Awesome Vegan Beat Oven
Thamsanqa “The Beat’Oven” Mpondo
Where are you from?
I’m a farm boy, born in a farm called Kromdraai. My family moved around a number of farms in the Viljoenskroon district in the Free State. I started my schooling in Boskpjie until the end of my Grade 4 after my father’s passing and we settled in the nearest township, Rammulotsi. I’m currently based in Pretoria.
When did you become vegan and why?
It was a process that was triggered by a visit to Motherwell of myself and an artist Yourlokalhead over 5 years ago. We were hosted by a good brother, Yahkeem Ben Israel for a number of days and he had performances in the city and Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) arranged for us to showcase. Being a Hebrew Israelite, he made us aware of his vegan lifestyle and I got really interested because I had encountered a vegan before. The difference now was that we were being hosted by one over a number of days and the food was delicious. He shared with me a folder with videos including footage of an animal rights activist, Gary Yourofsky giving a lecture on veganism. This I only watched a few months later and I gradually started making changes in my dietary choices
How has life changed since you became vegan?
I had already developed a physically active lifestyle, so it kind of made sense and wasn’t difficult to make changes based on undeniable facts contained in those videos. Reconnecting with nature and being an activist by causing least amount of harm appealed more to me, to be honest. I was also sceptical and wanted to prove to myself what I thought was a rich white people way of life. Like most, I believed it was an ‘extreme’ and ‘expensive’ exercise to make until I noticed immediate results of increased energy, no fatigue, no headaches, no flu and no constipation which I had battled with. I started reading labels and experimenting with herbs and spices. I had made a transition and all I needed was discipline.
What challenges do you face as a vegan and how do you overcome them?
I prepare food to take away with on planned trips, I find it cheaper than buying at venues and restaurants.
Being that you’re a DJ/music producer and often perform at various places, do you get any pressure
from colleagues and peers?
Not at all, I enjoy engaging them all the time in making them understand my reasons and share with them documentaries such as “Forks Over Knives” for example.
What do you enjoy most about being vegan?
The variety of dishes and how it allows me to experiment with ingredients.
What do you see in the future for veganism in Africa?
We live in the information age and platforms like these are very important in spreading and shining light of reconnecting us with Mother Nature.
What’s your favourite meal/food?
Lentil and vegetable fritters are my latest thing. Plans of sharing some of these nice recipes at events are heavily considered and people should look out for stalls in the near future.
Where can people reach you on the networks?
Thanks to the Beat’Oven for taking the time to share your awesomeness with us! We truly appreciate it!
If you’re Black, Vegan and you’d like for us to profile you to share your journey with our people out here looking for that inspiration towards the vegan lifestyle, please hit us up via email and we’ll connect.
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