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“If You Speak Up You Die”

It is not for the faint-hearted. It is a big step many people face when they see a policeman taking a bribe, an accountant embezzling funds or a government worker stealing taxpayers’ money. Whistleblowing – the choice is yours and it could be fatal; so says this cautionary tale of small town sorrow.

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A family man, who stood up for what he believed in, paid with his life. In the coalmining town of Dundee, situated in a valley of the Biggarsberg mountains, in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province, it is one of the many sad, yet largely unsung, stories of whistleblowing in Africa.

Blowing the whistle is a tough game in 21st-century Africa, but, it’s as important as ever in a world of more and more dirty secrets. In many parts of the world, whistleblowers have become household names,  such as Chelsea Manning, after disclosing sensitive military and diplomatic documents, and Edward Snowden after he leaked classified information from the National Security Agency. In Africa, online warrior Baba Jukwa, who leaked sensitive information about Zimbabwe’s ruling party Zanu-PF; and Kenya’s John Githongo, who embarrassed the powerful with his book It’s Our Turn To Eat, are far from lauded.

Sadly, many whistleblowers in Africa are ruined or die unsung. They are shunned, harassed, jailed and left jobless.

In the small town of Umzinyathi District in KZN, South Africa, whistleblowing ended with a bullet. Grishen Bujram, from Dundee, was respected and hardworking. He had been an activist since he was 15 and a councillor. One day, he found that free houses for the poor were being sold for profit. South Africa has built millions of the so-called Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) houses, putting a roof over millions of heads.

Bujram was outraged and alleged the mayor of the African National Congress (ANC)-controlled Endumeni municipality, Thandeka Nukani, had sold 17 RDP houses and also taken one for herself; even though she had a well-paid job.

Bujram confronted the mayor and reported it to the council. On June 15, 2007, he was allegedly called for a meeting. His widow, Shirley Bujram, kissed him goodbye at the door at 6:30PM, unaware it was the last time she would see him alive.

“I was home with my children and I heard someone pounding at the door. When I went to the kitchen it was dark but I could see the police blue lights. I assumed my husband went and smashed someone or something else had happened. When I opened the door I saw the police and his nephew there. I said to the nephew, ‘if your uncle is in trouble I will leave him in jail till the end of the weekend,’” says Shirley.

The men in blue asked Shirley to sit down as they delivered the news. They said Bujram had been shot many times at the wheel in a township near Dundee.

“He was like a father to all of us in the community,” says resident Muzikayifani Khumalo – eight years later.

Another resident Thando Dube* says, “The thing that ended his life was his hatred for corruption. People like Bujram are the people who die for telling the truth. In this district, we are scared to talk because we are face to face with the gun. This place is corrupt but if you speak up you die.”

In the days after the death, Nukani, according to Shirley, visited the family to pass her condolences.

“Her exact words were ‘your husband’s killers must rot in jail’ which is shocking because she had previously sent me messages saying my husband is interfering with her work and has a jealous syndrome. If he continues on his path against her, he will be sorry,” she says.

According to the widow, a woman who was with Bujram, minutes before the assassination, testified in court that Bujram knew he was being followed by the mayor’s car, but thought nothing of it. Two brothers, on their way home from work; witnessed the mayor’s boyfriend, Bongani Shangase, shoot Bujram and her nephew, Siyabonga Nukani, used the car as a getaway vehicle.

This breakthrough gave way to disappointment for the Bujram family. They say Dundee police had the case for three months but no arrest was made until the widow went to the organized crime unit.

Police arrested Nukani, but charges were dropped for insufficient evidence. Detectives arrested Shangase and Siyabonga Nukani. Shangase received a life sentence; Siyabonga turned state witness and got 20 years.

“Thandeka planned to have her nephew poisoned because he had turned state witness. Her boyfriend worked with other inmates to make this happen but the inmates couldn’t go through with it,” says Shirley.

There were charges for the attempted murder of Siyabonga Nukani, against Thandeka Nukani. They were withdrawn, in 2011, due to insufficient evidence.

Shirley Bujram and the police, with Siyabonga Nukani’s cooperation, also found there was a hitman, Mzamo Majola.

“I found out that when [Bujram] was killed it was the third attempt which became successful. The hitman had tried two times before. On the day Bujram was killed, Mzamo Majola couldn’t go ahead with it because there were people around. Shangase got agitated and killed my husband himself,” she says.

