By ISIPHO NGUTYANA
The kitchen: Masibambane Community Kitchen
The chef: Lulama Maseti
“I always wanted to start a soup kitchen, but I am unemployed,” says Lulama Maseti, 34.
“When the lockdown started, I saw breadwinners in my community lose their jobs, and I thought that starting this would help a lot of people”.
Maseti, who was born and bred in Makhanda, is a mother to two children. She lives with her mother in Extension 8. On a typical day during the hard lockdown, Maseti would cook on her three-plate gas stove and feed over 300 people in a day.
“The most challenging part is when I don’t have food to cook – when they come with their containers and go back with no food,” Maseti said.
As a soup kitchen sustained through local donations, further challenges include refilling the gas stove twice a month, with costs as high as R1000.
Masibambane Soup Kitchen hosts events for the community on public holidays such as Mandela Day and Heritage Day. Maseti recently got her initiative registered, as she has a bigger vision for it.
“I want the soup kitchen to be on another level,” she says. This pop-up will also be a conducive space for school learners to engage in schoolwork while being fed.
“Many kids don’t go to school at all. There are small children as young as ten, a group of 12, who sniff glue,” she says.
The bigger vision for the soup kitchen is that it would help to tackle social ills, including substance abuse and teenage pregnancy.