Head chef at Wish on Florida Snegugu Wanda tells a reader it’s possible to follow her passion for food

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Chef Gugu Wanda says you should follow your passion.
Chef Gugu Wanda says you should follow your passion.
Chef Gugu Wanda/ Supplied

Dear Drum

I am 28 and I work in an office job that I really don't enjoy.

I know I am lucky to have this job but it is not my passion - and this is something I keep reading about as being important.

My passion is food, which I learnt about at a young age from my mom, but I don't know where to start to make a change.

I don't have many savings and I am scared to leave my job.

What should I do?


Dear reader

Follow your passion is something you often hear but no one actually gives you the practical steps to do so.

I believe this is because we are all different and what works for one person may not work for another, and that’s okay.

That said, I suggest you research what exactly ignites your passion for food. There are many aspects of the food industry – not all of us are meant to be burnt by the pots!

See if there is something that will allow you to explore your creative side as well as incorporate your current skillset.

Otherwise, you can search the many City & Guilds accredited institutions. They offer a number of diplomas and certificates for full- and part-time studies that deal specifically with food.

Also use your free time to maybe start a side hustle that’s food related.

People often look down on the auntie selling fat cooks by the taxi rank, but she’s making a living. You could use the extra income to fund part-time studying.

Use your gift and make it work for you. Go from fat cook sales to a food truck and then a restaurant.

Don’t be afraid to move from your comfort zone – your current job. It probably won’t be a smooth transition but no transition ever is. And as long as you are grounded, committed and truly passionate, you can put your faith forward and manifest your change.

Have a goal, break it up into subgoals that are easily attainable and lead to the main goal. Then stick to your plan.

Here are a few examples of some culinary institutions you can look up

Capsicum culinary studios

1000 Hills Chef school

CTIA Chef School

Hospitality Training Group

Fusion Cooking

International hotel School

Give them a call and see what they have on offer. Compare them and see what works best for you.

About Snegugu Wanda

Snegugu Wanda is head chef at Wish on Florida in Durban. She specialises in fusion cuisine.

She was raised in Umlazi, Kwa-Zulu Natal, and was taught to cook by her late grandmother, Esther Wanda.

Initially, she studied law and even had dreams of becoming the next Chief Justice of South Africa. But in 2013, while doing her articles, she dropped out to follow her passion and enrolled at Capsicum Culinary Studio in Durban.

On completion of her studies, Snegugu flew through the ranks when she started her first job, working her way up from griller to head chef at Wish on Florida in just two years.

A member of the South African Chefs Association, she’s a firm believer in the need for transformation in the food industry.

“It takes twice the amount of hard work and dedication to hone the craft as a black woman,” she says. “But don’t give up.

“It’s tough, you will work for peanuts, you will be unappreciated, but there is a new wave rising of strong young, black females who want to take over the kitchen. We need that generation to persevere and change the stereotype and the narrative of this industry.”


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