The police offered Majola a deal to turn state witness. Based on his evidence, police arrested Thandeka Nukani again.

In August last year, Judge Isaac Nkosi withdrew the Bujram murder charges against Thandeka Nukani after Majola went on the run.

For the second time, the former mayor walked free.

Thandeka Nukani has been redeployed as the personal assistant to Umzinyathi District mayor, James Mthethwa. She lost her mayoral seat after it was found R100,000 ($7,410) in legal fees, for the Bujram case, were allegedly paid for by the ANC.

Thandeka Nukani did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Nearly eight years on, Bujram’s comrades carry whistleblowing forward at equal risk. Mzwakhe Sithebe and Yussuf Kader are fellow activists who fight corruption in KZN and are often ridiculed for doing so.

“During the apartheid era we were fighting for justice together with Grishen Bujram. Now, in a democratic country, we are still faced with the same tendencies. The problem is people driven by greed,” says Sithebe.

“The problem is that politicians have been elevated and are like a law [unto] themselves. We will always fight for justice. The issue of being eliminated unfortunately is the fate for all of us who stand against corruption. We will raise questions that need to be raised irrespective of who will be offended and decide to kill us. We have lost a number of whistleblowers in this area. We need some kind of system that protects people willing to come forward with sensitive information.”

Kader, a businessman who now drives a bulletproof car, says whistleblowers risk their lives for the good of the country.

“Houses of the poorest of the poor are being taken by those in power. Some RDP houses get sold and there is a lot of inside corruption which we continue to fight against,” says Kader.

Because of the corruption, Kader has written a letter demanding the dismissal of five government employees.

“As it stands, I can be killed at any time but I am not afraid to die for the poorest of the poor.”

Endumeni Municipality’s Mayor Thulani Mahaye, the successor to Mayor Nukani, encourages people to come forward with any information that exposes irregularities.

“I am proud of the police and the community right now. They are working together to make this area safer and ensure arrests are made when a crime is committed. If someone needs to blow the whistle and they are afraid of being eliminated, they can secretly come forward and protection will be given to them,” he says.

Despite this, controversy over houses, that saw the death of Bujram, rumbles on.

A five-minute drive outside Dundee lies the small town of Glencoe. Its residents are up in arms against the municipality. They allege 71 names, for RDP houses, in Glencoe’s Sithembile Phase 2 projects, have been removed from the list.

“It is unclear how so many people lost houses they had applied, and had been approved, for. It can only be corruption. People’s names are disappearing from the list or being withdrawn without reason. For some people, untrue claims of application withdrawals are even made,” says Glencoe resident Sifiso Madi.

“An RDP house that I applied for was approved but when the houses were built they said I withdrew my application which I never did. They also said that they looked for me to come and sign documents but didn’t find me. This is not true because no one ever contacted me or my next of kin, sent a letter or came to where I stay to look for me,” says one Dundee woman who wants to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.

Another frustrated resident says “my cousin died in 2008 but an RDP house had been approved for him. He left dependants, so in 2013 when the houses were being built I decided to check on the progress to make sure his children have a place to stay. Funnily enough, they gave me a list that says my cousin withdrew the application. How is that possible when he is dead? Did he wake up from his grave to withdraw it? I asked the human settlement people to show me where my cousin signed to withdraw his application for the house he had already been approved for, but obviously, because it never happened, they were not able to provide any proof.”

Many who rocked the boat like Bujram also paid with their lives.

In June, just 55 kilometers from Dundee, Vusi Ntombela, an Nquthu Municipality council speaker for the ANC, and teacher and deputy principal at Luvisi Primary School, was gunned down while teaching a Grade 6 class. A gunman walked into his classroom and shot him four times. Two pupils were caught in the crossfire. Thirteen-year-old Elizabeth Nhleko died from a stray bullet.

The widow, Thembelihle Ntombela, told journalists she believes Vusi was killed because of tensions within the ANC. In December last year, Vusi had resisted an instruction from the ANC sub-region to resign as speaker. His murder is allegedly related to political tensions in the governing party’s Inkosi Bhambatha region and in the council itself.

Police arrested Mbhekiseni Khambule and Sibongiseni Mdakane for the murder. Khambule is the bodyguard of Nquthu mayor, Emily Molefe. Mdakane was later sentenced to life imprisonment. He confessed that he had been promised R15,000 (around $1,100) for the hit by his co-accused.

