KFC and Entrepreneur Clash Over “Chicken Kota” Idea, Brand Accused of Stealing Businessman’s Creation

KFC and Entrepreneur Clash Over “Chicken Kota” Idea, Brand Accused of Stealing Businessman’s Creation

  • American fast-food chicken chain KFC has been accused of stealing a Vaal-based entrepreneur's idea
  • KFC launched its Kentucky Sphatlho, which is a twist on SA's traditional kota featuring KFC's signature chicken
  • Romeo Malepe claims he pitched to dish to the fast food chain four years ago but got turned away

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JOHANNESBURG - KFC and a local entrepreneur are at loggerheads over the fast food joint's new dish, the Kentucky Sphatlho.

KFC has been accused of steal its Kentucky Sphatlho from an entrepreneur
Vaal entrepreneur accuses KFC of stealing his idea of a chicken-inspired kota. Image. @KFCSA/Twitter & Itumeleng Mosadi/Facebook
Source: UGC

The Kentucky Sphatlho takes a spin on South African fan favourite, the Kota, by adding a juicy piece of chicken to the dish.

However, Vaal-based entrepreneur Romeo Malepe has accused the American fast food chain of stealing his idea.

Entrepreneur claims he pitched chicken kota idea to KFC

Malepe said he approached a KFC holding company, Yum!, with the idea of a fried chicken-centred kota four years ago.

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Malepe said he noticed that KFCs in other countries often incorporated popular local foods into their menu and figured the franchise in SA could do the same thing, TimesLIVE reported.

The entrepreneur created a presentation of what he dubbed the Streetwise Kota and headed to Yum! offices in Bryanston, Johannesburg, to pitch his idea.

Malepe and his creative team had set their hearts on meeting the big bosses, but a brand manager allegedly insisted they meet her instead.

Not letting the setback get him down, he started selling his chicken-inspired kota at festivals under the name Kota Culture.

Speaking to SowetanLIVE, Malepe said:

"I realised that there was no chance of us getting into a partnership. My heart is bleeding after seeing their adverts."

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KFC dismisses claims it stole chicken kota idea

While KFC has dismissed the entrepreneur's claims, saying that the franchise has a 50-year history of incorporating SA's culture and heritage in its dishes.

KFC said:

"It is no secret that kota is a famous South African meal, and the limited-edition KFC Sphatlho is a result of an internal product development process."

South Africans are divided by allegation KFC stole chicken kota idea

Below are some comments:


"You can’t claim a kota as your idea."

@lenyasalaafrica added:

"Spathlo is not his idea, this has been a Pretorian dish for many many years which became a national dish. KFC did not steal the idea from him."

@AmuEmperor suggested:

"Intellectual property. Always register your property before presenting it to anyone, just in case recourse is ever required."

@Rivaldo_Sepale joked:

"I’m gonna write an email to BMW to suggest that they start making Bakkies. They don’t really need to, but just in case they do in future, I’ll sue them and say that it was my idea that BMW starts producing bakkies."

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“I can’t buy KFC streetwise 2”: Man complains that life is expensive now that we are adults, Mzansi in tears

In another story, Briefly News reported a man had had enough of the rising cost of living. The TikTokker had people laughing after expressing his frustration about adulting.

People were amused as the man expressed his sadness. The video got thousands of likes from people who could feel the young man's frustration.

A man on TikTok @kay_mahapa complained that life is only getting expensive now that his generation is adults. The content creator said he couldn't even afford to buy KFC Streetwise 2 without transferring money from his life savings.

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Source: Briefly News

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