Cooking Gospel is South Africa’s free-to-air channel e.tv’s first local cooking programme. The highly popular lifestyle show combines soulful gospel music and Sunday cooking.
Sponsored by Spekko Rice, Cooking Gospel features recipes that have been developed by Dorah Sithole, author of Cooking from Cape to Cairo.
Every Sunday at 11h00 host Zandile Nhlapo cooks up a storm with a South African celebrity while playing traditional gospel music.
“I am excited that the combination of food and music works so well and that Zandile brings out the best in each guest,’ says Matla Ragoasha, general manager of communications at e.tv.
The heart-warming tone of the show, combined with celebrities, is perfect for a Sunday morning adds Ragoasha. She says putting on a new show is always a risk, but in this case it was a calculated risk. “We were excited about the show from the start as it combines two genres that were not previously available on the channel,’ Ragoasha mentions.
Pepsi Pokane of Bonngoe Media Holdings, producers of Cooking Gospel says the show’s unique and rich concept attracted him. “I mean, how often do you come across a show on a relaxed Sunday morning that brings you the smooth blend of uplifting gospel music, a great celebrity and some scrumptious cooking?’
Pokane has worked on several projects over the years, including the SAFTA award-winning shows Afro Cafe and Making Moves, as well as Mzansi Insider and Beyond Positive.
He says he knew the show would be a success. “When one works on a concept, one tends to go in with the hope and expectation that it will work, especially if you have a team that buys into the concept and is willing to make it succeed.
“We knew the show would be popular as cooking and music are firm favourites with our core target market. The relevance of gospel to our target audience, the featured celebrities and easy-to-make recipes make the show extraordinary.’
The producers, e.tv and Nwabisa Lukwe from Pioneer Foods agree that the best ingredients of the show are great music and great conversation, topped off with a well-prepared meal that people at home can’t wait to prepare in their own kitchens.
Cooking Gospel, which has proven to be a huge success with viewers, is already in production for its second season.
“We are planning to take the series up several notches and are introducing a tighter structure with fresh elements, the recipes are even more mouth-watering and the music choices will be fresher.
“The overall balance of the show is key and that is what we are working on improving. It’s proudly South African and these are dishes that we can see ourselves enjoying over a great family Sunday lunch,’ mentions Pokane.
“The aim now is to stay focused and give our viewers something to look forward to every Sunday only on e.tv,’ he concludes.
By Martie Bester
screen africa magazine – june 2013