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Mama Chaka’s: new, healthy, cheap fast food for SA’s townships

Internationally-acclaimed singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka is better known for entertaining South Africans, but now she’s teamed up with Econ Food Concepts, a subsidiary of meat company, Roelcor Holdings, to help feed the nation through an exciting and necessary new food initiative.

Following today’s launch of Mama Chaka’s Central Kitchen in Kraaifontein and visit to one of the franchisee sites in Gugulethu, Chaka Chaka was delighted to see the project realised to this roll-out stage.

“It took months and months because I really had to believe in it first,” Chaka Chaka says. “From going backwards and forwards between Cape Town and Johannesburg, seeing the kitchens, seeing the food and making sure it is hygienic because that was one of my main concerns… and it’s empowering people.”

Now available in the Western Cape, Mama Chaka’s provides 10 different ready-made meals which will allow busy or cash-strapped South African’s living in townships the chance to purchase an affordable and nutritious meal.

“Mama Chaka’s meals will allow people to enjoy fresh, traditional meals on a heat-and-eat basis which would not otherwise have been possible,” says Dennis Finch of Econ Food Concepts (seen above with Yvone Chaka Chaka).

Chaka Chaka says that too many South Africans go to bed hungry and that Mama Chaka’s aims to redress the problem. “This is a good concept where people can get not only affordable, but good nutritious food,” says Chaka Chaka. “This is a good enough reason for me to get involved in the project.”

Chaka Chaka, who loves making traditional meals in her own kitchen, already has her favourites of the Mama Chaka’s menu. “I really love the pap and liver meal. Pap and tripe are my best meals – including samp,” says Chaka Chaka. “This is nutritious food and I am excited that people will have the opportunity to try it themselves. It’s pre-cooked and all you have to do is wash your hands, warm up your food and eat.”


Franchisee Belinda Mxesibe, Prof Tim Noakes and Yvonne Chaka Chaka at the first Mama Chaka’s kiosk in Gugulethu.

Prof Tim Noakes, world-renowned sports scientist and co-author of Real Meal Revolution, was present at the launch to highlight how important it is that humans eat traditional meals. Noakes has long advocated, too, that LCHF diet is possible to do cheaply using offal.

“There is evidence that 3.2-million years ago, when we were hunter-gatherers, we evolved from three-foot tall 30 kilogram beings to what we are now. We got there by eating the guts and organs of animals; meat was never the central part of our diet,” Noakes says. “The insides are the most healthy and most nutritious.”

Mama Chaka’s also aims to empower women in the townships by offering franchise options. “There are mamas in the townships who own their own property and have a standing in the community,” says Chaka Chaka.

Discussing Chaka Chaka’s involvement in the Mama Chaka’s concept, Finch says, “Yvonne has an incredible rapport with the people of this country and Africa as a whole. She is very involved with the upliftment of the black communities and women in particular. She is a United Nations’ ambassador and is actively involved in many worthy causes. She personifies our vision of and for Mama Chaka’s.”

The launch event included a visit to one the first five Mama Chaka kiosks in Gugulethu, run by Belinda Mxesibe. “I was a business lady already but I’m looking forward to this opportunity to attract new customers. Even before the launch all my neighbours were curious about Mama Chaka’s and now they can see; I’m confident because this is the type of food we eat,” Mxesibe says.

Besides Gugulethu, Mama Chaka’s kiosks go operational on 31 October 2014 in Khayelitsha (two), one in Kraaifontein and one in Langa. The roll out in the Western Cape will continue at a rate of five kiosks per month into the new year. The concept will be expanded to Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal in the second half of 2015.

Mama Chaka’s Menu – all R23 per portion

• Beef Trotters in brown gravy with samp

• Liver and onions with pap

• Beef Heart Stew with pap

• Brown Tripe Stew with pap

• Chakalaka Chicken Gizzards with samp

• Beef Wors and Chakalaka Smoor with samp and beans
• Chicken Neck Stew with pap

• Chicken Curry Walkie Talkies with pap

• Chicken Giblets in Tomato Stew with pap

• Chakalaka Chicken Necks with samp and beans



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