The 34-year-old Tebogo Geoffrey Masopye from Bloemfontein has been a chef for 10 years and has been making waves in the City of Roses, believing the sky is the limit.
This dynamic young man is physically challenged but has never let this stand in his way. He has been involved in the Chefs’ Cookoff at the Central University of Technology (CUT), as judge in The Braai Master, as judge in the School Braai Master, at the Chocolate Festival as guest speaker and many more competitions over the country.
“I have had to cook for 450 guests, including ministers, at an event in 2017 and had to cope without any staff. In short, I have cooked for artists, ministers and MECs in the Free State, different provincial premiers, and I can add the name of the late president of Zimbabe, Dr Robert Mugabe, to my list.”
According to Masopye, he suffers from cerebral palsy, which is a group of disorders that affects a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.
He told the publication that, according to his mother, he was not born with the condition but his life changed when he was two years old. Masopye said though his disability limits him, it does not have a negative impact on his future plans. “Growing up, I had the support of family, friends and teachers at school. Trust me, I sometimes forget I am disabled. I played soccer with my friends as well as basketball.”
The young man added that he always laughs at the question of how he became a chef. He said he did not know how to cook, except for frying chips and eggs. He then joined a learnership in 2011. This learnership was to train young people between 18 and 35 to enable them to find employment in the hospitality industry.
On the question about some of his greatest moments, he said one occasion was being in the top 3 out of 80 students when the Marriott’s came to South Africa to see and eat his dishes.
His future plans are to see his business, which he had started without any capital, grow. He is currently part of Food In Motion. People can get hold of him on Facebook @ Spel-in masopye, Instagram, Whatsapp me on 063-974-6348.