“I don’t take for granted that people are part of the global world, but how can we use traditional foods in modern ways?”
Nelwamondo’s creamy baobab mayonnaise, sorghum pasta, nut butter, cassava bread and bambara bean salad are testimonies to this sentiment.
At the heart of Nelwamondo’s work is her desire to destigmatise illness, and offer an alternative future to the many South Africans living with lifestyle diseases.
“We do not have the infrastructure to support chronic illnesses. Someone with kidney failure will struggle to get dialysis. But our relationship with food gives me hope. All is not lost.”
It is also one of her hopes that medical students will be taught more about nutrition and food instead of simply referring patients to dieticians by the time the lifestyle disease has already progressed.
For Nelwamondo, “food is at the core of everything”, and if it tastes and looks as good as what she makes in her kitchen, it is easy to understand from where her sense of optimism springs.
This article first appeared in the Daily Maverick.