Festive dining tips, with love from the twins
Words: Heather Clancy | Photography: Bantu Khotso
You almost don't remember how many platitudes we're sold as unmovable truths until you're at a pop-up high tea event run by sisters-turned-business partners who took a leap from freelance magazine contributors to fully-fledged entrepreneurs because, well, it just felt like it might be fun.
Don't work with family? Highly debatable. Put in decades of grinding before taking a leap? Sure, if you don't have twin power on your side. Enter Tebo and Lebo Ndala – the sisters and best friends behind With Love From The Twins – a one-stop culinary concept catering for private events, hosting pop-up experiences and perfecting the recipe for a life inspired by passion.
You know you've truly entered the next level when work becomes play, but when it becomes meditation – well, then you're on some Yoda-like ish. "I love cooking, for me it's like meditation, it's very calming. It's also my thinking time, cooking makes me really happy, especially cooking for other people. It really excites me," says Tebo. Walking the tightrope between meditative reflection and creative excitement, the twins have always been propelled by curiosity. With an early interest in food inspired by family and then maintained by that almost spiritual feeling of peace that only those who love cooking can truly understand, it was no surprise to anyone who knew them when the Ndala sisters studied culinary arts at the Hurst Campus in Stellenbosch. Next on the menu was an extra credit course at the University of California Los Angeles Extension. Once their studies were complete the two freelanced as food assistants at a few magazines and worked with foodie icon Siba Mtongana. All along the way, trusting their own creative talents and that the journey of the artist is the reward in itself. "I love art, I love creating and that is how I feel about cooking. It makes me feel like I'm creating something spectacular," says Lebo when asked about how cooking makes her feel.
"When we were freelancing, we wanted to do something more with our lives," the twins say in unison when talking about how they made the brave leap into the entrepreneurial space. That simple hunger for meaning has richly rewarded their journey so far, to the point that they have their eyes set on much more ambitious goals. "I see our brand as a household name. We'll definitely be masters of our craft and take over the food and media industry," Tebo says without any reservation. As if their drive wasn't obvious, Lebo adds "I see us with an empire."
While they might look like #girlboss goals from their Instagram feed, the sisters caution that the key to achieving good days is mastering the bad ones. "Always stay consistent on good days and on bad days, because consistency is the key and keys open doors."
Tebo and Lebo's top tips for surviving the festive season