In May 2008, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) councillor Peter Nxele was shot dead in his driveway for speaking out against corruption just a week after raising questions about R50,000 ($3,700) that had gone missing from a council business grant. He also requested a forensic audit into the spending of the Endumeni municipality. One of the five men accused of gunning down Nxele is Bongani Shangase, the same man who killed Bujram.

In June 2009, 124 kilometers from Dundee where Bujram was killed, Tony Malunga, an ANC councillor and regional executive committee member, was gunned down at his home in Greytown. He was allegedly killed because of his fight against corruption. Malunga was found lying in a pool of blood outside the ANC offices.

Back in Dundee, Shirley Bujram vows to fight for justice for her husband’s murder.

“My husband was diabetic but a month before he died he said to me he was not going to be killed by diabetes because there is a bullet there for him; and by the bullet he died.”

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How LinkedIn Is Looking To Help Close The Ever-Growing Skills Gap

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As the job market has evolved, so too have the skills required of seekers. But when 75% of human resources professionals say a skills shortage has made recruiting particularly challenging in recent months, it would appear as though the workforce hasn’t quite kept pace. Now LinkedIn is stepping in to help close the gap.

On Tuesday, the professional social network announced the launch of a “Skills Assessments” tool, through which users can put their knowledge to the test. Those who pass are given the opportunity to display a badge that reads “passed” next to the skill on their profile pages, a validation of sorts that LinkedIn hopes will encourage skills development among its users and help better match potential employees with the right employers.  

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“We see an evolving labor market and much more sophistication in how recruiters and hiring managers look for skills. … We also see a changing learning market,” says Hari Srinivasan, senior director of product management at LinkedIn Learning. “The combination of those two made us excited about changing our opportunity marketplace to make the hiring side and the learning side work better together.”

So how exactly does it work? Let’s say a user wants to showcase her proficiency in Microsoft Excel. Rather than simply listing “Excel” in the skills section of her profile, she can take a multiple-choice test to demonstrate the extent to which she is an expert.

If she aces the test, not only will a badge verifying her aptitude will appear on her profile, but she will be more likely to surface in searches by recruiters, who can search for candidates by skill in the same way they might do so by college or employer. If she fails, she can take the test again, but she’ll have to wait a few months—plenty of time to develop her skillset.   

The tool has been in beta mode since March, and while just 2 million people have used it—a mere fraction of LinkedIn’s 630 million members—early results seem promising. According to LinkedIn, members who’ve completed skills assessments have been nearly 30% more likely to land jobs than their counterparts who did not take the tests.

READ MORE | Challenging The Gender Divide

“This has been a really good way for members to represent what they know, what they are good at,” says Emrecan Dogan, LinkedIn group product manager.

While new to LinkedIn, the practice of assessing candidates’ skills has been a standard among hiring managers for decades. But when research commissioned by LinkedIn revealed that 69% of employees feel that skills have become more important to recruiters than education, LinkedIn felt as though this was the time to give job seekers the opportunity to prove themselves from the get-go.

As important as the hard skills that members can put to the test through LinkedIn’s new tool may be, Dawn Fay, senior district president at recruiting firm Robert Half, encourages those on both side of the job search not to forget the importance of soft skills. “You wouldn’t want to rule somebody in or out just based on how they did on one particular skill assessment,” she says.

“Have another data point that you can use, question people about how they did on something and see if it’s something that can feed into the puzzle to find out if somebody is going to be a good fit.”

-Samantha Todd; Forbes

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Why The High Number Of Employees Quitting Reveals A Strong Job Market

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While recession fears may be looming in the minds of some, new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the economy and job market may actually be strengthening.

The quits rate—or the percentage of all employees who quit during a given month—rose to 2.4% in July, according to the BLS’s Jobs Openings and Labor Turnover report, released Tuesday. That translates to 3.6 million people who voluntarily left their jobs in July.

This is the highest the quits rate has been since April 2001, just five months after the Labor Department began tracking it. According to Nick Bunker, an economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, the quits rate tends to be a reflection of the state of the economy.

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“The level of the quits rate really is a sign of how strong the labor market is,” he says. “If you look at the quits rate over time, it really drops quite a bit when the labor market gets weak. During the recession it was quite low, and now it’s picked up.”

