Writing Ourselves Into Existence

During a time when magazine titles were shut down, one small, black female-owned company – Mikateko Media – launched a new quarterly magazine called Koe’sister.



Remember when everyone was cooking and baking like crazy during Covid-19 lockdown levels 5 and 4? Social media exploded with images of freshly baked goods and food that brought all the nostalgic feels. Well, Ingrid Jones, co-founder and executive director at Mikateko Media, can spot a trend coming. So when her friend Ruby Marks, South Africa’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka at the time, shared a Facebook post about her attempt at making bobotie far away from home, Ingrid knew something bigger was brewing.


Ruby was inspired to create the bobotie when she saw Ingrid’s own bobotie recipe in a past issue of Woolworths’ Taste magazine. She narrates her cooking process vividly, invoking her late mother: “En net in time hoor ek my oorle’ ma se stem, ‘waassie liefde?’ En ek gooi gou sout en pieper oo’ die mixture en mix maa’ wee’. Daai vrou rescue my time and again.”


With her bobotie successfully made, she concluded that her dish could easily feature in Taste magazine. A publication that normally made her feel like an outsider.


“Ma’ ek voel nogal dit kan feature langsaan Ingrid sń in Woolies se Taste magazine wat my altyd lat voel asof ń Cape Flats girl ma’ net kan kyk... totdat sy sien dat ha’ girl oek daa’ feature.”

An online conversation started and it turned into an idea to publish a book to showcase recipes and the amazing stories and memories these evoked. On 1 June, she created the Lockdown Recipe Storytelling Book (LRSB) group on Facebook, made a call for submissions, and went in search of a book publisher.


Stories and recipes came streaming in. The contributors shared generously and beautifully. Ingrid realised that this project couldn’t end with the recipe book, so the team at Mikateko Media created a business plan for a quarterly magazine – and Koe’sister magazine was born.


Why Koe’sister?

South Africans will be familiar with the syrupy sweet plaited treat called koeksister. A koe’sister, on the other hand, is an oval shaped sweet treat with a doughnut texture, infused with spices and naartjie peel and sprinkled with coconut.


“Without saying anything, we are culturally speaking a language that people understand. Specifically the people who feel excluded. The ones who asked: ‘Where are our stories?’” Ingrid explained.

The recipes and stories included in the magazine remain in the languages as shared on the LRSB Facebook group. This vision has led to recipes from koe’sisters to amadumbe to jollof rice to skuimpiespoeding.


Buy the quarterly Koe’sister magazine for R50 at SPAR stores, or on www.mosadionline.com/online-store.


Order the Lockdown Recipe Storytelling Book via cairistine@gmail.com. All royalties will be donated to a national feeding scheme.

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