Over the Years


The Beginning

Following a two-year stint in England, Nene returned to South Africa and immediately enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch. During her studies, she had the opportunity to work with some top local chefs such as Margot Janse of Le Quartier Français and Chris Erasmus of Foliage Restaurant. In her third year of studies, Nene went on to perfect her trade as a food assistant at a leading food and lifestyle magazine for six months.

Resident Expresso Chef

Zola becomes resident Chef of popular morning Breakfast show, Expresso Morning Show on SABC 3


TV judge

In 2016, Nene joined TV judge Tjaart Walraven, comedian Anne Hirsch, and celebrity chef Lentswe Bhengu as one of the co-presenters of the third season of BBC Worldwide Africa’s The Great South African Bake Off, which premiered in October 2017 on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174).


First cookbook launch

Nene successfully published her first cookbook titled Simply Delicious in May 2017, which won Nene the award for TV (English) Celebrity Chef, and was placed second in the category of Best (English) TV Chef Book at the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards that same year.


Second Cookbook released

Following the success of her first cookbook, Nene published a continuation of her food journey with her second cookbook titled Simply Zola. Raising the bar in 2018, Nene joined wedding planner Zavion Kotze, former Miss South Africa Bernelee Daniell, and socialite Denise Zimba, on the second season of Wedding Bashers. Furthermore, she joined the three presenters for the special instalment of the series titled Wedding Bashers Specials: With Love, in which the presenters took care of all the wedding planning for four special couples tying the knot.


Best in the World award

In 2019, Nene scooped the Best in the World award in the TV category at the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for her second cookbook titled Simply Zola.


Celeb Feasts with Zola

Staying on course and maintaining a flop proof recipe for success, Nene whipped up hearty meals and shared warm laughs with some of South Africa’s brightest stars across 13 episodes of her own cooking show titled Celeb Feasts with Zola, which aired on Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161).

Gordon Ramsay – Unchartered

Soaring high on a food and cultural adventure, Nene joins British chef, restaurateur and writer, Gordon Ramsay, in the second season of National Geographic’s series, Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted – which is set to air in South Africa in August 2020.