In February 2017, we heard about Andries Ngobeni’s (then 18) dream of being a chef.
A talk on KasiNomics by G.G. Alcock
at the Nation Builder 2016 In Good Company Conference, sparked an idea for Mathilda Fourie (CEO, Vastfontein Community Transformation
) to assist Andries in starting a fledgeling business that set him on the path of his desired career.
Various news platforms subsequently told the story of this brave young man, who was the head of a child-led household before becoming part of the Vastfontein Community Transformation family.
Little more than a year after the story was released, another social media post again caught the attention of the Nation Builder team. It was a photo of Andries in a chef’s uniform, with the caption: Andries pursuing his dream of becoming a chef.
We asked Vastfontein how Andries’s journey towards his dream has developed.
Andries had experienced a few personal challenges and setbacks after needing to re-establish his business from scratch in Hammanskraal. Mathilda and the Vastfontein team were however determined to see him back on his feet:
“We contacted one of our funding partners, who owns a game reserve with a few lodges, and asked if they would perhaps be able to employ Andries as an intern in one of their kitchens. The owner immediately agreed, and said they would train him as a chef in their 5-star lodge!”
On the 21st of June 2018, Andries started his training as a culinary chef at the five-star lodge.
Now three months later, Andries is back on his feet, enjoying what he loves to do. “He is really happy and the team at the lodge say he makes the best omelettes,” said Mathilda.
His courage, with the Vastfontein community’s commitment and support, continues to be an example of how long-term investment into people, who face many real struggles and challenges, and not merely “giving money to projects”, is a core principle for impactful corporate social investment.