Ukhonaye Mconi 365 and beyond…

We all experienced the COVID-19 pandemic; may it be health-wise, physically, financially, spiritually, career-wise or like me, CREATIVELY.

So those who do not know me well or recently joined the U-Army, I was a full time Culinary lecturer which meant we moved from physical classes to online which proved to be a great solution to keeping the semester moving but also highlighted the financial issues liked to purchasing of data and just the lack of technological freedom that most South Africans suffer with, daily.

Enough about the serious things, lockdown really got people creative with their time at home and let me say, I am part of that creativity gang. If it wasn’t people learning a new skill, we were all Youtube content creators. To be honest, my Youtube series (only one season), really helped me cope with the daily anxieties that come with being a social butterfly that is now confined to their own apartment for months. You should actually check out my page, not only for the recipes but the topics; I mean that is why I named it ‘CoFUP – Conversations over Food’.

Something so unrelated to food, I GOT INTO A RELATIONSHIP!!!!

Now that means I cannot say that lockdown did nothing for me hahaha…this is when the lockdown rules were getting better and allowing us to slowly start socializing a bit more. I met my partner at a friends birthday gathering and yep, the rest is history (might just shoot a CoFUP for this story).

Months went on and I returned to on-campus lecturing. Which was a nightmare to be honest but we moved. This time, I also put on the idea of my pop-up dinners into motion where we hosted our first one on 5th December at Auckland Park, which was a beautiful launch into the dining space in Johannesburg. Life went on by and we ushered the new with better hopes and dreams after the 2020 we had.

That would mean leaving the lecturing space and push through being my own boss, what a fruitful transition. Hosted the second U.Eat dinner with a new partnership and sponsor, sold out may I add.

While I was still celebrating the U.Eat, I get a call from a dear friend and former student of mine to be part of something that I never saw how big it would be, I named it 5Food. Now this partnership with 4 other chefs and their companies opened up opportunities and conversations around Hospitality and how to move forward in this industry during this pandemic. 5Food Chefs moved from March till June, with so much offerings when it came to cuisines.

U.Eat made an appearance with the 5Food and we offered an African Masquerade, all the mystery and all the flavours. We appear on TV. Click here to see the African Masquerade event!

That has been my 365 and beyond!

I look forward to the rest of 2021….

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