South Africa’s Tapi Tapi Ice Cream is a Vegan Revelation and Revolution
Tapiwa Guzha is on a mission to rehabilitate local flavors and present a delicious alternative to our current food systems
When Tapiwa Guzha started making delicious, artisanal vegan ice cream using local flavors, it was to satisfy more than a sweet craving. The 33-year-old’s plant-based ice cream is delivered by motorbike to happy customers every weekend in Stellies & Cape Town. The business — Tapi Tapi — is part of his dream to shape a new kind of future, using food as a catalyst for change in South Africa and beyond.
I have always been fascinated by revolutions. As a child of South African freedom fighters, I spent most of my childhood in exile. Today’s revolutions are increasingly complex, subtle, and global. Those working to revolutionize our food systems often work in roundabout, intimate ways that don’t always look revolutionary at first glance — engaging all at once with culture, capitalism, memory, hope, and their visions for a better future. Tapiwa Guzha is one of those revolutionaries, in his own quiet but resolute way.
“Tapi Tapi is focused on rehabilitating the self-esteem of people from the continent about our food practices, as well as our culture and beliefs. I use food because it’s universal, people need to eat. So it’s a nice tool to to get people to listen.”
Guzha laughs loudly and often, and smells vaguely edible. I later learn he makes his own soaps. He has a PhD in molecular biology, but describes himself as a generalist with interests ranging from graphic design, to rope bondage, to making his delicious vegan frozen desserts.
Tapi Tapi derives its name from the chiShona word for “yum yum.” Guzha was deliberate with his intentions when he founded the project. “Tapi Tapi is an educational platform that is focused on educating people about food and food culture from the…