The monthly jobs report, released last week, revealed that the economy gained 130,000 jobs in August, which is 20,000 less than expected, and just a few weeks earlier, the BLS issued a correction stating that it had overestimated by 501,000 how many jobs had been added to the market in 2018 and the first quarter of 2019. Yet despite all that, employees still seem to have confidence in the job market.Today In: Leadership

The quits level, according to the BLS, increased in the private sector by 127,000 for July but was little changed in government. Healthcare and social assistance saw an uptick in departures to the tune of 54,000 workers, while the federal government saw a rise of 3,000.

READ MORE | 5 Questions You Should Never Ask During A Job Interview

The July quits rate in construction was 2.4%, while the number in trade, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality were 2.6%, 3.1% and 4.8%, respectively. Bunker of Indeed says that the industries that tend to see the highest rate of departuresare those where pay is relatively low, such as leisure and hospitality. An unknown is whether employees are quitting these jobs to go to a new industry or whether they’re leaving for another job in the same industry. Either could be the case, says Bunker.

In a recently published article on the industries seeing the most worker departures, Bunker attributes the uptick to two factors—the strong labor market and faster wage growth in the industries concerned: “A stronger labor market means employers must fill more openings from the ranks of the already employed, who have to quit their jobs, instead of hiring jobless workers. Similarly, faster wage growth in an industry signals workers that opportunities abound and they might get higher pay by taking a new job.”

Even so, recession fears still dominate headlines. According to Bunker, the data shows that when a recession hits, employers pull back on hiring and workers don’t have the opportunity to find new jobs. Thus, workers feel less confident and are less likely to quit.

READ MORE | South Africa’s Informal Sector: Why People Get Stuck In Precarious Jobs

“As the labor market gets stronger, there’s more opportunities for workers who already have jobs. So they quit to go to new jobs or they quit in the hopes of getting new jobs again,” Bunker says. He also notes that recession fears may have little to do with the job market, instead stemming from what is happening in the financial markets, international relations or Washington, D.C.

So what does the BLS report say about the job market? “Taking this report as a whole, it’s indicating that the labor market is still quite strong, but then we lost momentum,” Bunker says. While workers are quitting their jobs, he says that employers are pulling back on the pace at which they’re adding jobs. “While things are quite good right now and workers are taking advantage of that,” he notes, “those opportunities moving forward might be fewer and fewer if the trend keeps up.”

-Samantha Todd; Forbes

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No Seat At The Global Table For Indigenous African Cuisine

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Gastronomic tourism based on African food could easily increase and create new value chains that unlock billions in untapped wealth for the continent, but what is stopping us?


Food and tourism are an integral part of most economies, globally. Food is undeniably a core part of all cultures and an increasingly important attraction for tourists. To satisfy their wanderlust, contemporary tourists require an array of experiences that include elements of education, entertainment, picturesque scenery and culinary wonders.  The link between food and tourism allows destinations to develop local economies; and food experiences help to brand and market them, as well as supporting the local culture and knowledge systems.

 This is particularly important for rural communities, where 61% of sub-Saharan Africans live, according to the World Bank last year. These communities have often felt the brunt of urbanization, which has resulted in a shift away from rural economies. If implemented effectively, Africa could get a piece of the gastronomic tourism pie, which was worth $8.8 trillion last year, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.

World-renowned chef Nompumelelo Mqwebu and author of her self-published cookbook, Through the Eyes Of An African Chef. Picture: Motlaban Monnakgotla

However, there is currently very little public information to pique the interest of tourists about African food. World-renowned South African chef Nompumelelo Mqwebu sought to remedy this with her self-published cookbook, Through the Eyes Of An African Chef.

“I think where it was very clear to me that I needed to do something was when I went to cooking school. I trained at Christina Martin School of Food and Wine. I thought I was actually going to get training on South African food and, somehow, I assumed we were talking indigenous food.

 “I was shocked that we went through the whole year’s curriculum and we didn’t cover anything that I ate at home; we didn’t cover anything that my first cousins, who are Sotho, ate in Nelspruit (in South Africa’s Mpumalanga Province); we didn’t cover anything that would come from eSwatini, which is where my mother is from,” Mqwebu says.

By self-publishing, she has ultimately contributed to a value chain that has linked local food producers and suppliers, which includes agriculture, food production, country branding and cultural and creative industries.

