10 Questions For: Zola Nene

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10 Questions For: Zola Nene

This Cape Town chef and food stylist is renowned for the culinary skills she showcases on the popular SABC3 Expresso ‘Feel Good Breakfast Show’ every weekday morning. Zola released her debut cookbook Simply Delicious in February 2016 as another means of sharing her passion for food and cooking.

1. How would you describe what you do for a living? 
I share the joy of food with people – that is how I like to describe my job. I have the best job in the world. Every morning I share my love and passion for food with thousands of people all over the country when I cook live on the Expresso Show. There's nothing I enjoy more than feeding people; it’s my physical expression of love.

2. What is your most vivid childhood memory?
My most vivid memory has to be grinding mielies with my grandmother to make her delicious steamed mielie bread. It's fitting that my most vivid childhood memory is connected to food somehow.

3. If you could invite any three people, dead or alive, for dinner, who would they be and why? 
1. My late maternal grandmother – she died when I was about eight years old, so I'd love to sit with her at dinner, for a meal cooked by me, to show her how I've put the lessons she taught me to use. 
2. Kanye West – I need to see his tongue in action live and direct for myself, I'm sure the conversation would be interesting.
3. Hélène Darroze – She is currently the top female chef in the world. I'd love to have dinner with her, it would be at her house and of course she'd be cooking.

4. If you ever found yourself auditioning for a music reality TV show, what song would you sing and why? 
‘Like I'm Gonna Lose You’ by Meghan Trainor and John Legend (I secretly think that I sound just like Meghan when I belt out that song).

5. How would you complete this sentence?  The South African cabinet should include a Minister of____________________.
What to do with bad service staff who still demand a tip for their mediocre service.

6. What would you say is the biggest misconception about you?
That I only eat and make fancy, complicated ‘cheffy’ food. SO untrue, quite the opposite in fact, I enjoy (and make) simple, honest food that everyone can achieve at home. My new cookbook Simply Delicious is testament to that.

7. What is your (honest) opinion of Cape Town? 
I love Cape Town; it's been my home for the past six years. It's the hub of the food industry in the country so I'm glad to call it home. Yes, just like any other town, Cape Town has its issues, but I choose to look at the positives. Every day I feel blessed to live in a town that is a top travel destination for many people around the world. Right now, there's no other place I'd rather be.

8. What's the greatest fear you've had to overcome to get where you are today? 
The fear of failure is always something that haunts me; I just want to make my parents proud – always. My dad grew up in very poor circumstances and worked hard to afford me the opportunities that I've had that have allowed me to get to where I am today. As a result, I never want to ever take anything for granted; failure is definitely NOT an option for me.

9. What's the one thing you'd like to achieve before you die? 
I love travelling so before I die, I'd like to visit at least 50 countries in the world. I've got a long way to go, so far I'm at a mere six countries visited.

10. Which well-known South African personality would you, without a doubt, be able to beat in a street fight and why? 
I'm not much of a fighter, but if you hurt one of my friends or family members, I'd possibly be pushed to that point. So be warned, if you see me in a street fight, I'm in it to win it and would take on anyone – now who wants a piece of this whip-ass?!


ABOUT #CapeTownMag10Q:’s 10 Questions project gets to know some of the Mother City’s most creative and inspiring people. From television personalities and musicians to politicians and entrepreneurs, we find out more about well-know and up-and-coming Capetonians. You can follow #CapeTownMag10Q on Twitter and Facebook to track recent interviews or read more here about our other awesome 10 Questions candidates


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