It’s been a year since World Koesister Day launched in Cape Town. The second event took place at on Sunday 6 September 2020 at 44 on Long Street and saw Faieez Alexander being awarded winner of the best koesister in the city.
Give us a summary of your journey to being crowned ‘Koesister King’.
The corona pandemic hit worldwide and hit everyone hard. My son and I are self-employed as we run our own Shuttle & Tour business, LX Shuttle & Tours. The pandemic had a major effect on our livelihood, as 80% of our business is dependent on tourists. Late in May, I was chatting to my wife and said that I need to do something to earn some money, at least enough to buy the daily stuff. She asked me, what this idea entails and I said I am going to make koesisters to sell on Sundays. She was laughing and said that I am crazy: “What do you know about making koesisters!?”
Two weeks prior, I actually made a small batch of koesisters. I used my mother’s and another lady’s recipes and fused them. This is when I told my wife, remember, I made you some 2 weeks ago and you liked it! Her reply was, “Seriously, you crazy, it doesn’t mean others will like it.”
I immediately went onto social media and I started advertising on Facebook, Whatsapp, personal messages to friends, colleagues and everyone I knew. I said, koesisters for sale on Sunday (which was the next day) and I hadn’t even made anything yet! I went off to get the relevant ingredients and my wife and I started making the koesisters that afternoon. We made nearly 2300 koesisters and sold just over 2000.
I then sent in a video of myself to the KFM competition to become one of the finalist for the World Koesister Competition. In this video, you had to explain how and why you are making one of Cape Town’s true heritage bites . On Friday late afternoon, I received a message that I was selected as 1 of the 12 finalists. Competitors needed to decorate a table and display their koesisters with points being awarded for your display, taste, texture, smell (ingredients) and then also a final interview. This interview, you had to divulge a bit about yourself, how long you have been making koesisters and the reason.
After a lengthy deliberation, the judges came to a conclusion that Fuzzy’s Koesisters was the winner! The funny story though was, when the previous winner made the announcement, she said …and the new LADY (at this moment I thought OK, great competition and should be lekker exposure) but little did I know that the name to follow was….. Fuzzy’s Koesisters.
How does it feel being crowned Koesister King?
I entered the competition at the last minute. It was only due to a client of mine, who is also a koesister lover and drives out of Worcester to buy her koeksister fix. My son-in-law, Abduraheem, also insisted I enter as he felt it was worth entering. So it was actually peer pressure that made me enter! I also thought, at the very least I’d get exposure and more customers.
Becoming the Koesister King was truly unexpected and I think the organisers also didn’t think that a man would be able to win, hence the title Koesister Queen. I suppose that I have changed the landscape with regards to koesister bakers/makers. I take this opportunity again to thank the sponsors: VannieKaap, KFM and TigersMilk, who made this possible.
I am truly thrilled and humbled by the win. The thought did not even cross my mind, but now that I am the Koesister Queen, great expectations comes with great responsibility!
Do you see yourself returning to the tourism sector?
Taking tourists around our beautiful city and country is my first love. Ensuring their safety, providing them with local knowledge and displaying our beautiful city, people, country is the ultimate satisfaction for me.
So yes, I will be returning. But I have now added another passion and means of income. All of this is only through the Grace of God. Always remember, we will not be burdened with something we cannot handle. All we require is a bit of faith and perseverance and it will all work out. Who would think I would become Koesister Queen? I am the first to admit – not me! One must also be able to re-invent oneself. I did and will be adding this to my skills and continue with it, even when our international borders open again. Clients will experience a taste of heritage on every tour, with fresh koesisters being served as we visit our beautiful attractions.
For how long have you had your current business?
I have been making koesisters for just over three months.
Where is your business located?
57 Vorster Avenue, Wetton
How can we get in contact with you for orders?
Whatsapp you orders on 079 580 0301 and advise name, amount of koesisters (sugared or un-sugared), time of collection.
What are your opening times and contact details?
Operate on Sundays Only 07:00 – 11:00
Predominantly we sell only on a Sundays. I am willing to provide in the week as well, but need to be notified in advance with the same details mentioned above. If you able to sugar yourself, then you may purchase un-sugared from Tuesday – Sunday. On Monday’s I normally replenish stock, hence available from Tuesdays, but can always call to check if available on Monday, as I do keep small supply for Monday emergencies.
We currently don’t deliver, however I am in talks with a delivery service, so that you can get your fix delivered to you.
Facebook: Faieez Alexander
With September being Heritage Month, what makes you proud of the cultures seen in and around Cape Town?
Because of the diverse cultures, race, religion within SA, it is very difficult to say and in each culture there is a heritage to be drawn from. Personally, for me and which is like no other and that applies to the different cultures, race and religion, is a BRAAI! This is South Africa’s universal language and ultimate heritage. Second best, a Cape koesister. Just smelling that aniseed, ginger, cinnamon and warm sugar water coated drizzled with coconut is the ultimate. I can guarantee you all, this is how my Heritage Day will be spent…family, koesisters and coffee in the morning and a braai for lunch.