Abilgail Mbalo

Founder and Creative Director of 4Roomed eKasi Culture

Founder and Creative Director of 4Roomed eKasi Culture is a Dental Technologist by profession. Her dental technology career spanned 17 years in the profession having worked in academia, the military, a state dental lab and a private lab. 

She has now swopped her laboratory coat to follow a passion in food, art and home décor design culminating in the birth of her company 4Roomed eKasi Culture, after partaking on Master Chef S.A. season 3 competition. 

The dental technologist-turned-chef behind "4roomed eKasi Culture" – comprising a fine dining restaurant, the Mphako/Padkos/Mofao takeaway outlet and casual restaurant, and a food truck - is drawing international tourists and homesick suburbanites to the province’s biggest township for her take on traditional cuisine.

After swapping her lab coat for an apron, she is making it her mission to get Khayelitsha and other townships on the tourism map in a bid to improve the socio-economic challenges facing residents, while preaching the benefits of traditional foods with a healthier twist though the companies CSR project on backyard gardening.

Abigail has also embarked on an initiative that promotes township and rural tourism named 4Roomed eKasi Culture Township and Rural Tourism Development drive.

Her business concept stems from the eKasi four-roomed homes of yesteryear, in which houses in the country’s oldest townships comprised a kitchen, living room, and two bedrooms. A narrative of a life lived in these 4Roomed homes is shared with guests to bring about an understanding of how the townships have evolved over time from backyard gardening to Ubuntu that was shared by neighbours. She immerses local tourist those who had left home to be close to the places of work called the city to nostalgic journey. 

She also encourages a cohesion of diverse cultures to the space of townships by including meals inspired by the influences of other cultures to these marginalized peripheries of the cities. She evokes emotion that will inspire to bring about change that helps develop and improve our spaces.