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Teenager realising his culinary dream

Feb 01 2017 18:36

Cape Town - Andries Ngobeni (18) dreams of being a chef.

As the head of a child-led household, before becoming part of the Vastfontein Community Transformation family, this dream seemed unreachable. Until an idea that was sparked during the Nation Builder conference in 2016 helped to launch his growing business.

At this conference GG Alcock, CEO of Minanawe, explored the principles that he elaborates on in his book, KasiNomics, highlighting the massive size of the informal economy, and how many business opportunities are available within this economy.

Vastfontein Community Transformation CEO, Mathilda Fourie was in the audience and realised that this informal economy was the key to launching Andries’ culinary dream.

“I spend time with all the teenagers in our orphan care homes to do career pathing with them. Andries told me that he dreams of becoming a chef. However, he had only completed grade 9, and failed grade 10 due to circumstances beyond his control," says Fourie.

"His main challenge was that he had been the head of a child-headed household with four other siblings before they joined one of our homes. My initial thoughts were that there was no way, since he would need matric, and it is very expensive to study formally to become a chef.”  
 
After the conference she did a survey with the community school teachers and other staff members, and they all said that if he made magwinyas - a quarter loaf of bread mixed with all kinds of food items like fried chips, atchar, Viennas, Russians and polony - they would buy from him every day.

He initially worked with the hostel "mamma" as a trainee, and she started teaching him. Within three weeks his small business reached break-even, and he is now covering his own salary,” says Fourie.  
 
“At Nation Builder we believe in SA and its prosperous future,” says Keri-Leigh Paschal, executive director of Nation Builder.

“We believe that effective partnerships between businesses and NPOs (or community-based initiatives) can bring about huge social transformation in our nation. We want to encourage businesses to see their role in uplifting society, and we want to help them understand our local context so that their social investments (CSI) can be as effective and sustainable as possible."

The Nation Builder team is based in Stellenbosch and Pretoria.

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entrepreneurs  |  small business
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