew up with, that tends to be a win with many people. So as he was a Xhosa born I would have made him some nice Xhosa traditional food, a whole three-course-meal (that’s if the visit was to be for the whole full day).
  • For starters or breakfast, I would have made him sour porridge. Sour porridge is one of the most famous cuisines of the Xhosa people. This is made by soaking sorghum and mielie meal in warm water for a day or two. On the day you will be making it you boil water and put your soaked mixture into the boiling water and stir until cooked, probably like 15 minutes then add sugar and it is ready to eat.
  • The second meal would be samp and tripe or dumplings and tripe- this is a delicacy among the Xhosa people.
  • And the third meal before he leaves would be dessert. But since I don’t want anything fancy I would give him some fruit to have or carry on his way back home.
I salute this greatest of men and feel honoured and blessed to have lived through his time.