Domestic worker on Masterchef causes a stir in South Africa –

“They are unsung heroes, exploited, no pay, no job security,” said political
analyst Ralph Mathekga, speaking from Johannesburg.

“Most of them are very experienced in terms of the culinary preference of
their bosses. I know this personally, my grandmother used to be a domestic
worker,” he said, “but they are not paid as chefs, they are paid as

Before she appeared on screens nationwide, Ms Mdlankomo, a pint-sized woman
with an infectious laugh, was working full time for a family in Newlands,
Cape Town, a posh suburb at the base of the picturesque Table Mountain.

Siphokazi Mdlankomo competing in Masterchef (Lisa Skinner)

Her day started at 8am in the morning, when she would clean the house.

Later, she would do a grocery shop and walk the family dog Lulu, a cross
between a maltese poodle and a toy Pomeranian, before sitting down to plan a

Ms Mdlankomo’s favourite dishes to make are potato gnocchi and beef ragu. “It
may take a long time to cook,” she said, “but believe me it’s worth the time
and effort.”

She does not know what the future will hold, but in the meantime is using her
high-profile position to advocate on behalf of domestic workers around the

“People, not only in South Africa, but all over the world should start taking
domestic workers much more seriously,” said Ms Mdlankomo.

“People need to start thinking of domestic work as any other profession,” she
said, “it’s not just cleaning and cooking, there is far more talent in
domestic workers.”

Domestic worker on Masterchef causes a stir in South Africa –

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