Yena Nomzamo Nonkululeko Mgobhozi is a 25 year old blogger, recipe developer and business owner originally from KZN but moved to Bloemfontein with her parents when she was five years old.
Asked to tell us more about her childhood background she explained that her parents did not want them to lose or forget their Zulu culture and background, so they would go to Durban very often and attend cultural events. Her mother would also cook traditional Zulu food. “When we were growing up we would have traditional food just to remind us of where we come from”, she added.
She started her schooling career at Eunice and completed her Matric there. After Matric she went to study at the Central University of Technology where she obtained a diploma in Hospitality. She then furthered her studies and obtained a B-Tech in Hospitality. Yena later went on to Unisa and obtained a certificate in General Safety Management and she is currently pursuing an Advanced Safety Management diploma at Unisa and hopes to study accounting after that.
Asked what she lives for she replied, “I live for my family and good food as well, it is something I am passionate about”. She further explained that she loves it when people enjoy her food because food makes her happy. “When something makes you happy, you just want to embrace it in your life”.
Yena started Kitchen New Gym in her final year in 2016 when she lost 20 kilos in a space of one year. She had been trying to lose weight for a while with no success she then started eating healthy and creating recipes she enjoyed eating. “I didn’t feel like I was on a diet” she said. After her weight loss success she felt the need to start a platform to inspire others. People always assume that they would have to go on strict diets to loose weight, “weight loss is possible we don’t have to starve ourselves or go on these crazy diets to loose weight” she added. For her weight loss journey, Kitchen New Diet was formed. Yena had also experienced health problems because of her weight that also motivated her to lose weight and eat healthy.
Yena chose a healthy food blog based on her health and weight loss experience and to inspire and to show people that it does not cost much to eat and live healthy. She explains that simple foods like pilchards, cabbage and others really do go a long way. She started her journey while she was still in varsity. “I was a student when I lost weight so I was on a student budget”. She also went for something different to motivate people and to inspire people that healthy eating does not mean that you have to result in being skinny.
Asked about the challenges she encounters she replied, “most people don’t believe that it can be done and most people don’t believe me when I say that when it comes to losing weight 80% happens in the kitchen”. When she started her healthy living journey, she would exercise 30 minutes a day, what you eat plays a matters most when it comes to being healthy.