Limpopo butchery manager Queen Mathebula is the winner of the 2017 Shoprite Checkers Championship Boerewors competition, the annual heritage event dedicated to finding the country’s best boerewors recipe while benefiting local communities.
The competition, now in its 25th year, celebrates South Africans’ diverse heritage in their shared love of boerewors, pitting some of the country’s best boerewors innovators at a braai-off charity event to benefit youth development programmes.
Mathebula, from Jilongo Village outside Malamulele, won the grand prize of a new 4×4 and the honour of having her winning boerewors sold at Shoprite Checkers stores nationwide. The two finalists were James Lebepe from Atteridgeville, Gauteng and Moses Mathebula (no relation), also from Limpopo.
A four-year veteran of the event, Mathebula said of her win “it is fourth time lucky for me. I feel so privileged and honoured to have been a part of this esteemed competition and to have made it to the top.”
Boerewors and rugby for a good cause
The final braai-off was held in Langa in Cape Town, at the beginning of Heritage Month, September 2017. The event included a charity rugby match between former Springbok players and up-and-coming rugby talent.
Proceeds will be used to benefit youth sport and education upliftment programmes in the area, including the Vusa Rugby Academy.
Shoprite Checkers supports the academy, supplying the 80 children in the programme with daily meals. The next step for the partnership will be the establishment and maintenance of a community food garden for four local schools.
In addition to grassroots rugby development, Vusa offers academic bursary support for outstanding players.
Queen of the wors
Mathebula believes her win came from sticking to three essential rules of good boerewors – quality meat, a good blend of spices and patient braaing until tender and juicy.
Her special spice blend? Mathebula won’t give away her secret, but said the right amount of coriander made the difference. She believes, despite the trend of more modern side dishes for award-winning boerewors, good old fashioned pap and sauce will always be an indispensable ingredient to the entire experience.
While the honour of the win was a testament to her boerewors-making talent, the 4×4 grand prize, she said, would make it easier for her to get her children to school on time, which was much more important to her.
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