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Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubanes cook-off with Somizi Mhlongo at the Hang Awt restaurant in Tembisa, Gauteng, on May 17, has received a lot of criticism on social media.
Many people wondered how the event would boost tourism in the country.
Travel influencer and successful podcast host @MsLeloB commented on a post by Kubayi-Ngubane with the question: “Minister, how is this event helping to rebuild tourism?” (sic)
Minister, how is this event helping to rebuild tourism?
– Miss Lelo @ (@MsLeloB) May 16, 2021
Chef Lesego Semenya also shared his views. The veteran chef commented, “I’ve put on quite a few celebrity cooking shows. That’s not the problem. The question here is how this event is currently helping our industry. How does it show the talent and knowledge of the SA chef?” There are many ways to mix familiar faces with a goal and a plan.
“We could easily turn South Africa into a culinary tourist destination, but sometimes we feel like we professional chefs are fighting for it on our own. With the pandemic, there are so many skilled and talented culinary students at home. It could have been easy.” presents. “(sic)
I’ve put on quite a few celebrity cooking shows. That’s not the problem, the question here is how this event is currently helping our industry. How does it show SA cooking talent and food knowledge? There are many ways to mix familiar faces with a goal and a plan.
– Lesego Semenya (@LesDaChef) May 17, 2021
Another social media user called the event “out of touch”.
User @GottaHaveMC commented that Mhlongo is a “celebrity chef” and not a chef.
“There are professional chefs who have spent their entire living going to school and sitting at home with no platform to show off their skills. They will not benefit from it at all. This event is out of touch . “
“How is celebrity cooking shows as a ‘global trend’ affecting the millions of South Africans in the industry who have lost jobs? How is this improving hotel occupancy or restaurant space sales?” (sic).
1) Somizi is a celebrity chef, not a chef. 2) There are professional chefs who have spent their entire living going to school and sitting at home with no platform to show their skills on. You will not benefit at all if this event is not in touch.
– Mhlengi Mpungose (@GottaHaveMC) May 17, 2021
According to the Ministry of Tourism’s website, the event aims to “demonstrate some of the skills and innovative entrepreneurship that are vital to the growth and maintenance of the hospitality industry”.
It was found that the event featured exhibitions by young entrepreneurs and those who, after completing the skills development programs run by the Ministry of Tourism, have started businesses in their communities.
Kubayi-Ngubane responded to the criticism in a tweet on Sunday evening.
I will be hosting this event@ Somizi& urge those who criticize this event to check out Celebrity Cook’s shows which is a global trend. We are committed to working with all SAs in rebuilding the tourism sector #TourismRecovery pic.twitter.com/JTIiTkLWJR
– Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane (@mmKubayiNgubane) May 16, 2021
“This event is the last pre-budget event we’ve had since last week. Have any feedback on other events we’ve held so we can use them as part of the debriefing session with the team. If you haven’t noticed others Events also indicate that, “she said. (sic).
The event will take place in the run-up to the Tourism Budget Vote 2021, which will take place in Cape Town on May 17th.