Inside actor Thapelo Mokoena's new business venture

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Thapelo Mokoena's business partner and friend Milan Cerimaj handled the menu at their new restaurant.
Thapelo Mokoena's business partner and friend Milan Cerimaj handled the menu at their new restaurant.

He joins other celebrity restaurant owners such as Mapaseka Koetle who owns Gorge, Maps Maponyane with Buns Out, Oskido’s Daruma Japanese Restaurant, Busi MaCele Mseleku’s Kishi La MaMkhulu, J Something at Something’s Cooking, and Andile Nebulana owner of Newlands Cafe.

TV producer, actor, and director Thapelo Mokoena (38) has partnered with close friends Milan Cerimaj, The Kambulas, and Mix FM to open Molitva Orthodox Mediterranean.

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Thapelo saw an opportunity offered by the Covid-19 pandemic to build a contemporary establishment for those who seek an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and those who want to embark on a different taste experience.

“The beauty of quality personal relationships is that you’re able to create a solid base with people. A base that allows you to grow anything you put your mind to. Milan and I met four years ago at one of his old restaurants where I used to take my then two-year-old, Lereko (6) and our friendship grew from there. Now we have our shop,” Thapelo says.

Joining The Cradle of Humankind with its scenic views and breathtaking atmosphere, Thapelo’s restaurant Molitva Orthodox Mediterranean brings a luxurious interior and exterior style and mezze menu offering by head chef, Milan. Moltiva, which means Prayer in Serbian, is an establishment built around the concept of companionship and sharing.

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“The idea for Moltiva was birthed out of creating experiences for people traveling in and around Joburg,” Thapelo says.

“The recent lockdown restrictions has truly left us with a newfound need to seek and explore our surroundings for an escape from life as we now know it and just seek for more meaningful experience and this is what we aim to offer at Moltiva, an experience like no other for the entire family. This is not just a restaurant, it’s a destination,” he adds.

Fun Food Facts From Thapelo Mokoena

Childhood food memories: Most of my memories come from my grandmother’s house. Us getting mealie corn from the garden and using a stone to grind it into a fine mealie meal. From garden to table, literally.

Favourite meal: Octopus from Molitva It is fresh and done amazingly.

Favourite culinary country: Tanzania according to me. The prawns I’ve had there were to die for.

Favourite travel destination: Cuba, but I am yet to still go.

The best meal made by wife Lesego-Tshepang Mokoena: She makes a great one pot. She is the best cook in the house. My kids love to eat Margarita Pizza and Pasta. 

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