Miss SA Top 30’s Zimi Mabunzi heats up the kitchen

One of this year’s Top 30 finalists in the Miss South Africa competition is final year student Zimi Mabunzi, who hails from eQonce (King William’s Town) in the Eastern Cape. The 26-year old, currently studying for her B.Com Law degree at the Nelson Mandela University in eGqeberha, is also a dab hand in the kitchen, especially when it comes to local dishes such as umphokoqo and umngqusho, two of her favourites.

Mabunzi says she got her love for cooking from sister, Yolisa.

“When I was young I barely spent much time cooking. Mine was to taste and wash the dishes. However, when my sister went to varsity, I had to step it up. I suddenly remembered all those times watching her make dishes for the family and all that tasting I did.

“My sister could and still makes the heartiest meals out of the least ingredients, that’s what I love most about cooking. She taught me so much and puts so much fun into cooking. I always look forward to cooking for the family and one day hosting dinner parties at my own place.”

For those who want to try Mabunzi’s umngqusho and beef stew recipe, here it is!

Zimi Mabunzi’s Umngqusho & Beef Stew

For the Samp & Beans
1 cup of samp
¼ cup of beans
Full pot of water
1 beef stock cube
1 tsp of Holsum fat (optional but makes it super yum!)

Cook the samp and beans in the water until soft and edible. Then add the stock cube, Aromat and fat and cook for about 3 hours.

For the Beef Stew
1kg stewing beef
1 tbsp of oil
1 onion, chopped
2 red peppers, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp Mother-in-Law spice (or more if you like your stew hot!)
1 tbsp chutney
1 cube of beef stock
1 tbsp paprika

Add oil to a pot and over a medium heat brown the beef. Remove the meat and, in the same pot, add the onion, peppers, garlic and beef stock and cook until onion is soft.
Then add the salt (to taste), paprika, Mother-in Law-spice, chutney and a generous amount of water and cook – stirring regularly – until meat is tender.

“The Mother-in-Law spice is non-negotiable,” says Mabunzi, “so make sure you have some in the cupboard before you start cooking. How much you use depends on how spicy you like your stew.”

“I always enjoy this meal with a side portion of veggies as you can see in my pictures.”


The public is now the fifth judge in selecting the Top 10 finalists and can vote on the Miss South Africa website (https://www.misssa.co.za). The public can also vote using cash at a Money Market counter at any Shoprite, Checkers Hyper, Checkers, selected Usave and House & Home stores or vote online at Computicket using a credit card. The cost is R5 for one vote with a selection of bundles available. Voting bundles include free votes and cannot be split between different contestants. If you want to vote for Zimi Mabunzi, her number is 30.

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