Mandela was an icon who had a sweet tooth and loved his food through out his entire life.
Even at his ‘worst’, the great South Africa’s former head of state still loved to indulge in his favourite dessert.
His longtime personal chef Xoliswa (pronounced as Ko-lees-wah) Ndoyiya said, ”One of his favourite was the Malva pudding (a baked treat topped with ice cream or custard or strawberry trifle) and Mandela would “just eat it up.”
A Queenstown native of South Africa, Ndoyiya has been Mandela personal chef since 1992 and was hired by Mandela because she was well versed in making traditional South African fare.
All collections of Mandela’s favorite recipes can be found in this cookbook “Ukutya Kwasekhaya,” (loosely translating to home food in Xhosa language). Authored by Ndoyiya with help from a writer Anna Trapido, who chronicled Mandela’s life from a culinary standpoint in a biography called “Hunger for Freedom.”
Despite his globetrotting status, Mandela always craved flavors when he grew. His favourite recipes include Umphokoqo, a porridge made from maize meal and sour milk, also his love for sweet chicken was unparalleled. This is according to his granddaughter Nandi Mandela.
As Mandela was advancing in age, he became more and more health-conscious, and he continued enjoying his favorite meals, which were prepared in a simple way.
“The only thing he doesn’t want to see on his plate is oil,” said Ndoyiya.
Ndoyiya recounted a conversation she had with Mandela about a dinner gone wrong with his teenage crush. Mandela was 14 at that time; he was having dinner with his crushs family. That time he had trouble using a fork and knife, causing a chicken wing to fly off his plate.
“When he talked about it, and he was 90 at the time, he still told that story with such intensity that the embarrassment of the moment hadn’t left him.” said Ndoyiya.