Women in Tourism: Tayla Foong from Food in PE

  • 23 August 2016 | By Anje Rautenbach

In the spirit of celebrating the sixtieth national Women’s month in South Africa - a day commemorating the 20 000 women who have marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in 1956 in protest against the apartheid laws - we are chatting to some of our local women in tourism in Nelson Mandela Bay. Today we talk to Tayla Foong, one of the creatives behind the delicious local Instagram account, Food in PE.

Tayla is a 23 year old graphic designer from Port Elizabeth with a passion for all art forms, social media and the community. Her family owns a local street food business called Foong’s which operates at various markets and festivals around the city.

After running the Foong’s Instagram account for some time, Tayla saw what was happening around the country and the world with regards to food-centred Instagram accounts and always wondered why no one had caught onto this trend in Port Elizabeth. After deliberating on what to call the account (something easy for people remember and also to share their dining experience and hashtag), she thought, why not call up Kgosi Motsepe and Mark Ahiba, the guys from Life In PE. With an already growing following on their platform, Food In PE was born and the team now consists of Tayla, Kgosi, Marc and Tayla’s brother, Reade.

 “At first, we used to get turned down by restaurants all the time, leaving me to question whether such an account would even catch on. But with patience, and good quality content the account started to grow. We now call this our weekend job, and that’s pretty cool!”

The Food In PE account aims to showcase the very best of what the Port Elizabeth foodie scene has to offer. Acting as a filter for those looking for places to wine and dine in the Eastern Cape. “We like to involve our followers by sharing their pictures, which also makes the account more interactive.”

Food in PE make it their mission to explore and share the foodie culture of Nelson Mandela Bay (and surrounding areas in the Eastern Cape), it is also their mission to make all their followers drool over the delicious pictures they post online.

Are you hungry?

We checked in with Tayla and asked her a few questions:

Tayla, what is the importance of Women's Month in South Africa?

"Women’s Month in South Africa is important because powerful women who make a change and contribute to society need to be celebrated. There are many jobs which women do which men can’t. These ladies need to be admired for their grace, innovation and courage to challenge the status quo and whichever industry they are in."

Which women have influenced you to be the person you are today?

"My mom, Nina Foong. She really is an inspiration. As a mother of 5 kids, she somehow finds time to give each one of us individual attention, she was blessed with patience I only wish I had. She pushes me to always give of my best and is always encouraging."

Tayla Foong, one of the creatives behind the Food in PE Instagram account.Photo by Zinzi May.

If you look to the online community of female bloggers and instagrammers, who inspires you?

Niquita Bento

"I really love her Instagram feed! I also admire that at such a young age, she has managed to create a brand for herself, and work with the biggest brands in SA. She currently works for Elle magazine but still manages to keep her blog alive with interesting fashion & food content. The clean minimalist feel of her account is so chic, wish my feed looked like this!"

Aisha Baker Parnell

"Aisha is also such an inspiration. She’s in her mid 20’s and has created a mini empire with her blog. She is a very powerful voice in the blogging industry, and for women in South Africa. She took her knowledge from studying in the commerce field and took Baked the Blog to where it is today. Aisha’s blog celebrates the modern South African woman, which is really great."

Karabo Moletsane

"Karabo is really doing great things in the Design industry. She is a graphic designer and illustrator from Pretoria and at only 24, she has started her own design agency called Mother Tongue. I really do admire her talent and the work she does. Also for a woman at such a young to start her own company is truly inspiring. She depicts the people of South Africa and the various cultures in such a different way. Karabo is definitely a lady who is challenging the industry, and one to watch."

How would you complete this sentence, "I am a woman, I am..."

"I am a woman, I am a designer, I am a creative, I am a pizza lover, I am an Instagramer,  I am a South African, I am a sister, I am a daughter, and I am a friend."

What makes you proud to be a South African woman?

"I’m proud to be a South African woman because I really love my country and its people. I love being able to reflect the talents and cultures of the people I have met along the way, whether it be through hosting events or on social media. I am proud to be a voice for Port Elizabeth and a voice for South Africa and I will strive each day to show what makes this country so beautiful."

What words of wisdom do you have to share with the young women of South Africa during Women’s Month?

"Nothing is impossible. If you have a dream, do it! No matter what situation you find yourself in, always remember that you have the power to do whatever you set your mind to. You have the power to make a difference and be part of the positive change in South Africa. Don’t be afraid of hard work, because I promise the reward will be great! Always give of your best in all that you do and remember to keep innovating, and being different."

Be sure to follow Tayla on Instagram at, @taylafoong and indulge in the delicious photography over at Food in PE's Instagram account: @foodinpe.

Compiled by Anje Rautenbach, travel blogger at Going Somewhere Slowly. Follow her journeys around South Africa on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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