Executive Chef and General Manager
Ska Moteane is an award-winning Mosotho chef and entrepreneur. She has worked with Motherland Guest House since it began operations in 2010.
Moteane studied Culinary Arts in South Africa, and gained a range of work experience in the country – including as Catering Project Manager for Royal Sechaba Food Services at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, and as Product Developer at Woolworths Foods.
In 2009, she returned to Lesotho and began work as a Consultant Chef for a number of local businesses. Some of her chief interests are cultural preservation through food and the importance of using local and seasonal ingredients in the culinary industry.
In 2013, her self-published cookbook Cuisine of the Mountain Kingdom – Cooking in Lesotho won the Best African Cookbook in the World Award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris, France. The cookbook documents a number of traditional Sesotho recipes which had never before been available in print.
Together with three other friends, she founded Flava of Africa, a charity that organises food events that fundraise money for school agricultural programs, while promoting healthy eating and the use of local ingredients. In May 2013, Flava of Africa held a fundraising dinner at Maseru Sun Cabanas which succeeded in raising over M20 000 for three local schools.
In recognition of her work, Moteane was recently invited by Slow Food International to attend an International Food Expo in Torino, Italy in October 2014. This led to the launch of an annual event in Lesotho in celebration of Terra Madre Day, a day that recognises and celebrates the importance of small-scale responsible and sustainable food production.
Moteane is also involved in Slow Food International’s 10,000 Gardens in Africa Project, which will allocate small grants to 10 community gardens in Lesotho.
Moteane feels strongly about the importance of supporting the local farming industry. She explains: “As restaurant owners or chefs, it is our responsibility to plan our menus according to what is available seasonally, because it’s fresher, tastier, and more nutritious. If we could all do that, I think the farming industry in this country would boom.”
In 2014, Moteane joined forces with Alliance Francaise de Maseru and French Chef Thibaud Renard to cook a dinner for 200 people at Lesotho Sun that featured a fusion of French and Basotho cuisine, in celebration of the cultures of both countries.
Most recently, she was named the 2014 winner in the SME sector for Lesotho in CEO Magazine’s Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business & Government Awards in recognition of her varied work and achievements.
Despite her international accomplishments and travel overseas, however, Moteane insists that Lesotho is home, and that Thaba Tseka especially is where she wants to be.
“The people who work at Motherland Guest House inspire me,” she says. “They make it a pleasure to come to work every morning. Thaba Tseka itself is a beautiful place. I love how peaceful and tranquil it is. My family originally comes from Thaba Tseka, so this is home to me, this is where my roots are.”