From Soweto to Stardom: Chef Wandile Mabaso's inspiring journey

From Soweto to Michelin: Chef Wandile Mabaso's inspiring journey

Chef Wandile Mabaso's hard shifts in the kitchen have taken him from coveted restaurants in the USA and France to cooking for world leaders in South Africa. Not bad for a man from Soweto whose peers once laughed at him taking cooking classes! 

Chef Wandile's story
DW / JacPod

Overcoming Challenges

Born into a world where his passion was deemed unfit for a man, Chef Wandile Mabaso navigated through the challenges of poverty, racism, and the demanding kitchen environments of New York and Paris to emerge as a celebrated chef.

Amidst sleeping on the streets and surviving on $1.50 a day, he never lost sight of his dream.

From Kitchen Floors to Michelin Stars

This story isn't just about food; it's one of resilience, learning, and never giving up, despite the odds.

Chef Wandile's journey from the dusty lanes of Soweto to cooking for world leaders and celebrities is a testament to where passion, coupled with hard work, can take you.

Hear - or watch - Chef Wandile share his story below.

Cyberbullying expert

Meanwhile, for lawyer Emma Sadleir, there are tough cases, and then there are cyberbullying cases. The growing trend is victims are getting younger, and perpetrators are harder to catch. In the previous episode of 'Don't Hold Back,' host Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba was joined by cyberbullying expert Emma Sadleir to unpack the dark side of our digital lives. 

Sextortion is rife

Sadleir - co-author of 'Don't Film Yourself Having Sex' and ‘Selfies, Sexts and Smartphones’ - sheds light on the disturbing trend of sextortion, explaining how it's become alarmingly common and what victims can do. 

The duo then dives into actionable advice for battling cyberbullying, covering everything from legal measures to practical tips for staying safe online. 

Finally, for the young ones and parents listening in, Sadleir drops some golden nuggets on how to navigate social media smartly and safely. 

Listen or watch below:

Also, if you are affected by cyberbullying or know someone who is, do check out Emma's blog for information on how to handle cyber harassment.

In an earlier episode of Don't Hold Back, podcast host Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba delved into South African artist Seth Pimental's journey with mental health and art. He opens up about his experience with bipolar disorder, including misdiagnosis and wrong medications in his early twenties.

Listen or watch it below.

ALSO READ: 'Got fired into my dream job'


South African presenter Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba is well known for her HIV-AIDS activism and YouTube channel. After her own HIV diagnosis in 2013, Nozibele made it her mission to hold open conversations about her journey. Now a published author and respected authority on the subject, the 33-year-old’s work was named as one of the web’s Top 15 HIV YouTube channels.  She recently completed a second season of her TV show called #YesIHaveHIV, where she assists others to disclose their HIV statuses to friends and family. In May of 2023, her presenting skills earned her an international nomination in the "Presenter of the Year" category at the Association of International Broadcasting awards. With her direct, engaging, and empathetic hosting style, she's the perfect fit to address taboo topics - and to say: Don't hold back!

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‘Don’t hold back – say it loud’  is a co-production between German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW), Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio.

Don’t hold back – say it loud’ is both an audio and video production.

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