My name is Miss Geraldine Matiwane. I am a 23 years old nursing student, casual writer and home chef.
I hail from southern part of Africa. My interest and passion in cooking developed while struggling at school as a victim of bullying along with other racial matters. One of the ways in which I overcame these uncertainties of not ‘fitting in’ or not being accepted by my peers was to be the best that I possibly could in all my endeavours – one of which is hospitality. As part of my journey as a teenager, I enjoyed home cooked meals and often brought them along with me to school. This however, became intensively problematic for many students as my food was deemed “disgusting”, “too fatty or too starchy”. Such statements encouraged me to fight for my identity (being my traditional cuisines).
The peculiar enterprise of generalizing African cuisines is evidenced by the ubiquitous use of the word ‘‘starches’ ‘when describing African foods by non-Africans. By its natural extension, African cuisines are often treated as a single cuisine and remains in the culinary margins. Having spent my entire life in Australia, I have been able to comprehend the factual difference between African cuisines and that of the western culture. African food is known to be presented “nauseatingly” and “unattractive”. Thus, the lack of media attention to our food, the lack of interest in our food by non-Africans irrespective of the rich and organic nutrients found in many of the African cuisines. The famous food proverb of : “we eat with our eyes”, has truly changed the way in which I present my traditional dishes. My dishes remain 70% percent traditional, however, I have learned (through food magazines, food network, constant research etc) to present my dishes in a westernised form when serving them by minimising the usual large portion sizes and decorating the plate to give it the restaurant luxury feel.
I strongly believe that African cuisines can establish a culinary presence beyond it’s current ethnic niches if given the opportunity.
African dishes are amongst the world’s outstanding dishes and can be visually appealing as well as appetising.
Below are some of my favourite dishes:
Spicy Banga Stew with white rice.
Watch this space for more from Geraldine! We definitely recommend you follow her on Instagram @missgeeskitchen