- Andile Mekeni had to find a job after school because his aunt struggled to support him and his brother
- He got a job as a waiter and impressed the owner of the popular chain RocoMamas with his enthusiasm
- Soon after, he was offered a partnership and opened the first RocoGo, an express restaurant
Andile Mekeni worked his way from being a waiter to being the owner of a successful franchise within a few years, inspiring South Africans to work hard to achieve their dreams.
The 24-year-old is from Nqamakwe village in Eastern Cape and moved to Johannesburg after finishing matric to live with his aunt. His grandmother had just passed away and the family were facing financial challenges, Briefly.co.za learned.
Needing to find a way to support himself and relieve the pressure on his aunt, Mekani embarked on the soul-crushing search for a job, City Press reported. His brother brought his attention to an opportunity working as waiter which sent him on his path to success.
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Although Mekeni lacked experience, his eagerness to learn and his enthusiasm impressed his employer, Brian Altrichie, the founder of the RocoMamas franchise. He met Althrichie during training and soon formed a close relationship, being able to relate to Altrichie’s journey from humble beginnings.
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Only nine months later, Mekeni was promoted to manager and then again to operator, being given the responsibility of running the restaurant.
His career took a promising turn when he moved to a bigger restaurant. He shone in his new position, capturing Altriche’s attention.
Mekeni was offered an opportunity to partner up with Altriche and run two restaurants.
From there, Mekeni and business partner, Nkululeko Zulu, opened the doors of RocoGo, a smaller version of the restaurant.
Mekani has experienced every aspect of running a business and did so by having ambition and making the best out of the cards life dealt.
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