Nelson Mandela’s message of peace, unity, and harmony resonates quite well in Qatar thanks to the South African embassy, which is participating in the ninth installment of the annual Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) being held at the Hotel Park until March 25.
Since opening the doors of the South African booth at the 11-day QIFF 2018, ambassador Faizel Moosa has welcomed several other participating embassies as well as many guests, celebrating the event with a wide variety of South African cuisine.
He said 2018 is a significant year as South Africa is celebrating the legacy of Nelson Mandela who would have been 100 years old this coming July 18. Moosa said throughout South Africa and its embassies across the world, South Africans are spreading Mandela’s message of peace and harmony.
South African ambassador Faizel Moosa
“Therefore, everything we do would be about bringing diverse people together – people from different backgrounds, and I think that is what South Africa represents. When we opened the South African booth on Thursday, we had four different nations coming here to taste our food, which is quite significant because a lot of them could relate to our cuisine.
“Our history depicts a lot of different nations coming to the Southern tip of Africa and we represent all those nations. If you go to South Africa, you will find something that you know from back home. If it wasn’t for Nelson Mandela, we would not been able to bring together all the different nations within our country and talk peace,” Moosa told Gulf Times in an interview Friday.
He also noted South African activist Steve Biko’s “critical role” in the country’s history, and how he “brought the humanity and the ability of black people to the fore.”
“So because of Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela, we celebrate their contribution to the world and at this stage in time, we need Mandela’s humanity and the Biko’s humanity to prevail and therefore our message to the world is going to be about unity and humanity, and that’s the message that you will see here,” Moosa stressed.
According to Moosa, the South African embassy is trying to bring more of its local franchises to Qatar.
“Our franchises like Nando’s and Ocean Basket really attract people and that’s what we are also trying to export to the world. We will be trying to bring more South African franchises to Qatar. Talks are still ongoing but there’s been a keen interest from the Qataris to engage in those franchises and we’re putting the different parties together to discuss further,” he said.