“I am a member of Proudly South African, not only my business, but the book as well. Part of the reason is that the cookbook was 100% published in South Africa. So, everybody who worked on the cookbook, and printing, was all in South Africa, which is something quite rare these days because authors have their books published abroad.”

The Proudly South African campaign is a South African ‘buy local’ initiative that sells her cookbook on their online platform as its production adheres to the initiative’s campaign standards. Self-publishing has allowed Mqwebu to promote her book for two years and to directly communicate with her audience in a way she thought was best, while exposing her to a vast community of local networks. She recalls her first step towards creating her own body of work.

Amadumbe gnocchi. Picture: Nompumelelo Mqwebu and Nicole Louw Photography

“I was in culinary school when I wrote the recipe for amadumbe (potato of the tropics) gnocchi. We were making gnocchi and I thought, ‘so why aren’t we using amadumbe because it’s a starch?’ and when I tasted it, I thought, ‘this could definitely work’. I started doing my recipes then.

 “And there was talk about, ‘we don’t have desserts as Africans’. I did some research and found we ate berries, we were never big on sugar to begin with. That’s why I took the same isidudu (soft porridge made from ground corn) with pumpkin that my grandmother used to make and that became my dessert. “I also found that when I went to libraries looking for indigenous recipes, I couldn’t really find something that spoke to me as a chef. I found content that looked like history books. It was not appealing. It was not something, as a chef, I could proudly present to another chef from a different part of the world, so I knew I had to write my book,” Mqwebu says about the award-winning recipe book that chronicles African cuisine.

Isidudu (soft porridge made from ground corn) with pumpkin. Picture: Nompumelelo Mqwebu and Nicole Louw Photography

Financial and health benefits

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, in 2018, the tourism sector “contributed 319 million jobs, representing one in 10 of all jobs globally and is responsible for one in five of all new jobs created in the world over the last five years. It has increased its share of leisure spending to 78.5%, meaning 21.5% of spending was on business.”

To narrow in on how lucrative food can be, the World Food Travel Association estimates that visitors spend approximately 25% of their travel budget on food and beverages. The figure can get as high as 35% in expensive destinations, and as low as 15% in more affordable destinations. “Confirmed food lovers also spend a bit more than the average of 25% spent by travelers in general.”

However, there is a widely-held view that the African continent is not doing enough to maximize its potential to also position itself as a gastronomic tourism destination, using its unique edge of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS).

“We are not a culinary destination and we will never be while we are still offering pasta as the attraction for our tourists,” Mqwebu says.

Dr George Sedupane, who is the Coordinator of the Bachelor of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems program in South Africa’s North-West University, echoes Mqwebu’s sentiments.

“I often cringe when I go to conferences and there are guests from all over the world and we serve them pasta. Why would they come from Brazil to eat pasta here? They can have pasta in Italy. Why don’t we serve them umngqusho (samp and beans)?

Umngqusho (samp and beans). Picture: Nompumelelo Mqwebu and Nicole Louw Photography

“We need to be creating those experiences around our culture. We are failing to capitalize on our strengths. There is a lack of drive to celebrate what we have,” says Sedupane, who also teaches modules and supervises research in indigenous health and nutrition.

Writer and historian Sibusiso Mnyanda says current innovations in African food technology are born out of necessity, rather tourism and cultural ambitions.

“Food security is becoming an issue that is leading to IKS around farming being prioritized. In Nigeria, they are innovating dry season farming, because of deforestation and soil being de-cultivated. 

“So those indigenous knowledge strategies are being used in countries where it is a necessity and where there are enough advances related to the fourth industrial revolution. The traditional ways of producing food are not only much more organic, they are also crop-efficient,” Mnyanda says.

Nigeria may have inadvertently innovated a health solution related to colon cancer through its diet. Sedupane tells FORBES AFRICA an anecdote.

“There was a study where the colons of an African country that did not consume a lot of meat was compared to Europeans. The Africans had a much better profile as a result and there are people who want to buy African stool to get that kind of rich bacteria, that you get on an African plant-based diet.”

Dr George Sedupane, who is the Coordinator of the Bachelor of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems. Picture: Supplied

The study Sedupane is referring to was conducted in Nigeria and it states that: “Nigeria showed the average annual incidence of colorectal cancer was 27 patients per year. This shows that even if it seems that incidence rates are increasing in Nigeria, such rates are still about one-tenth of what is seen in the truly developed countries.”

