South Africa: From Soweto-On-Sea to a Bright, Five-Star Future - Brave Gqeberha Chef Is Bound for Mauritius


A young woman's determination is taking her from an impoverished part of the Eastern Cape city to training at a high-end resort in Mauritius.

In an astonishing story of persistence, sacrifice and courage, a young chef from Soweto-on-Sea, one of the poorest areas in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape, has been selected for an internship at Sugar Beach, a five-star resort in Mauritius.

Yolanda Gelebha (18) from Soweto-on-Sea was a high achiever in consumer studies at Kwa-Magxaki High School in the city when she passed matric with a distinction in 2021.

That year, the Boardwalk Hotel and Casino in Gqeberha started offering R700,000 in bursaries to help the top students in the subject to obtain qualifications to become professional chefs. In 2016, the company had funded the renovation of the school's consumer studies classroom.

The first five matriculants of 2021 who received these bursaries graduated in April from the International Hotel School with national certificates in the professional cookery programme. The hotel paid for their studies and also gave them a monthly stipend so that they could concentrate fully on getting their qualifications.

Three of the students - Yonela Chophela, Ntombizanele Mthunzini and Bulelwa Nogqala - have now been offered permanent jobs at the Boardwalk, whereas Gelebha and Yamkela Vena will complete a six-month internship in Mauritius.

The Boardwalk is also footing the bill for their...

AllAfrica publishes around 500 reports a day from more than 90 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.