Sobantu Vilakazi
Nambitha Restaurant - A Family Affair

Its has been twelve years since Nambitha first opened its doors to patrons, setting the benchmark for upmarket eatery in Soweto, which at the time, was unheard of. It continued to flourish in leaps and bounds making it the most popular restaurant in Soweto by the year 2003. Frequently hosting luminaries like Bobby Motaung, Parks Tau, Richard Branson and recently the Archbishop Desmond Tutu for the celebration of his 80th birthday in Soweto.
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Serving soul food recipes, that were created by Mama Vilakazi, and a touch of the a la carte menu, and soft music playing in the midst of it all, makes Nambitha the ideal venue for Sunday luncheons.

Nambitha Restaurant is located on the pinnacle of Vilakazi Street, in the serene environment of Orlando West. Vilakazi Street is named after the revolutionary BW Vilakazi (Khulani's Grandfather), who was the author of the English/Zulu Translated Dictionary and Jabu Vilakazi (Khulani's Father), one of Soweto's greatest philanthropist.

The restaurant not only serves as an eatery - but also as a monumental legacy that serves as a reminder the spirit of prosperity continues to live in the Vilakazi's.

Management Profile

Sobantu Vilakazi
Khulani Vilakazi - founder and owner

The saying – entrepreneurs are born rings true for self-made businessman Khulani Vilakazi who has always had a flair for business. Starting his first business enterprise at the tender age of seven years selling sweets and doughnuts in primary school, this move was inevitable for him. As he has, a solid family business background.

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The Soweto born trailblazer, continued to pioneer into other business ventures right through the end of his schooling career. Beyond his schooling career and after a vivid realisation in a chemical engineering lecture, he dropped out of Wits University to pursue his business passion.

At age 27, he had ventured in various businesses like; public phone containers, and shuttle services, which ultimately led him to launch his brainchild Nambitha Restaurant, in 1999 that set the benchmark for culinary in Soweto. Driven by his need to prolong his fathers’ legacy he moved Nambitha to Vilakazi Street in 2003, that is named after his father Jabu Vilakazi.

The opening of Nambitha was not an overnight reflection, but rather a continuation of his family’s legacy says, Binda as his affectionately known to his loved ones. Ordinary people, who achieve the extraordinary, regardless of their situation, inspire Khulani.

Sobantu Vilakazi
Mama Vilakazi – the co-founder soul

Nambitha would not have taken off had it not been for Mama Jacobeth Vilakazi, according to Khulani Vilakazi, it was because of her support and mostly her cooking expertise that I owe the success of Nambitha to her.

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As, Mama Vilakazi was the head and only chef at Nambitha for the first three years, a lot of the soul food meals on the menu are her own recipes’.

Her cooking at Nambitha got her recognition from the Department of Tourism that she then travelled Scandinavian countries, teaching the locals , how to prepare South African meals.

“I cannot thank her enough had it not been for her support, I don’t think Nambitha would have flourished as much as it continues too” says self-confessed mama’s boy Khulani.


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