January means summer in Cape Town, and our J Term students certainly got 2020 off to a tasty start! To make the most of the sunshine, this week our J Term students took part in a unique activity working outdoors alongside students at the Eziko Cooking School in Langa to cook a traditional South African bread, roosterkoek (grill cake).
Eziko - meaning ‘hearth’ in isiXhosa - was founded in 1996 on the principle of providing unemployed people with invaluable skills in cooking and catering, empowering them to find employment and to provide economically for themselves and their families, as a constructive approach to combatting poverty in the area. Langa, a disadvantaged community with a long history in Cape Town, was greatly marginalised under Apartheid, the legacy of which can still be seen there today. In recent years, Langa has become home to the Langa Quarter, a community-based tourism and enterprise development project aimed at encouraging both tourists and locals alike to visit and engage with local people and businesses. The opportunities to get involved with projects in economically marginalised areas have produced some firm favourite activities and memories for our students, and this year we had the pleasure of joining local students at a cooking class at the Eziko Cooking School - a local NGO.
The Eziko Cooking School celebrates its 24th birthday this year, and has been run by founder Victor Mguqulwa since its inception. We had the unique honour of being taught by Mr. Mguqulwa himself, whose family has been living in Langa for generations. The welcome we received from local Eziko students was an excellent way to kick off a week of locally-based activities as part of the three-week J Term programme, and has provided our students with new friendships, memories, and a whole new traditional South African recipe to bring home and share with family and friends around the world!