We are all taught to go to school so that we can get a good job and that way, we will be successful. Granted that way of doing things has proved to work for many, but not for all of us. Unemployment in South Africa stands at 25.5% and many of those are young people. Many young South Africans find themselves in a difficult position where they are qualified but remain unemployed or get stuck in jobs that they hate.
Then there are those who choose to challenge the status quo and take it upon themselves to define their own destinies. Despite having an opportunity to get a full-time job, Nhlakanipho Ndlovu, had a different plan. After completing his Professional Cookery programme at the Sparrow FET College in 2015, Nhlakanipho Ndlovu embarked on his own journey.
Ndlovu dug into his own savings and invested it into opening his own restaurant at his home in Soweto. Ndlovu was never an A student growing up, “He was a very quiet child, I remember when he was five years old he was still struggling with his speech and so I took him to a speech therapist. As he grew up he slowly got better but I realized that his school results were not the best, so I suggested that he try getting into hospitality, seeing that he enjoyed cooking with his sister so much,” says Catherine Ndlovu, his mother.
After much motivation from his mother, Ndlovu took it upon himself to register for the Professional Cookery programme at the Sparrow FET College to enhance his cooking skills. “The idea to start this business was also motivated by all the things that I learned at Sparrow and Spar. I learned how to handle food and customers. Even how to run a business,” Ndlovu explains.
Ndlovu has been running the business with the help of his brothers and sisters and will be employing two employees in February. Merely a month into the business, he is already open to hosting special events including community credit union events and birthday parties.