Momentous restaurant tackles junk food crisis


Customers here seen waiting for the boiled food to be served at the Ibhodwe Lokudla Kwesintu restaurant in Durban

from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
KwaZulu Natal Bureau
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africa is infamous for its huge appetite for fast food and resultantly, the biggest obesity problem in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It is thus refreshing that a restaurant specializing on boiled food has been opened in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Boiling is lauded as one of the healthiest ways of preparing food.

What makes this breakthrough the most amazing is that this establishment is formerly a bedroom where a construction man used to retire to after a hard day’s work.

Paul Khumalo (33), who lives in the suburbs of Durban but grew up in the township of KwaMashu is the owner of Ibhodwe Lokudla Kwesintu. It translates to “ A pot of traditional food.”

The restaurant, located in KwaMashu, was opened earlier this year.

It is so far the only restaurant that serves solely boiled food.

“In the area, no one is making healthy food. I then explored the gap,” Khumalo said in an interview with CAJ News Africa.

“There is no proper restaurant that is serving boiled food. If you need inhloko (cow’s head) you will find it in the taxi ranks or containers on the streets,” Khumalo said.

There have been health concerns over selling food in the open.

Khumalo also explained how he moved his business from the townships to the suburbs.

“Some entrepreneurs have offices where they stay. When I came up with the idea of a restaurant, I then moved to the suburbs and changed my room into a restaurant,” he explained.

Khumalo said the inspiration behind establishing Ibhodwe Lokudla Kwesintu was to ensure healthy food that was well done and well prepared to encourage healthy eating.

“One day when I was working , I became hungry and wanted fast food,” he recalled.

“I went to some place and got food. To my surprise, I couldn’t eat it because it was so oily,” the entrepreneur narrated.

“Sometimes you will find it too spicy. That is when I devised the plan to open the restaurant and also create job opportunities.”

This is Paul Khumalo's bedroom that he transformed into a restaurant

This is Paul Khumalo’s bedroom that he transformed into a restaurant

Khumalo hired some eight people.

“One of them is a best chef who has 21 years of experience. She is also an award-winning chef,” he said.

Khumalo, who also loves travelling, is not lost to the construction industry despite opening the restaurant.

He has been in the construction job for about six years now. His office is on the first floor of the restaurant.

The entrepreneur disclosed he has not struggled to find a balance between construction and hospitality.

That is because his sister, who is a Chef, is the one who is more hands on in the restaurant.

He said the response by people to the restaurant had been amazing.

“This place is new but come weekends, it is packed. Young people love my food and they enjoy the view,” Khumalo told CAJ News Africa.

– CAJ News








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