As a 15-year-old boy being brought up by his grandmother in an East Rand township, Meshack Mabuza’s dream of becoming a chef and following a career in the hospitality industry seemed unrealistic. But today, the young man is on the path to achieving his dream.
After matric, he took a job working in a national chain store’s warehouse as his family could not afford tertiary education for him. He later became a call centre agent, putting his aspirations of becoming a chef on hold.
In 2016, his life was set to change course when the Peermont Community Benefit Trust (PCBT), established the Peermont Hotel School (PHS) at Emperors Palace. Their goal is to help the less fortunate young people from Ekurhuleni who want to become chefs, waitrons or housekeepers. The school offered fully-funded skills courses to 72 deserving youth when it opened its doors in May 2016.
Among the fortunate learnership recipients of the Class of 2016 was a Mabuza. He soon began his journey towards becoming “The Culinary Gangster” – a nickname he got from his classmates.
“When I received the news that I was going to the hotel school I couldn’t believe it, and it was one of the best days of my life!”
According to TheGoodThingsGuy.com, Mabuza has quickly became one of the stars in the programme. Upon graduating among the top students in his class, Mabuza didn’t let the grass grow under his feet and boldly approached “My Kitchen Rules SA” judge, Chef David Higgs, for a job at the well-known Marble Restaurant in Johannesburg. Much to Mabuza’s surprise and delight, Higgs gave him a chance.
“He has taught me how to be an old school professional chef, from respecting my ingredients to mastering flavour combinations and creating great tasting, delicious food"
Mabuza wants to continue studies in the hospitality and tourism field and hopes to one day own restaurant of his own.
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