What is Chisa Nyama?

What is Chisa Nyama? What is Chesa Nyama? What is Shisa Nyama? What is Shisanyama? They are all the same thing. They are Zulu terms for braaing. The first word in all of them: Chisa, Chesa, Shisa are different ways of spelling the same thing, and its literal meaning is “burn”. The second word in the phrase, “Nyama” means “meat”. So the literal defenition of “Chisa Nyama” is “Burn Meat”. But it does not refer to burnt meat. “Chisa Nyama” means “braai”. As is the case with the word “braai”, Chisa Nyama is used as a verb and as a noun.

Braai area of Mzoli’s, the famous Chisa Nyama in Gugulethu, Cape Town

  • The action of braaing can be described as Chisa Nyama.
  • To attend a braai, can also be to attend a Chisa Nyama.
  • A braai restaurant (like Mzolis) in a township (like Gugulethu) is known as a Chisa Nyama.
  • To eat braaied meat, can be desribed as eating Chisa Nyama.

If you can help us to expand the above definition and explanation of Chisa Nyama and Shina Nyama, please do so by leaving a comment.

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  1. Jan Braai Amith Gosai
    Posted June 8, 2010 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Chisa Nyama is a very flexible type of food, it can be eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon snack or dinner.

  2. Peter
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Hi, i am a young namibian residing in windhoek and would like to open up a business selling meat with the same concept at msoli”s “”chisa nyama. Kindly advice if this will be in conflict with msolis busines in SA…?

  3. francinah khunou
    Posted July 22, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    how much is the franchise and where it is based

  4. Posted August 24, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Any franchise opportunity

    Jones Lutombi

  5. Posted August 24, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Any franchise opportunity

    Jones Lutombi

  6. Posted August 24, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    To whom it may concern

    Hi there, I would like to ask for a franchise opportunitve. I am an upcoming entrepreneur currently living in Windhoek

    Yours faithfully

    Jones Lutombi

  7. Posted August 24, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Franchise opportunity

    Jones Lutombi

  8. Sitole Lungiswa
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I like the way chisa nyama is mentained

  9. Mike Mabika
    Posted July 31, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    My name is Mike and am the propreitor of a modest successful Pub called Cheers Pub and Grill based in Lusaka,Zambia.
    I am very interseted in obtaining a Franchise for Chisa nyama.
    Could you kindly provide me with sufficient information of how to go about it?

    Warm regards


  10. Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink


    Thank you for your interest in Nyama Spitbraai. We would love to be of service.

    If you can please browse our website (www.nyama-spitbraai.co.za) with all our different catering options and services.
    Please submit the order form under the menu’s tab with your choices and we will then be able to reply with a detailed quotation for your function.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any further queries.

    Kind regards

12 Trackbacks

  1. By Chisa Nyama (Braai) spots in Soweto on May 18, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    […] townships like Soweto, as in many other places in South Arica, braai and braaing is also known as Chisa Nyama. To read all about exactly what Chisa Nyama is, click here. Below is a list of Chisa Nyama (Braai) […]

  2. […] all had a braai. If you doubt this, drive though a township on a Saturday afternoon and look at the Chisa Nyama spots for yourself. Those in the suburbs we can also safely assume all had a braai, its part of […]

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jan Braai, The Dutch Asador. The Dutch Asador said: Chisa Nyama ?!? http://bit.ly/bhC58y RT @janbraai […]

  4. By Chisa Nyama by Zinkplaat and Tidal Waves on September 14, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    […] The definition of the phrase “Chisa Nyama” is explained here. This entry was posted in Braai Day song "Our Heritage". Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « 2010 Remix of braaiday song […]

  5. By A Chisa Nyama with sport stars on June 3, 2011 at 10:29 am

    […] fans to light a fire and get a braai going, then the same applies to football: a big game means chisa nyama, and indulging in the time-honoured pastime of sport and braai. And with some of South […]

  6. By Russian braai | Braai.com on August 15, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    […] a National Braai Day ambassador is multi-faceted: you’re tasked with spreading the gospel of chisa nyama, braaing as often as possible, and humouring Jan Braai when he calls up with his latest stroke of […]

  7. […] didn’t have far to go. Down the hill and round a corner and a proper 24 hour “˜Chisa Nyama‘ came into view.  On the corner some guy was hacking his way into a cows head with a machete […]

  8. […] It’s one of my friends birthday next weekend and he wants to go to Soweto, first for bungee jumping and then to have a chisa nyama. […]

  9. By Alles hat ein Ende… | Jesco in Südafrika on August 14, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    […] runterspült. Das nenne ich mal eine Festmahlzeit! Vorher hatten wir sogar noch in Kayelitsha Chisa Nyama, also frisch gegrilltes Fleisch gekauft und verspeist – ein so genial gewürztes Steak […]

  10. By South African Road Trip! – Nubian Nomads on January 4, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    […] as you two are and we truly enjoyed every minute of the trip. Thank you for introducing us to Chesa Nyama! That was delicious! (He loves anything with mostly […]

  11. By hire local on October 15, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Free Moving

    What is Chisa Nyama? | Braai.com

  12. By british club on August 16, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Think wedding

    What is Chisa Nyama? | Braai.com

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