In 2011, the then 29-year old Lungisa Dangisa left Umtata, a small town in the Eastern Cape, and travelled to the Western Cape in search of a job and a brighter future. However, upon arriving in Stellenbosch, he soon discovered that finding a job was not that easy.
“While there are jobs in the Eastern Cape, the jobs in the Western Cape are much better. The area where I am from it is very rural and it is difficult to travel to work for a job every day.”
However, finding a job in his new hometown proved just as difficult as he commenced a 12-month search to secure employment.
“A year after I arrived in Stellenbosch I started working at Parmalat as a cheese maker. I was responsible for making cheddar cheese and various other cheeses in the factory.”
One day, while chatting to a friend from his community, he was told about someone in the area who had completed one of Bergzicht Training’s programmes and had learned a marketable skill which helped him secure employment.
In 2013, he enrolled at Bergzicht Training. With a background in the food industry, he decided to enrol for the City & Guilds’ Professional Cooking and Food and Beverage Service Programme which took him three months to complete.
“I chose the programme, because there are a lot of job opportunities in the food industry here in Stellenbosch. A lot of my, friends and family work in the industry here in town.”
Through this programme, he learned, how to, for example maintain a safe working environment, handle and store food as well as prepare hot and cold dishes – all skills that he use on a daily basis at his current job as the assistant cook at the Fedics-owned kitchen at Minerva residence at Stellenbosch University.
After completing his studies and a work-integrated training opportunity at Fedics, he was immediately employed as an assistant cook by the company, a position he has held for the past 3 years.
He believes that it is the skills he learned at Bergzicht Training that helped him secure a job and continue to build his career over the last few years.
“Bergzicht taught me how to think about my work every day, to be positive, to be tidy and safe and to have pride in my work. It is why I have referred many others, including my sister, to Bergzicht.”
When talking about his job, he does so with a lot of pride and an obvious sense of ambition. “I love to cook, but I want to learn more. The more I can learn the better.”
He is also looking to the future and the life he wants to create for himself and his family.
“In the next five years I want to be the main cook in the kitchen. I also want to be able to build a house for my family.”
Photo: Lungisa Dangisa in the dining room of Minerva Residence where he cooks on a daily basis as an assistant cook in the Fedics-owned kitchen.