The ideal way to kick off heritage month would be a visit to Melusi Tshabalala’s new Gogo Magic Family Eatery.
Situated in the four-star rated Monte La Vue Boutique Hotel in Fourways, the advertising guru and author has expanded what began as a food truck.
The founder of Everyday Speak (a culture, dialogue, language activism, advertising and design company) and author of Melusi’s Everyday Zulu and Magenge, We Need to Talk, launched the truck in Cedar Park on Freedom Day in 2022.
On the same day, he also launched his children’s book titled Gogo Magic and Her Magic Food Truck based on his mother and children.
The new space caters for all people who crave authentic African food.
On entry, the notion that skopo and tripe meals can only be enjoyed in traditional township eateries, is thrown out of the window.
The joint is elegant, serving township meals in style. The kota comes decadently served on a plate and not plastic, while the skopo is not the smiley that scares kids away.
Speaking to Sunday World, Tshabalala said he was caught up between spending time with his children and going out and enjoy Mzansi food at a place where it was not child friendly.
So, he now caters for families who want the same.
The venue has a huge outdoor play area offering a wide range of kids activities for various age groups. Children can enjoy games while parents opt for a braai.
“I did a bit of research and found that I was not the only one bothered by this, I also found that many people had not thought about how crazy this situation is,” said Tshabalala.
“I ultimately wanted to create a space built for African families instead of just being in spaces where we are tolerated.
“I wanted African families to have an option that feels like home because it truly is home.”
The name says it all. Gogo, loosely translating to grandmother, has been considered a safe space for children – taking it back to holidays when kids would visit their grannies.
Tshabalala said he used his mother’s name, Magic, to create this safe space and to always remember his mother’s kindness and love for children.
“Magic is my mother’s actual name and she is an amazing grandmother to my children, my brother’s daughter, our nieces and nephews, as well as children at church and the community.
“The name speaks to Mzansi’s warmth and generosity, it is all the magic that makes everything great, holding families together,” he said.
Tshabalala said he aims to bring joy to African families and allow them to enjoy food that would remind them of their hometowns while also passing on the love to their children.