In Mzansi ‘Festive’ is a lifestyle, not a season

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If you are like me, and you are in awe of the cheery festive decorations in malls and fascinated by the delectable displays of Christmas cake and mince pies at your local grocer, or you are long since dancing to the remixes of classic carols like jingle bells or the trendy Amapiano beats, then I think it’s safe to say that Christmas time is here.

Many South Africans believe that “festive” is more of a lifestyle than a season. With a few days left until businesses shut their doors for the holidays, the energy around the country has become more relaxed as we gear up to the celebrations.

Have you ever wondered how local chefs spend Christmas day? Well, we have dug up our treasure trove of chefs and home cooks and asked how they will be celebrating this year. I confess that I was shocked to learn that most chefs lead active lives outside of the kitchen!

Venda-born chef Lufuno Sinthumule, fondly known as Chef Funi, will be taking a break from his catering business to join his family in his place of birth, Ha-Sinthumule.

Limpopo is a vibrant destination in the summer, but for Sinthumele it’s extra special. Here his family’s long-standing tradition is to sit around the campfire and reminisce about the year’s success.

“For me it starts on a Christmas Eve where my friends and I get together and we braai. I will make sure that we have the salads,” he jokes.

READ MORE: Chef Funi succeeds despite his many naysayers

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“I will be in Ha-Sinthumule with my family. On Christmas Day we cook together, we make more than a total of twelve dishes. My mom makes the best trifle with custard and jelly, so I am looking forward to that!” exclaims an elated Sinthumele.

Kwa-Zulu Natal-born chef Zanele van Zyl believes Christmas Day is special because it brings families together. The mother of two plans to spoil her loved ones with a vacation and she definitely plans to wind down this holiday season.

Van Zyl says she has always loved the unifying spirit of Christmas. “I love the element of how it brings people together. I always see people doing such wonderful things on Christmas Day, you will see families in kitchens working together to make the most amazing dishes.”

READ MORE: Author and chef plans on taking her cooking classes across the globe

Owner of Angela’s Kitchen and Events Ella Mthetwa says she will be spending the day making a feast for her family in Bethel in Mphumalanga.  

A few years ago Ella Mthethwa started out as a horticulturalist however her cooking and today she owns a catering company.
Owner of Angela’s Kitchen and Events Ella Mthetwa.

“Christmas is so special because it brings family and friends together.” 

She adds that what makes an Mzansi Christmas special is the gifts and her mother’s baked goods. 

“I am most excited to receive gifts! Seeing a Christmas tree piled up with presents makes it even more special. And when my mom is baking all you smell are cookies and pudding in the air, that’s when I know it’s Christmas,”     

READ MORE: Cook Ella Mthetwa says food stole her heart  

With the clock fast ticking. Families all over Mzansi are gearing up to gather for a feast frenzy of roast meats, vegetables and most importantly desserts! And if you’re still stuck at work while school holidays are in full swing we have got you covered with our list of top 10 kid-friendly things to do.

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