In a bid to find reasons for this rarity of colon and rectal cancer, the study concluded that, among other reasons, the protective effects of Nigeria’s starch-based, vegetable-based, fruit-based, and spicy, peppery diet, and geographical location which ensures sunshine all year round, played a role in the country’s colon health.

Interestingly, it seems the potential value of African food could not only be based on what goes in but what also comes out as healthy faecal matter is big business globally. In 2015, The Washington Post published that one could potentially earn $13,000 a year selling their poop. 

The American-based company OpenBiome has been processing and shipping frozen stool to patients who are very sick with infections of a bacteria called C.difficile. It causes diarrhea and inflammation of the colon, leaving some sufferers house-bound. “Antibiotics often help, but sometimes, the bacteria rears back as soon as treatment stops. By introducing healthy faecal matter into the gut of a patient (by way of endoscopy, nasal tubes, or swallowed capsules), doctors can abolish C. difficile for good… And yes, they pay for healthy poop: $40 a sample, with a $50 bonus if you come in five days a week. That’s $250 for a week of donations, or $13,000 a year,” the publication stated.

Sedupane is of the view that a diet which includes indigenous foods could vastly improve one’s quality of life.

He says small changes could be made, such as including more of indigenous greens, namely sorghum and millet, to breakfast. The grains are gluten-free and produce alkaline which boosts the pH level of fluids in the body and reduces acidity.

Moringa fruit which is an African superfood. Picture: Getty Images

“Moving to our legumes, we have indlubu (Bambara groundnut) which is very rich and helps in the secretion of serotonin in the brain. This so important nowadays with the increase of depression. It’s easy to digest, and is great for cholesterol and moderating blood sugar,” Sedupane says.

 Mnyanda is also of the view that food is imperative to health and medicinal properties. He says traditional healers primarily use natural herbs in their practice. “These are used in pain relief and healing. Things like cannabis, camphor, African potatao and red carrots. So, food is not just used for nutritional purposes.”

Other African superfoods include, Baobab fruit, Hibiscus, Tamarind, Kenkiliba, Amaranth, Moringa and pumpkin leaves. 

Cultural and historical benefits

Gastronomic tourism also includes the promotion of heritage sites that are known to revolve around dishes that are of historic importance. They enhance the travel experience, they encourage the acquisition of knowledge and a cultural exchange.

There is a unanimous view that vast amounts of knowledge have been lost to history and there is a huge knowledge gap in African societies as a result of colonization and urbanization.

“Part of the colonial agenda was to make sure food security did not belong to indigenous groups. Therefore, archiving of these knowledge systems was not a priority. Especially during industrialization, where people moved from their villages to the city you found that the knowledge got left behind,” Mnyanda says.

Abathwa (the San people) hunting. Picture: Getty Images

He offers a contemporary example of how modernization continues to push African practices to the fringes: “To this day, abathwa (the San people) hunt their meat, but you find that because of changing agricultural practices and land reform on the Kruger National Park, they are being forced to move into the cities and industrial areas, therefore they are no longer able to practice their culture of hunting. As a result, their diet is changing.” Sedupane shares the view that the fundamentals of farming and astrology have also been exiled from public knowledge.

“The fundamentals of IKS were based on the understanding of the laws of nature – how and when things were done. Harvest cycles were linked with understanding astrology. They would not harvest until certain stars were visible in the sky. There was a dependence on nature.

“With industrialization, rather than working with nature, humans are seen as being above, as controlling, as directing it. The natural cycle is often tempered with rather than trying to work with it.”

Not all is lost however. There are historical practices that have stood the test of time and continue to be a part the few foods that are internationally associated with South Africa. Mqwebu says that, “historically, we ate more plants than meat because our ancestors had to hunt and the game back then was not tame. So, there were no guarantees that you would return with meat. And that’s where things like umqwayiba (biltong) come from. They had to preserve the meat, because wasting was not part of the culture”.

Umqwayiba (biltong). Picture: Getty Images

According to a 2015 exploratory research project conducted under the guidance of research institute Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society director Professor Melville Saayman, biltong contributes more than R2.5 billion ($163 million) to the South African economy.

Perhaps, like the faecal transporting company, Africa will soon realize the ‘wasted’ opportunity and that there is loads of money to be made in gastronomic tourism for all its inhabitants, whether they are rural or urban, technological or indigenous.

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