A seat at the table: Conscious Carnivores creators on city's first curated halaal market

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Conscious Carnivores' Mohamed Mohidien and Mohammed Adam.
Conscious Carnivores' Mohamed Mohidien and Mohammed Adam.
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  • Makers Landing at the V&A Waterfront will host a halaal market on 24 and 25 September.
  • The market at the Cruise Terminal is a collaboration with permanent tenants Mohamed Mohidien and Mohammed Adam, the creators of Conscious Meat Merchants and Conscious Carnivores.
  • It's the first halaal market of its kind in the city; they tell News24.
  • "There are certain communities that have simply not had a fair platform to show their talent," they say. "Well, now that changes."

Makers Landing will host the city's first-ever "curated halaal market," as Conscious Carnivores' Mohamed Mohidien calls it, on 24 and 25 September.

Makers Landing at the V&A Waterfront, situated at the Cruise Terminal, is now a completely transformed warehouse, far removed from a space that simply welcomed ships in South Africa's oldest working harbour.

Starting to function as a space for "foodpreneurship" in the middle of the pandemic, when the country desperately needed new life, it's the epitome of a fresh beginning.

"The one unifying factor in this space is that it is South African. Truly South African. Food is the medium, but the message is one of inclusivity and of diversity."
-- Mohamed Mohidien

Mohamed Mohidien and Mohammed Adam – or "the two Mos," as they call themselves – are the masterminds behind the Makers Halaal Market.

They've certainly come a long way since starting Conscious Meat Merchants and Conscious Carnivores as a side hustle. They sold burgers, steaks, mocktails and more on a pop-up basis on Friday evenings with an ever-changing menu before they were approached by Makers Landing to provide a halaal offering.

"The main philosophy for Conscious Carnivores is that we only cook on charcoal. No short cuts," Mohamed Mohidien tells me.

"The Halaal Market," he adds, "also started because at most farmer's markets across Cape Town, Muslims are very, very limited in what they can eat and drink. We wanted a premium venue and platform to let Muslim entrepreneurs showcase their talents."

The market is the first of its kind – expect "savoury crepes with cured meats," the two Mos say – and the significance of the market is not lost on them.

Mohidien says:

With Heritage Day looming, we took some time to really ask ourselves what this day means to us. As South Africans, but also as Muslims. The answer we came to was that we want to honour our heritage through historical significance, but we also want to look forward. We want to celebrate the future and the opportunities this country has, and we want to do that through food. But - and it's a big but - we cannot do this without taking a real, honest look at the past. There are certain communities that have simply not had a fair platform to show their talent - constantly marginalised, constantly overlooked. Well, now that changes. There are so many untold stories. This market will be the stage to tell them.

He adds: "We are navigating spaces we were never allowed to navigate before. Shared spaces. As tenants at Makers Landing, we need to be respectful of various cultures and religious boundaries. It opens up and forces one to have the conversations and dialogues that are much needed in a diverse South Africa. And we're doing this through food."

He says: "Come. Pull up a seat. Let's eat together."  

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