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  • NRL Makaleng


In the amaXhosa culture, the term “seven colours” refers to a balanced plate of nutrient-rich, strikingly hued food, such as red beetroot and yellow-coloured rice. By bringing this hearty soul food to the Waterfront, Eastern Cape native and chef Nolu Dube Cele is serving a piece of home to her customers.


Nolu started cooking from a young age and that is how her enjoyment and passion grew. She did not pursue a career in being a chef at first as she was not exposed to any careers of the sort, besides for people working in kitchens. She decided to get into hospitality as it was the closest she was getting to working with food. While working in the hospitality industry, she was exposed to different foods from international cultures which taught her a lot, but in turn also made her realize there was not much of the food she enjoyed eating. Originally from the Eastern Cape and now living in Cape Town, Nolu noticed that with all these amazing cuisine options to choose from, there was one missing that was true to her heart. The food she grew up eating, proper South African food! This is how the idea started. Her inspiration behind cooking South African food is cooking food that represents her and her culture.

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In 2016, Nolu was exploring what her next step in her career was going to be. She started doing markets at her husband’s school's fun days and was working as a manager in a boutique hotel. While working as manager, she came to realize that the position was not fulfilling her. She felt she needed more or to do more especially within the community. She then decided to take her market to First Thursdays, a market that happens every first Thursday of the month. Nolu did this for a year and it was then that she realized her product was wanted and there was a high demand for it. Not only was there a high demand for it, but her career was finally fulfilling her again. From 2017 she ventured into other markets until she found herself at the Waterfront in 2020.


During COVID, Nolu was forced to think out of the box to sustain her business as not only was she doing markets at the time but she was also doing private catering events for international visitors. With borders closed, she had to figure out a new way to make money so she started doing deliveries. From the delivery experience, she saw that many locals wanted her product as well. This is when Nolu decided to start looking for spaces in Cape Town. Having no budget for it, Nolu ventured on with her search and miraculously found the perfect place at the V&A Waterfront. She chose this spot because she felt it was the right place to represent the black South Africans, especially where the economy is growing and there is a global market. Plus she gets to meet locals and international visitors which she enjoys.


Must-try items include vetkoek with mince and chakalaka; umleqwa (road-runner chicken); mogodu (some of the best tripe in Cape Town!) and a Seven Colour Plate with staple grains such as umngqusho (samp with sugar beans), umfino (maize meal, with chopped spinach, cabbage and potatoes) and amazimba (sorghum).

If you’re in the mood for something meatier, try the tshisanyama plate which is braaied meat in a special BBQ basting sauce, with roosterkoek and a mix of salads. The fan favourite is the Seven Colour Plate as you can have so many different options with it.

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When it comes to what the future holds for Seven Colours Eatery, Nolu says it is big but she taking it one step at a time. The idea is to one day own her own independent space, but she’s not putting a time limit on it. She always listens to her gut, therefore she will follow what her intuition tells her next!

If you are interested in checking out Seven Colours Eatery, you can find them on the upper level of the food market at the V&A Waterfront. Also, make sure to book your free concierge session with WanderfullySo for a virtual tour of one of our many awesome local attractions, or contact our Concierge Gurus to arrange a customized virtual experience.


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