Street Poet, Chef

Sanza “da fanatik” Tshabalala (31) is a Johannesburg street poet, a Soweto-born son, a Yeoville denizen, a Rosebank worker bee and an activist who is also a vegetarian chef with roots in Swaziland.

He has recently been promoted to co-host of Yfm’s flagship breakfast show, Kamakazi, with Rudeboy Paul. Tshabalala is an inspiration to Gauteng’s young listeners with his sport, arts, culture and politics features on the radio. He is also a self-taught cook – as celebrity chef-caterer at the Spaza Art Gallery in Troyeville – who specialises in vegetarian dishes and desserts. The Spaza Art Collective, together with Tshabalala, has just launched an Underground Jozi map of Soweto and the inner city, which will be sold at leading bookshops, boutiques, arts institutions and cultural gatherings.

Refusing to be categorised as a “celebrity”, Tshabalala travels on public transport or on a scooter. He is working on a cookbook/novella, The Pan-African Male Vegetarian, about South African township cuisine, in which poetry and short stories will be included. Tshabalala is in the process of finalising a deal for a BBC Food pilot called Sanzalicious.

Lunch Spot: Sanza-Delish Sunday Art Lunch at Spaza Art Gallery, Troyeville