After 16 years of bringing traditional South African cuisine to Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and New York City, Madiba Restaurant (195 DeKalb Avenue) chef/owner Mark Henegan is hoping that the popular local eatery’s fans will band together to give back and keep them around.
“We know that Madiba has become your second home. We want to continue to offer the menu, experience and support that have put us on the global map,” wrote Henegan in the ‘About’ section of his Indiegogo campaign. “We encourage you to still come and dine with us, as any support will help to protect our future.”
Over $9,512 has been raised thus far out of a $50,000 goal and there are 50 days left to he campaign, which has been dubbed #SaveMadiba.
First reported in Forbes, the Save Madiba campaign aims to remind people of everything they love about the colorful Fort Greene space that serves everything from Durban samosas and oxtail stew to bobotie — a Cape Town Malay dish of curried ground meat, yellow rice and raisins.
Now, squeezed by high-interest-rate debts and other financial setbacks, Henegan is seeking donations to keep Madiba afloat. [The] crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo seeks to raise $200,000. . . Those who give $200 will get 10% off for a year, while those who give $2,000 will get 25% off for two years and a special five-course dinner by Henegan.
. . . [The financial situation has] reached a crisis point. Now, he needs to raise funds quickly just to make it through the winter. “I’m getting to the point where I know that I’m going to lose the restaurant,” Henegan says. “The idea that Madiba can actually go out of business—it kind of just hit me.”
According to Forbes, Henegan notes that he has already lost restaurants in Miami, North Carolina, and Harlem, and has $200,000 in debt plus a tax dispute. The DeKalb Avenue restaurant also has operated on a month-by-month basis, without a long-term lease, for seven years.
“We are hoping we can rely on our family and friends to recommend and consider Madiba for corporate parties and caterings during the holiday season,” Henegan said.
There will also be a fundraiser holiday party on Wednesday, December 16, with tickets going for $264.74 for a cocktail hour, five course wine paired dinner by Mark Henegan and Noble Hill Wine Estate, plus live music and an auction of original Nelson Mandela artwork.