The Alpha Direct Botho Cook-Off is an interactive cooking show birthed by a partnership between Foodies Botswana and Botho University through the Faculty of Hospitality and Sustainable Tourism (FHST). The first of its kind show produced 7 episodes of cooking competition between 8 teams.
Teams comprised of 8 talented home cooks/chefs from the Foodies Botswana and 8 Botho University FHST students. For each episode 2 teams went head-to-head producing scrumptious dishes according to the given themes. These dishes were tasted by a panel of judges – Mr. Kenneth Tebogo Middleton, Chief Administrator of Foodies Botswana, Mr. Thuto Masala, Chef and President of the Botswana Chefs Association and a rotating spot for guest judges. This initiative comes as an effort to bring awareness about the university and the Faculty of Hospitality and Sustainable Tourism during the 2021 Intake. The cook-off challenge was aired on the Foodies Botswana page every Wednesday.
Pictures of the dishes produced for each episode were then shared in the form of a voting poll for members of Foodies Botswana and the public to vote on and decide a winner for each contest. As a way of creating further publicity and hype around the competition, there were placements across several mediums; radio (Gabz FM), social media and print media (The Voice Newspaper) to name a few, apart from shares across various pages including Botho University, sponsor pages and individual shares by competing contestants as well.
Ms. Olivia Nthoi, Senior Lecturer for FHST, Botho University was featured on each episode where she spoke comprehensively about her faculty. Ms. Nthoi, also touched extensively on the state-of-the-art facilities Botho University has including the Hospitality kitchen used for the competition.
The eventual winners and champions of the first Alpha Direct Botho Cook-Off – Season 1 were :
Ms. Dimpho Manyuela and Mr. Phenyo Mojakgomo
In second place we had Ms. Kefiloe Thato Merafe and Ms. Ndiwa Bothongo. Ms. Dimpho Manyuela, a Foodies Botswana contestant and champion of the show gave gratitude to everyone who played their part in her teams’ victory, she said “We would like to take this moment to thank all who showed us their support throughout this competition, because of your help we managed to be crowned The Botho Cook Off Champions. A big thank you also to the organisers, sponsors, judges, and other competitors; thank you for inspiring a nation and unearthing the talent that Botswana has in Cuisine.”
A total of 41 posts were posted on Foodies Botswana Facebook Page which would also be shared in Botho University FB page with 100,000+ followers, the whole campaign garnered 1.1 million impressions, 36 000 reactions, 6100 comments, 1300 shares and 113 000 engagements. Making this arguably the biggest and most engaging cooking show in Botswana history.
Thank you to the sponsors of the BU Cook off for making the show possible:
- Alpha Direct Insurance Co. (Title Sponsor)
- Gabz-FM (Co-Sponsor)
- Mediaflix (Co-Sponsor)
- The Voice Newspaper Botswana (Co-Sponsor)
- Orange Botswana (Co-Sponsor)
- Officelink (Prize Sponsor)
- MR VEG (Ingredients Sponsor)