This book review comes from Omphile Raleie, founder of the Bookamoso book club.

The word Bookamoso is derived from the Setswana word bokamoso which means future. With the extra ‘o’, Bookamoso has come to mean ‘our future in books’. The purpose of the Bookamoso Book Club is to establish reading as a fundamental building block to South Africa’s progress, through the acquisition and sharing of knowledge found in books. We believe that if people know better, they do better, and there’s no better way to improve the quality of one’s thinking than to pick up a book and educate oneself. Young or old, newbie or ardent reader, everyone is welcome at Bookamoso!

Bookamoso Book Club is a community of readers and book enthusiats. They are primarily an online based community where members encourage each other to read and discover great books and reading materials, events and places to read. Members are encouraged to meet and exchange ideas at Bookamoso-affiliated events.


Kitchen Queen by Lucia Mthiyane

Lucia Mthiyane is an “actress, model, jazz singer, and entrepreneur – but most important of all: self-made kitchen queen.” These are words the author of debut cookbook Kitchen Queen describes herself as in the opening of this visual feast of a book. Lucia has been in the industry for the past 10 years, building and working hard towards her dreams. She has taught cooking classes over the years, hosted cooking competitions and has enjoyed work experiences across all mediums including online blogs, social media, and magazines as a food editor.

In Kitchen Queen, she takes us on a journey of her success with recipes filled with her flavour and flair and her uniqueness and signature love and grace with which she does everything she touches. First, she introduces us to her beginning in Once Upon a Time, to Memories, Milestones and Mainstay Recipes. Describing her love affair with food and crediting her family as the people that inspired her and were part of the foundation of her career. Ending off her introduction to the book by talking about how social media was a key player in her career, with a following of over 60 000 followers on her social media profiles – Lucia notes that “this book was born out of all the loves, likes and shares I have received from fans.”

Lucia takes us through a visual feast of the most basic meals being turned into extraordinary looking dishes from Seven Colours to Cakes, Bakes and Puddings. The book is pleasing to the eye with illustrations of herself and some of the brands she’s worked with in her career like White Star Super Maize Meal. From Pantry Staples which include her own curry mixes to magic ingredient tips and foods she grew up not liking much, which she grew to love. I tried out the Maize Meal and Flour Bread and I cannot wait to try it again. The recipes are created with ingredients that are easily accessible at grocery stores – which is a plus for me because I may create something new from what I already have in my kitchen. The book is filled with nutritional facts and tips to help with serving your dishes in a different way or ensuring that your food lasts longer in the fridge. Lucia also was part of the SA Book Fair 2020 earlier this month and in her session, she recommended eating vegetables with the crunch and also mentioned how she “doesn’t eat for the sake of eating, and eats to feed her soul and body.” This is testament throughout the book.

Because she’s Durban born, she loves some heat in her meals which explains why she has her own range of chilli sauces, curry mixes and she even grows her own bird’s eye chilli bush. There’s a chapter dedicated to a variety of “fool proof curry recipes” – she is also known to her family, friends and followers as the Curry Queen. Besides the dishes – the book is really set apart by the fact that it includes a chapter on food solutions in taking care of your skin in Food for Body and Soul.

With Kitchen Queen, Lucia has ensured that we know that we “can all be kings and queens of our kitchens.”

Enter the competition on the Bookamosa Instagram page to win this cookbook and 2 others plus a R500 Bargain Books voucher. Ends 30th September 2020