Meet our Panelist Mark Henegan
Mark Henegan came into the world smiling in 1968 in Benoni nearJohannesburg, South Africa, and spent his teenage years in the city of Durban. Growing up during apartheid bred a man of conviction, strength, and compassion with above all a deep love for all humanity. These traits are closely modeled on Nelson Mandela, hismost significant of role models. Mark began busing tables at his father’s coffee shop at the age of 12. He graduated from high school and then passed the equivalent of a two year Hotel Management course. At the tender age of 20, Henegan was the youngest pianist to perform at the international hotel group Southern Sun. Henegan arrived in the United States in 1987 and commenced his hands- on education at top New York City restaurants including Bayard and IL Buco. He then spent ten years traveling across the US, Europe and Central America and joined up with his partner for life Jenny Kennard and married in 1997, and in 1998 saw the birth of their son Skyler.In 1999 Mark and Jenny Henegan, starting from humble beginnings, opened Madiba, Restaurant the first South African Restaurant in NYC established in Fort Greene Brooklyn. Madiba pays homage to Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and through the eclectic cuisine, authentic music, arts & crafts and highly successful catering business they celebrate by preserving the culture and vitality of a unique South African experience. They have since then made Madiba Restaurant a destination winning “One of the ten best restaurants in America” by Gourmet magazine, with a clientele ranging from Archbishop Desmond
Tutu , Disney’s animal Kingdom Lodge, the U. N, The South African Consulate and Tourism Board, Sir Richard Branson and the current president of South Africa Jacob Zuma just to name a few. In 2002 their second son Troy was born, and in September 2005, the Henegans expanded their restaurant empire with the opening of Madiba Miami in the South Beach and successfully sold this as their first franchise in 2007.