• In her latest international interview with British Vogue, grammy nominated winner and South African singer Tyla revealed that she makes sure to keep a South African in her bag whilst travelling around the globe. She revealed that she keeps a 2 kg bag of mealie meal with her to make pap. This reveals that although she is a long way from home, she carries her heritage and traditions with her for a sense of comfort as she navigates her stardom.

    @britishvogue “It’s like a workout,” says #Tyla ♬ original sound – British Vogue


    Pap is a dish that is cherished and loved by South Africans and across the continent, especially East and Southern African societies. The staple meal goes by many names such as ugali, sadza, nshima, pap and nsima.  

    Maize meal is a staple due to its versatility and ability to create feelings of warmth and comfort with every bite. Pap can be consumed in various forms and textures and is the perfect meal for breakfast as a traditional porridge, or it can be eaten alongside various meals from stews to meats and vegetables. It is also very affordable, which is an added bonus.  

    Image: Ace Maize Meal’s, Facebook

     Benefits of pap (maize meal)  

     In South Africa, maize meal production is heavily protected which ensures that any commercially sold maize meal is produced with the necessary vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle. 

     In its natural form, maize meal can be both delicious and nutritionally beneficial. It is a starch that contains not only carbohydrates but also other natural goodies such as vitamin A and C, as well as iron. Consuming pap can also help micronutrient deficiencies and is said to be gluten-free.  

     Folic acid – Folic acid is a form of vitamin B which contributes towards the production and maintenance of cells in the body.  

     Vitamin A– Vitamin A is primarily known for its role in the upkeep of good eye health and plays a role in our bone maintenance.  

     Zinc– Zinc is a trace mineral that helps the body with keeping a healthy immune system and the healing of damaged tissue.  

     Vitamin C- Vitamin C is considered to be a very strong antioxidant and is a key roleplayer in the healing of wounds and infections.  

     Iron– Good iron intake is especially important as it aids in the transportation of oxygen in our blood.  

     With all the above mentioned, pap reveals why it is truly an icon and joy in African societies. Although it is a dish that should be widely praised for both its nutritional value and flair in meals, it is important to always read to know what the contents are within the mealie product that is being bought. It should also be eaten within moderation especially if you are living with diabetes or if you are someone prone to constipation.  

    Also see: Umphokoqo & ; crumbly mealie pap with amasi

    Umphokoqo – crumbly mealie pap with amasi

    Feature image: Ace Maize Meal Facebook

    Video: British Vogue Tiktok

    IG Story: Ace Maize Meal Facebook