Ronaldo Kathjiheve - Bachelor of Hopsitality Management

Brief: Selected to represent Namibia at the Word-skills Cooking competition in Kazan, Russia

Share your achievement/success story in detail. In April 2018 I was approached by Chef Ralf to enter into the Selection competition for the WorldSkills Namibia National competition, which took place in September 2018. During the selection competition I had to write a test and complete a 2 hour practical cooking session which I successfully passed. I was then selected with 3 other NUST students to compete at the National Skills competition at Ramatex in September. Meanwhile I also entered into other cooking competitions in order to get more experience. During August I was able to get a part time job in a commercial kitchen which sharpened my practical skills. Further I offered my services to help other chefs to cook at various events which really helped me to get some more needed experience.

The NSC at Ramatex was then postponed to April 2019. During mid-February we started to train for the NSC competition together with the other 3 students, under the watchful eye of Chef Ralf. The training was quit intense and sometimes it was difficult to bring training, school and work under one hat, however it really worked out.

In April I finally took part in the NSC at Ramatex. During 4 days of cooking I was able to show the best of my skills and succeeded in getting second place and a Silver medal which automatically qualified me for the participation at the WorldSkills International Cooking competition to take place in Kazan, Russia. This was a great moment and experience and made me more open to learn even more and to excel further. This was even more special as the Program the Bachelor of Hospitality management actually isn't a cooking program at all and only has a cooking module during the first semester. But nevertheless it was enough to help me discover my passion in cooking.

Tell us more about your journey leading up to this moment. Immediately after qualifying, I started to help in the Training kitchen and helping out at events at NUST in order to sharpen my skills. During mid-May we received the instructions for the International cooking competition and together with Chef Ralf I compiled a first draft menu and time schedule in order to prepare for the competition to take place during 22 - 27th of August in Russia.

During this time I did further additional cooking activities whereby I met some foreign chefs that I also asked for some advice in order to succeed in Russia. I also took part in the Battle of the Chefs during cultural festival held at Sam Nujoma Stadium where I achieved second place overall. Training is very intense as me and Chef Ralf come together every day since June in order to get well prepared for the upcoming competition. Intense means at least 6 hours a day of practicing and cooking whilst I am still also going to work in the evening to pay for my living.

What does this achievement mean to you and how will you use it to motivate others? This achievement made it possible for me to see another part of the world. It motivated me to be the best in what I am doing. You should really not waste your time whilst you are young and take any opportunity that come your way.....If you love what you are doing you should not always be worried in getting a monetary reward as these experiences are invaluable and often cannot be paid with money alone.

What are your plans for the future? I want to get more experience in cooking. Be the first chef in Namibia to get a Michelin Star. My biggest dream is to change the way people view Namibian local ingredients and start to appreciate them. To be part of creating a true Namibian cuisine and write a book about it.

Share with us your success quote! "Be simple, be humble and your dreams will come true!"