Aspirant “great chef” wins R100 000 bursary

It is a dream come true for Lusanda Mafanya, who has won a R100 000 bursary from the new International Hotel School Gqeberha campus, in a tense and exciting weekend cook-off.

Pictured: Lusanda Mafanya, John Creighton, Nobulungisa Mafanya

After entering through Algoa FM, he competed against 9 other aspirant chefs who all qualified for a R30 000 bursary towards their culinary studies.

The 23-year-old matriculated from Pearson High School in 2016 and lives in Forest Hill, Gqeberha.

“This bursary means that a long life passion and dream is finally becoming a reality,” says the excited Mafanya.

“I’d say I first learnt how to cook spending time in the kitchen watching my mom and gran cooking as a kid. Seeing how much love and joy was in that kitchen and that’s where my passion for this stems from.

“This opportunity will open so many new and exciting opportunities and experiences that will stay with me forever. Being a chef, and a great one at that, means everything to me,” he added.

“We are very excited to be in Gqeberha, to bring world class hospitality business and culinary education to the Eastern Cape,” says John Creighton, Director of International Hotel School, who are proudly part of the Swiss-based Sommet Education.

“We have been looking for the right opportunity and have found the perfect location in Gqeberha. The first intake will be starting classes on March 7, 2022.

“We have had an overwhelming positive response from the public in general and hospitality industry in the greater Gqeberha area,” said Creighton.

The second runner up was 20-year-old Ronaldo Roos, originally from Jeffrey’s Bay, who matriculated at Oosterland High School.

The third runner up was 24-year-old Wade Robert from Blue Water Bay. He attended Elsen Academy and matriculated in 2007.

For the cook-off, they were challenged to produce a winning gourmet burger cooked from scratch.

“Congratulations to all the bursary winners. We look forward to seeing you and all our students on campus in March,” adds Creighton.

The bursaries were offered in partnership with Algoa FM, which hosted an online competition asking entrants to motivate why they should qualify for a culinary bursary.

The International Hotel School programmes are designed to ensure that graduates are job-ready.

“Algoa FM partnered with the International Hotel School on this campaign to encourage youth to continue to pursue hospitality studies. Despite the hard knock during the early COVID-19 lockdowns, it is a thriving service-orientated career for those who are passionate about the industry.

“Education is also a pillar of focus under our corporate social investment sub-brand, Algoa Cares,” says Algoa FM Marketing Manager Lesley Geyer.

“Our approach is very much experiential focused, educating and training our students to be ‘job-ready’ upon graduation,” says Creighton.

According to the International Hotel School, the Professional Cookery Programme helps students take the first steps to become a master chef, gain the knowledge and experience to move effortlessly between the most basic puff pastry to complex plated desserts.

The courses cover safety at work, the preparation of food, healthy eating, special diets, costing, and menu planning from start to finish.

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