Student of the Week: Solomon Mashilo

Londolozi Varty Camp chef, Solomon Mashilo, has been teaching his wife a couple of important life skills:

  1. How to prepare the perfect poached egg
  2. How to double click

Solomon – originally from rural Mozambique – admits that if you told him six years ago that he was going to be a chef he wouldn’t have believed you.

If you told him he was going to be a chef who knew how to surf the internet, look up recipes online and type up the “Londolozi summer recipe” in MS Word, he wouldn’t have known what you were talking about (I can hear Solomon chuckling in the background now).

He’s done it though. In 2008, Solomon – a builder – arrived at Londolozi to enroll in a cooking training programme. In 2009, Solomon was hired full-time as a store man and kitchen assistant.

Today, he is one of the head honchos in the Varty Kitchen.

Along the way, Solomon met Gogo Mo and signed up to study for his International Computer Driving License (ICDL) through Good Work Foundation’s Londolozi Digital Learning Centre. He passed all seven modules including Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Databases, and graduated with an internationally-recognised certificate in September this year.

“In Shangaan culture, the man is not the cook” Solomon laughs, “but look at me, teaching my wife how to make poached eggs. The world moves on and now it’s okay for men to cook. Also, it’s good for rural people to become digitally literate. Progress with eggs. Progress with computers!”

Solomon is also one of the founding members of Mabarhule Youth in Action, a community choir that focuses on inspiring young people to invest in a positive, crime-free and drug-free future. We’ve included a video of Solomon and his colleagues in the Londolozi kitchen singing Shosholoza (meaning to move forward):

“Student of the week is not just about celebrating students who achieve academically,” says Kate Groch, CEO of Good Work Foundation, “It’s about celebrating students who are well-rounded individuals. Solomon has a heart of gold. His approach to his studies has included helping his peers, and his work in the community – focusing on improving the prospects of young adults – is as thoughtful as it is visionary. Keep shining bright Solomon.”