For many South Africans, Debonairs turning the kota into a pizza is just one step too far. A kota, a derivation of the word quarter, is a hollowed out quarter of a piece of bread. Many have compared it to the bunny chow, because it is also a loaf of bread stuffed with a variety of cheap ingredients which may include processed meats like polony and viennas. The kota is popular in many townships and rural communities around South Africa. In an interview for the April 2014 Mango inflight magazine, Johannesburg resident Vuyo Mpantsha said, “Think of the kota as an evolving township street food burger.”
Many middle-class South Africans who grew up in the townships have fond memories of the kota. For them, it is almost a rite of passage, something you have to experience as you struggle through life. For some, the kota is like pap and amagwinya, an integral part of what it means to be a black South African. So when a beloved and popular meal amongst the poor and working class is turned into a cheap commercial venture by a corporate South African food giant, it is understandable why people are outraged.
Gugulethu Mhlunghu called for the fast food chain to explain their latest creation.
Debonairs needs to appear before Parliament, and explain why they keep being anti the constitution pic.twitter.com/VJDjbfQ4pw
— Gugulethu Mhlungu (@GugsM) March 23, 2016
And, Debonairs ended up being the most talked-about brand on Twitter in South Africa for several hours.
'debonairs' is now trending in South Africa https://t.co/RRb6EHG2md
— Trendsmap SthAfrica (@TrendsSthAfrica) March 23, 2016
Most people were disgusted, accusing the fast food chain of appropriating and disrespecting black culture.
“😢😢 @SfisoHeroMtetwa: Between the Guptas and Debonairs angazi who disrespects this country more yaz.””
— DANIEL CARTER (@ModibaDaniel) March 23, 2016
Debonairs pizza kota!? Tf!!!! Who come up with such things?…what's in that kota? Chips+atchar+special?
— #KingSolomon (@_magakwe_) March 23, 2016
Debonairs has a PizzaKota. Tatas democracy has been captured. Buya Madiba we need healing pic.twitter.com/3fB7psJkxP
— Bonga Dlulane (@BongaDlulane) March 23, 2016
— Bra Matasatasa (@SubVwaRusty) March 23, 2016
Others pointed out that the PizzaKota is the latest in a series of unimaginative food inventions from Debonairs.
Just so you know I love the Debonairs pizza Kotas 😍😍❤🍕 … It's time for something new and exciting.I have grown bored of the same thing😴😴😪😪
— … 2017 (@Thapelo48124545) March 23, 2016
What do you think of this latest invention? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @thedailyvox!