Wednesday, November 4, 2015

South African Braai Off @ the Globe with the Humphrey Fellows – October 3, 2015

In my last blog I put together a small survival guide, however, this time I will tell you all about the traditional “County Movie and Meal” days. Each month each country gets to select a movie from their own country for everyone to watch, while sharing in their traditional cultural food.
Usman, Mohammed, Ilker and I braaing
Usman, Mohammed, Ilker and I braaing
For me, a South African, what better way to share my beautiful culture and its experiences, than to host a Braai. For ease of understanding, let me explain what a braai is (if you were South African, I would not need to explain it). It is the Afrikaans word for “barbeque” or to roast. It is a cultural experience where “braaivleis” (braai = barbeque/roast and vleis=meat) is grilled. There is however a difference between a barbeque and a braai. This being that a braai is never doneover gas, unlike a barbeque!
The Braai
The grand social event, held in a casual and laid-back manner, normally involves family and friends, that gather at home, picnic spots or even the beach!  However the main attraction is the meat (boerewors = sausage, sosaties, marinated chicken, pork, lamb chops, steaks and various other sausages – if you are a coastal South African, you will often include crayfish and fish, such as snoek in the Western Cape), which has to be accompanied with salads and other side dishes.
For our braai at VCU, the main attraction was Boerewors (obtained from
I am explaining the food to everyone
I am explaining the food to everyone
Belmont Butchery) and coke marinated halaal chicken (from Richmond Halaal Markets). The boerewors is traditionally eaten on a roll (in the same fashion as a hot dog), and accompanied with relish, such as the chakalaka (a dish originally out of Soweto, which is spicy and made from tomato, onion – and some other ingredients you wish to include, such as peppers and baked beans) which was provided. Along with this was a typical Durban Vegetable Curry (A Durban curry is red, and generally hotter than most curries), served with: sliced banana, mango chutney, shredded coconut, tomatoe and onion relish & pampadums.
Day after cleanup
Day after cleanup
The other main part of the braai was the stavapap (a stiff maize/corn meal porridge), or krummelpap (“crumb porridge”), which is traditionally eaten with the meat. This is a staple dish of local African communities and is often eaten with tomato and onion sauce, or more spicy dishes like the chakalaka that was served at the braai. Of course with all this food, which was so readily enjoyed and consumed, there is always the day after! The benefit was that testing out The Globe’s facilities as a venue for hosting was a success, with children getting to play and enjoy themselves as well, while we ate in the large common kitchen area.
The Movie – Four Corners
The event was topped with the viewing of Four Corners, the story about GangstersFour cornerswithin the Mitchell’s Plein community within Cape Town. The movie, which was unfortunately not child friendly, was a great window into the life and circumstances of those living in Mitchells Plein. A community I have worked with for the past few years.
I could recommend this movie to anyone who would like to gain an understanding of the situation that drives our Substance Use issues within Cape Town.

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