What Madiba ate as his last supper


Butternut soup is the last meal Nelson Mandela ate before he died peacefully in his Houghton home on 5 December, surrounded by family and close friends.

His chef for the past 20 years, Xoliswa Ndoyi, said Madiba died shortly after she had exited his bedroom. “It happened just after I left his room. However, when I left the room, I didn’t think I was seeing him alive for the last time,” she said.

Ndoyiya launched her cookbook, Ukutya Kwasekhaya: Tastes from Nelson Mandela’s Kitchen, last year and lists umgqusho (samp and beans), umleqwa (cornish chicken), amasi (sour milk) and ulusu (tripe) as some of the late statesman’s favourite foods.

“Madiba is happiest with traditional food – if you don’t give it to him for a few days he will ask, ‘what?s wrong? Why are you not feeding me well,’” she said last year.

“He taught me love, respect and to be humble at all times,” she added. Here are some of Mandela’s favourite recipes: Umngqusho 500g samp (crushed maize), well rinsed

800g dried sugar beans, well rinsed

water, to cover

2 beef stock cubes

salt and white pepper, to taste

45ml (3 tablespoons) butter or amafutha enkuku (chicken stock)

Place the samp and beans in a pot, cover with water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for at least 2 hours until soft. Do not stir or it will become excessively starchy.

Keep checking to see that the mixture is not sticking to the bottom of the pot and add water if necessary. After about 1 hour add the stock cubes. When the mixture is soft and cooked through, drain the remaining water. Season and stir in the butter. Umsila wenkomo 3kg oxtail, excess fat removed

5ml (1 tsp) paprika

15ml (1 tbsp) barbeque spice

5 large carrots (about 350g), peeled and sliced

250g green beans, sliced

4 medium potatoes (about 800g), peeled and quartered

60g (1 packet) oxtail soup powder

salt and white pepper, to taste

Place the oxtail in a large pot and add just enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook until the water has evaporated. The meat will start to brown in its own fat.

Add the paprika and barbeque spice together with enough water to cover the oxtail. Cover with a lid and cook over low heat for about two hours, until the oxtail is tender.

Keep checking that there is still enough liquid to cover the meat, adding more water when necessary. Add the carrots, beans, potatoes and soup powder and cook for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.

Season and serve.

Sources: Daily Dispatch; www.nelsonmadela.org

- Asa Sokopo (@asasokopo)

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