Academics are not the only way

Most of the world’s education system’s core focus is academics, which makes school a prolonged ordeal for many. This leaves learners going through many years feeling like they are not good enough to compete in the world and that can have detrimental consequences. When the apartheid government was abolished in 1993, many children affected by the system were still at a disadvantage and had nobody to help them catch up on the backlog, allowing them a smooth transition into mainstream schools.

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Through its remedial teaching and skills training, the Sparrow Schools Education Trust has developed a way to provide the previously disadvantaged and academically challenged people a fighting chance to compete in society and contribute to the country’s economy.

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After going on the United Kingdom Choir tour in 2004, one Sparrow Schools student in the Catering Programme was inspired to break the stereotypes that you can only compete in the world if you excel academically. “When I was in school, I was really not an academic child, so I found an opportunity where I could rise and do what I am doing now and I love it,” says Lehlohonolo Magadime, Senior Chef Supervisor at Delaire Graff Estate in Cape Town. He further adds, “It does help having a passion and doing what you love. I think it is important for the youth out there to follow their passion for them to succeed.”

Magadime has since travelled the world and is now also running his own Catering Company called Exclusively Yours Catering. “I think he is a very hardworking, strong and upcoming young chef. He is very passionate, dedicated and he has a very bright future in the kitchen, he will take it further than that,” says Head Chef at Delaire Graff, Virgil Khan.

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