Cheesa Nyama: 1 of 3 Township Products With Global Prospects

Recently Chessa Nyama went global, thanks to Circle Food Group and Hlumelo Biko’s partners. Chessa Nyama is a township barbecue meat prepared on fire, traditionally in local food spaces. Mzoli a Gugulethu entrepreneur in Cape Town was one of the entrepreneurs who popularised this form of business by getting tourists to visit the township to get their cheesa nyama. Now there’s Cheesa Nyama places everywhere with more to open in the United States of America.

Cheesa Nyama is not the only product with global credentials. Here are some of the township products that I think should go global:

Pantsula Dance

Do you remember Psy the South Korean YouTube star who popularised the Gangnam Style? I believe the same can happen to the popular township dance. The Pantsula Dance is unique enough to be exported as dance to other parts of the world. Pantsula Dance alone can open doors for township musicians and dancers who can embrace it as theirs. All they need is to introduce pantsula dance via YouTube and other social platforms to the world and watch township dance trending.


Before ciders and draughts invaded townships there was uMqombothi famously sang about by Yvonne Chakka Chakka. Umqombothi is a traditional beer that you will only find in African townships. It’s uniqueness also lies in the atmosphere in which it is drank, traditionally by a group sharing it and discussing community matters. Not to mention (iNgqayi) the traditional container in which it is drank from.

These are just some of the few products that I think with an ideal business model they can go global. We are now compiling a list of township products that can go global and developing case studies as to how they can take off. What is important is to turn the #TownshipEconomy talk into action by developing products that can develop economic value beyond local markets.


Image source: Shutterstock