Siba Mtongana is a world-renowned celebrity chef, TV presenter, author, food expert, and entrepreneur – and creator of all things Sibalicious! Not only popular in South Africa, it’s safe to say that Siba is one of our most famous foodie exports, who has achieved global fame and recognition for her talents in the kitchen – and her warm personality and infectious giggle too. However, while food may be her passion, Siba is entrepreneurial at heart. She always knew she wasn’t going to be just another woman in the kitchen, and she has worked hard to re-invent that traditional image.
As the youngest of six children, Siba has fond memories of spending time together as a family, and much of that time was spent in the kitchen. Now, with four beautiful children of her own, she feels it’s important to carry on the tradition with her family. “I cook with my kids. I involve them in the cooking process because if I get their buy-in, they’re most likely to eat the food,” she laughingly tells us. And, of course, she tests her delicious recipes in her kitchen too.
Clearly, for someone in the line of work that she’s in, the kitchen is vital for her career, but it’s an important part of the house for her family life too. When Siba and her husband Brian renovated their kitchen, Siba knew she needed a beautiful centerpiece and quality finishes that would look good but serve a purpose and stand the test of time. No doubt, with a world-class “resident chef” in the family, the kitchen is a popular part of the house for Brian and the kids!
“I went for Caesarstone specifically because I wanted something that is durable, and I wanted something that was so easy to clean,” she explains. She chose the Caesarstone Empira White for her kitchen island and countertops – white with a slight marble. They look gorgeous, are easy to clean and, as an added bonus, they make her dishes look amazing.
To what does Siba attribute her success?
“I love being the best, and being number one. I’m a mom, I’m a wife, I am a business owner, and many other things. I think some of the challenges a woman finds themselves is being all of that and more. And the expectation that society often imposes on us in that we have to hold the entire world – the family, the business – on our shoulders.” She encourages women to be kind to themselves, and make use of the proverbial villages they have at their disposal to help them navigate family life and a successful career.
The advice that she would give to aspiring female entrepreneurs is that they need to believe in themselves, “because without believing in yourself it’s very hard for others to believe in you”. And, of course, as demonstrated by Siba herself, “there is no shortcut – hard work will give you the good result!”
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