Sunday, September 25 Durban’s first winners for the Shisa Nyama Awards was announced on stage as part of the Shisa Nyama Festival hosted at Moses Mabhida Stadium, People’ Park East, and proudly sponsored by Durban Tourism, East Coast Radio, and Bluff Meat Supply.
Bless Makhanya from Café Skyzer was awarded the coverted award for his trendy establishment in Chesterville. Dineo Tshabalala won second place for her lodge-style shisanyama in KwaMashu. And Sibusiso Goqo snatched third prize for his business in Inanda.
Caption: Winners on stage together. (l-r) Bless Makhanya from Café Skyzer, Sibusiso Goqo from Sbu’s Lounge, Nobuhle Buthelezi from Max’s Lifestyle, Thomasanqa Jabulani Zama from Eyadini Lounge, and Dineo Tshabalala from One and Only. Photo by Val Adamson.
The venues were judged across a three month long process which involved visits to over 30 lounges in the Durban basin by seven Durban judges comprising of editors, restauranteers and foodies. The reason for their choice of winners came to down: “… the quality, presentation and preparation of their food, for their service ethic, for their welcoming vibe and friendliness of staff, for their comfortable ambiance, for their bar facilities and support of live, local music. Ultimately though, the venues that took the top three posittions stood out because they all had the X-factor in that they provided a shisanyama experience that truly reflected the spirit and ethos of township culture.”
Five semi finalists cooked at the inaugural Shisa Nyama Festival which included Eyadini Lounge, Max’s Lifestyle, Café Skyzer, One and Only, and Sbu’s Lounge. Meals included traditional dishes such as boiled meat, uJeqe, chakalaka and brisket.
The awards were handed out by a Mayoral representative, Councillor Councillor Nkosenhle Madlala, and included a lifetime achievement award that went to Max Mqadi from Max’s Lifestyle. The award recognised his contribution to the growth and promotion of shisanyama venue cutlure in Durban as well as township tourism.
Finally a People’s Choice Award was given to Thomasanqa Jabulani Zama from Eyadini Lounge, following a public online vote. Eyadini Lounge was the outright winner with thousands of fans voting the shisanyama as their favourite venue in Durban.
“The intention of the Shisa Nyama Awards and Festival is to shine light on incredible culture we have in our townships, the magnificent food available from some very talented chefs that have been largely unknown until now, and to get more South Africans visiting and enjoying more of our city together. We are honoured for the support we received from all the sponsors which must be named and celebrated for supporting such a worthy initiative: Durban Tourism, East Coast Radio, Bluff Meat Supply, SAB, RGBC, Hirsch’s Homestore, Albany Bakeries, Supa Mama, The Pavilion, British American Tobacco, Isolezwe” said organiser Michelle Lewis.
In 2017 the Shisa Nyama Awards focuses on Johannesburg and Cape Town in the hunt for the best venues in each respective city, with a mandate to award South Africa’s best city shisanyama in September 2017.