By Staff Reporter
JOHANNESBURG, May 17 — South African entrepreneur Romeo Malepe has accused fast food giant KFC of stealing his idea for a local dish known as kota, according to local media reports. Kota, also known as Sphatlo, is a popular South African street food consisting of a quarter loaf of bread filled with multiple ingredients. Mr. Malepe claims that his idea for a “Streetwise Kota” was stolen by KFC while he was looking for a partnership with the fast-food chain.
KFC has refuted the allegations in a statement to South African media, stating that Kota is a famous South African meal and the limited-edition KFC Sphatlho is a result of an internal product development process. The statement also emphasized that the company has been inspired by South African heritage and culture for over 50 years to develop local innovative products on their menu.
Mr. Malepe’s claims have sparked a debate on social media, with many users sharing their views on the matter. Some have expressed support for Mr. Malepe, while others have criticized him for not patenting his idea or entering into a formal partnership with KFC.
This incident highlights the importance of protecting intellectual property and the potential risks that come with sharing ideas with others, particularly in the business world. Entrepreneurs and business owners should be aware of the steps they can take to protect their ideas and creations, such as applying for patents or trademarks and entering into formal agreements with partners or investors.
In any case, the popularity of Kota and its many variations is a testament to the rich and diverse food culture of South Africa. As KFC continues to draw inspiration from this culture to develop new products, it is important to recognize and respect the contributions of local entrepreneurs and creators.
Source: BBC News